Dear Dan Schwartzman,
I’ve just begun listening to your radio show. I commute to work at night and listen to KTLK, where your show has recently replaced Phil Hendrie in the 10PM slot. I have found you to be an enjoyable and thoughtful personality, that is until last night (Jan 17th). Given the incredibly strange story of Manti Te’o’s imagined girlfriend, it was no surprise to hear you making jokes about it at the top of your show. You may recall that the gist of it was how nice it could be to have a fantasy girlfriend because you could imagine her being a hot model who doesn’t talk back. You went for a while with this premise, over and over again reinforcing this “jokey” idea that the fantasy girl is one who is “hot” and “doesn’t talk back”.
Now, I know you were just kidding around and I certainly don’t begrudge you some headline related humor, but I am left to wonder how much attention you have been paying to other headlines. Have you not been privy to situation in Stubenville where a young girl was raped by high school football players and the Coach blamed the victim while other adults, including law enforcement failed to take it seriously? Have you seen the video of these jocks joking about how the “dead girl” was “sooo raped”?
Are you aware that while Notre Dame has launched a full scale investigation into Mante Te’o’s imaginary girlfriend, they failed to launch such an investigation in the case of a football player’s alleged rape of 19 year old Lizzy Seeberg, and the harassment she endured afterwards (which is not alleged, but proven) until after she committed suicide?
Look, I don’t want to spoil your fun, but I’ve listened to you talking about Lance Armstrong and the moral implications of his actions and all, and then you turn around and make blatantly sexist jokes at a time when our nation, and the world (India!) is slipping back into the dark ages with regards to women’s rights, the objectification of women and brutality towards them. It was shocking and disappointing to hear such talk from someone who seems like they should know better.
Now, I know in the scheme of things, it seems I am nit picking on a very trivial thing - a few minutes of kidding around. But these small things do make a difference. They contribute to the cultural understanding of how we view each other, and treat each other.
At the very least, why would you want to perpetuate the stereotype that “Sports Dudes” are sexist pigs? Or is it really just a stereotype? You are in a unique position to help young men understand what it really means to be a man. Please don’t squander it with such foolishly insensitive remarks. I’m sure you are a better person than that. Right?