Niel Young: "While I am angry still, what I could not understand was why?" Er, let me give you a clue.... - Granite Grok

Niel Young: “While I am angry still, what I could not understand was why?” Er, let me give you a clue….

The short answer is still best summed up by Larry Frates commenting on Niel Young’s behavior: 

"It’s all about you, Neil"

And his assumptions are wrong to boot. The news in my local area is that there is a new talk radio show, The Tom Brown Show. Being that it is a late night / early morning show, I haven’t listened yet but I should give the podcasts a chance.  Yes, I know Tom personally as he has been a Republican activist in the local area; we are friendly and I should give the show a shot.  But that’s not the reason for this post.  Now Tom is now experiencing what Doug and I did when we had the chance for our own show with friend Pat Hynse.

Well, Niel Young, yet again, just can’t stand the fact that yet another person has left his show (Tom was a regular, just as Doug and I were years ago) and is delivering the same kind of coded vitriol he normally reserves for Liberal Democrats.  Simply, Niel is a control freak, it IS about him and his mission, and no one else is allowed to be front and center.  Normally, I would have let this go, but since Niel Young just can’t seem to help himself and decided to take a whack at the past, I figured that I’d give a response.

From his column in the Weirs Time (P14):

For many years I had a regular radio guest.  Being that my in studio roundtable participants usually share the same views – not because it is required.  I had protected THAT regular from any comments and discussion of Pro-Life and Parental Notification issues/legislation.  I value life – oppose abortion on demand – an believe at least one parent should be notified that their teenage daughter has chosen to abort a pregnancy.  Unfortunately there is nothing a parent can do to alter that decision.

OK, Niel sets himself up as the kind, selfless defender, willing to take the arrows that were mostly in his own mind.  And then, as Obama does, knock down the now display of ingratitude.  But then we find the real reason of his ire – he’s selfish (bolding mine):

THAT GUEST DOES NOT FIND THOSE TOPICS OF IMPORTANCE.  yet some will not hear me when reciting what a radio veteran told me recently with those who want to take the route I DID 15 YEARS AGO.  Find sponsors who believe that my program is a good place to advertise – and find guests for your new venture.  That veteran had this for those of us who purchase air time: With each person who thinks this is easy: "The guest pool gets a lot smaller …. and so does the pool of advertisers.

So, we come to his actual beef – how DARE anyone take anything away from him.  Even as he delivers a conservative message (which includes a free market), he wants a monopoly for himself for both listeners and folks to pay him.  He expects that he is to be the only conservative voice in the Lakes Region.  Given that Tom will now be looking for sponsors, it is clear that Niel is acting like a jealous two year old angrily defending his toys from the others.  Note to Niel – you are not entitled to either listeners or advertising dollars – not being a monarch, you have to compete in the marketplace for them.  Sadly, he thinks he deserves the whole pie.

Now there are three who have left me after given them a place to be heard for many years.  Two started their own show to compete with me – thanks guys – so glad you appreciate the way too much air time you were given. 

Many years?  I spent two years – and as the host and owner, he was the one that kept asking me back.  The main point (and assumption #1), however, is this: our show, initially, was never meant to compete with him.  In fact, we set the time of Meet The New Press to continue a conservative message broadcasting in the Lakes Region to add time, not compete. Instead of his 3 (then 4) hours in the morning, we broadcasted in the afternoon.  A complementary message, not a competing one.  We were looking to expand that pie and not, as Liberals seem to believe, take a larger piece of a same sized pie (and assumption #2 – a fixed sized pie).  Niel, you also fail to mention the plaudits that we gave you for giving us a start and the experience.  And failed to acknowledge the gift that Doug sent on your 10th Anniversary of broadcasting (but those would spoil the narrative, wouldn’t it?), right? I believe that fulfills the "obligation" you talk about below – or does your use of the word mean "forever indentured"?

If there is anyone to blame for us competing with you, look at what you said on air and in your past columns.  As long as you were going to slam us for competing, we figured that we actually would and finally moved our show into "the middle" of yours.  And then proceeded to successfully "out compete" you for listeners.  See that rating, Niel?  Add another couple hundred to it for our live stream that I set up.  Your rating was a 4.

As for the third "friend" – let’s see if he is more than a hack for WGOP.  Don’t expect any strong positions on important issues of the day.

So, for years, you kept inviting him onto your show, and now that his show is more than 12 hours after yours, he becomes "a hack" overnight?  Pettiness, Niel, pettiness unbecomes you (or does it?).  Simply the same story played over again.

But back to the original question from the next column (P12, emphasis mine):

When one does not expect the betrayal?  Those who have chosen to weaken the guests and advertising pool do so without regard for what it takes to find advertisers who want to, can afford to, and not walk away from their obligations.

Once again, he sees others starting their own shows as a betrayal, as if the operating principle was "once a guest, only a guest"?  Gee, I never knew that once invited to Niel’s microphone, I had to unknowingly have a ball and chain wrapped around my future – or Tom’s (and assumption #3).  Once again, we see the mentality that HIS are the ideas that count and that all possible advertisers are HIS as well.  Taking any of them away is theft (and assumption #4), pure and simple.  Who knew that simply setting up in another studio was a criminal act against the personage of Niel and his show, ever condemned to hellfire and brimstone just because he might be fearful he’d have to, you know, actually compete for advertising dollars?

Heh!  I hope Tom cleans his clock.  Niel, for the record, we self funded.  Period.  And we never went after your advertisers (and assumption #5, though we talked about doing so just because you wouldn’t stop kvetching).  After all, we personally were competing in the free marketplace and did well enough to pay for it ourselves.  Try it, and you might like it – instead of always being angry and suspicious that others might be thieving from you.

While I am angry still, what I could not understand was why?

The person I am most angry with is me!  I chose to do this – and bring others along with me – and I am the one who missed many events watching grandchildren playing sports and mini-vacations with family.  All of those years of missing that part of their lives. 

Well, you finally hit it the problem on the head – but it still seems that you are clueless as to an answer, so let me give you the obvious one.

There are always opportunity costs to all activities; nice to see that you are finally realizing such.  And yes, giving up your time to do your show meant that you gave up your time for other things.  You have only yourself to blame, but realize this – we all do this for one activity or another. You are no different than anyone else.

For that I am angry with myself – and for being so lousy with my judgement of character with a few ‘colleagues" and politicians.

And finally the answer to your question – yours is an egregious and conceited mistake:

You see only enemies and not successful students

You see us only in terms that "we steal / stole from you" (listeners and advertising dollars that you believe truly should belong to only you) instead of seeing Doug, Tom, and myself as having graduated" from your tutelage to spread a conservative message even wider.  Jealous of the fame you had, it seems that you are constantly fearful of being futher eclipsed (as, in fact, as we did based on objective Arbitron ratings) instead of acting like a good coach and thinking "hey, I had a hand in that – good for them for succeeding" and smiling for a job well done on your part.  After all, students HAVE to leave to succeed, otherwise the teacher has failed to teach well.  It’s sad that you haven’t realized this. 

Instead of looking outward from yourself, Niel, you’ve only looked inward. Instead of congratulating further success, you’ve only succeeded in embittering yourself.  Try flipping that around – it might do you some good.

As well as for others who have fallen into the same trap.