I don’t listen to WWL at night much. I usually catch the a.m. stuff while running errands in the car on weekdays but that’s usually it.
So in the interest of full disclosure I must admit that I have never listened to Bob Mitchell before tonight’s show following Nagin’s state of the city speech.
And now that I have admitted that, let me say that my first impression didn’t endear me to him much at all.
Here’s breakdown of what led me to this opinion tonight:
1. Mitchell expounded on how impressive Nagin’s speech was.
2. Mitchell told a caller he drives in to New Orleans from his home in Slidell to eat at his favorite restaurant in Lakeview all the time.
3. A caller phoned in from Baton Rouge who sounded as if he would speak negatively about Nagin and his speech.
4. Mitchell cut him off and made several statements about the man’s Baton Rouge residency.
5. The caller said he used to live in New Orleans and still had family here.
6. Mitchell hung up on him and said he wasn’t going to allow any one who didn’t live in New Orleans to criticize the speech.
7. See point #2.
I’ve always hated the “your opinion is not valid because you aren’t from here” tactic employed by so many locals. If that were the case then they would have no validity in speaking about anything BUT New Orleans eh? We know that ain’t true! Whoa!
In fact I hate all “your opinion is not valid because…” arguments. They are the sign of a weak debater.
While New Orleans residency certainly gives someone a more in-tune perspective to what is happening here, it doesn’t automatically negate the opinions of outsiders. There are a thousand ways to draw an egg.
What is particularly shameful about this incident (beyond the fact that Mitchell is supposed to be impartial) is that Mitchell didn’t even hear this man out. He just cut him off because the caller sounded as if he was going to contradict Mitchell’s opinion that the speech was some magnificent oration.
And he cut him off because he wasn’t from New Orleans.
And Mitchell is from Slidell.
To Mitchell I say this:
I know you have a long and storied history in the city. But you live in Slidell now. So before you throw somebody off your radio show for not being from New Orleans, you may want to consider your own zip code.