The Sport of Torment

So yeah, this is probably reason #722 why I hate the current state of society…

So during my commute to work this morning, I happened to be flipping through various radio stations (because someone stole my iPod and my iPhone 3G recently died. Yeah, #firstworldproblems). Anyway, I came across the Steve Harvey Morning Show and they were in the middle of what was considered a prank call. Steve’s co-host, Nephew Tommy, had called a guy and told him that his child support order had been modified. So instead of paying child support until his son turned 18 years old (which was in 3 months), this man was now required to pay support until his son turned 21 years old.

To say the man was upset would be an understatement. He was using so many 4-letter words that there were probably twice as many *beeps* as words. Nephew Tommy proceeded to provoke the man further by accusing him of being negligent with the care of his son, being 13 months delinquent with support payments, and then threatening to send him to jail.

Wait… what?!?

Nephew Tommy and Steve Harvey

I’m sitting there in commuter traffic listening to this horrible scenario play out and my mouth is open in disbelief! Was this really happening?? Were they really taking an issue as sensitive and inflammatory as the unfairness of child support and making it out to be a joke? Surely someone like Steve Harvey, who himself is a twice-divorced father of four children, would be more understanding of the challenges of custody and support many fathers face, especially minority fathers.

But no…

After a good 5-10 minutes of this “prank call”, Nephew Tommy finally came clean and pretty much said, “Haha! You’ve been pranked on the Steve Harvey Morning Show! You being mad and upset was hilarious! Thanks for the ratings boost!” and everyone in the studio had a good laugh at this man’s expense. As a matter of fact, after repeatedly mocking the man’s angry retorts,  they couldn’t contain they’re laughter and had to cut to commercial to compose themselves.

I’m sorry, but since when did something like this become funny?!? Have we really become a society that takes pleasure in seeing others harassed and tormented?!?

The sad but true answer, is YES.


Categories: commentary, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “The Sport of Torment

  1. fadingsunlight

    It’s no worse than some of the “trolling” that goes on online. It’s one thing to speak your mind apologetically; it’s another to purposefully bait someone into a frenzy and many people seem to find the latter entertaining. I don’t and hope I never “understand” that one. SMH.

    • Yeah, it’s definitely a kind of trolling. Radio trolling, though? That’s become the go-to method for boosting ratings?? It’s just incredibly sad to me.

  2. Brittany

    THIS SO MANY TIMES. I really hate a lot of the pranks on morning shows, but this one went way too far. Not only is that a personal matter, but you would think a professional would be able to know the difference.

    This is why I hate most morning talk radio. A station around here Z104 does “dirty work wednesday” every week. It can be quite funny at times because basically they just do the dirty work…you know, dumping someone for someone else, or quitting a job. They go about it the wrong way a lot though.

    Excellent post man.

    • Thanks Brittany. I was halfway thinking of sending this to the Steve Harvey Morning Show itself. But then I realized that this is the very reaction they were going for. They WANT people to be upset and incensed about their behavior. They don’t care about bad publicity as long as it keeps them in the public eye. It just makes me so mad. Especially because I’ve been through the court system when it comes to support and custody and I KNOW firsthand the emotional wrangling that comes with it.

  3. I stopped listening to morning shows a long time ago. The station I listen to only plays music.

  4. That was a pretty low thing to do, for sure. I didn’t realize at first that you were referring to a “prank call”‘, though. It would not surprise me to hear of child support being modified in exactly that way.

  5. Brutal. I do listen to the radio, but it’s mostly CBC/NPR kind of stuff–so it’s not really about shocking people. Heh. But it’s true, when I stray to public stations I’m often disgusted at, not only their delight at thoughtless provocation, but at the way the encourage callers/listeners to humiliate themselves on air.

    The worst part is that if advertisers are buying air time and people are calling in, it means most aren’t offended enough by any of this to tune out. They may not like it, but they’re willing to just go along. I can’t even contemplate what that will look like in a decade–on and off the air.

  6. And I thought the only idiots around Steve Harvey were the ones who came with really stupid answers on Family Feud.

  7. This is basically why I stopped listening to morning shows on music stations. I listen to public radio now.

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