There is no such thing as controversy over increasing the number of listeners for a radio show, especially one aimed at an expert audience on a social media.
When broadcaster Jennifer Samperelli tweeted on Monday to hear from people with “strong opinions” about wearing face masks for her 2FM program, the strong response on Twitter offered good ratings, if nothing else.
But in response to her request, online panic ensued, and on Tuesday morning’s show, Samperelli announced that she had decided to leave the segment after “24 Hours of Emotion”.
“It’s very clear that people do not want this discussion to take place,” said the convicted voice presenter. When the segment does not broadcast it, the decision to start and abandon a controversial item in the first place – almost inevitably – prompts the online chatter about responsible discussion and “cancel culture”. It also raises questions about Samparelli’s fate as a broadcaster.
The relationship started with Samparalli’s original tweet.
No one has to believe that ‘Kovid is just a normal fever’ to think about what the incident says about pandemic coverage
We have an open discussion about face masks on my show on RTE2FM tomorrow. Do you have a strong opinion about wearing them or not wearing them? I want to hear from you. Mail me ”. As the online response testified, people had strong opinions on the subject. The sheer speed of the thousands of replies was shocking and distrustful, and Samperelli should think about a discussion on an important public health issue, especially in the aftermath of Saturday’s violent anti-Yellow West demonstration in Dublin.
Their opinion should be that of the World Health Organization, the CDCP, epidemiologists, and other medical professionals. Do we really need an RTÉ specific ‘hear both sides’ discussion? ”Was a considered reply from a Twitter k akagag. Others were more upright.
“Next; Seat belts, life saver or annoyance? ”Asked another, ob Robstier. (It should be noted that seat belt use was once a hot topic, at least for those who did not pull upside down through a windshield.) “You are promoting fascism,” മറ്റൊരുcolm_ryan said. Perhaps the most pathetic response came from Senator Regina Doherty: “Sweet Jesus.”
Well, a few characters are being abused …
First, considering the weekend protest, we would like to examine the psychology behind someone who does not wear a mask despite being given excessive medical advice. Wearing a mask is not a discussion. No one said that
– Jennifer Sampareli (enn Jennifer Maguire) September 14, 2020
Samparelli initially seemed to be stuck with guns.
“Very few characters are abused,” she later tweeted, wanting to examine the “psychology behind someone not wearing a mask despite being given excessive medical advice.” (She added in a follow-up reply that the “abuse” she received came from direct messages rather than public tweets.)
But by Tuesday the host had changed his mind about running the item. She said she sent the original message “without thinking about the words I used” but her intent was “very different from what I was interpreting” (sic). She added before stressing that she had booked a (anonymous) “best guest” to talk about the psychiatry of those who believed she was on top of wearing face masks and was using them before being forced to do so.
Leaving the item sparked an unpredictable murmur from some far-right Twitter users. No one should believe that “Kovid is just a normal fever” to think about what the incident says about pandemic coverage and, more broadly, about the distorted effect of social media or its absence in a fair debate.
There is a difference between suppressing important debate and withdrawing from an irrational idea.
Of course, it is true to say that there is no consensus on the effectiveness of government controls, even around the cabinet table. Although there is a consensus among medical practitioners and the general public that Kovid-19 is still an earthquake public health issue, there has been relatively little discussion about how, why, why and why nationalities should be subject to restrictions. Radio. (The recently retired Evan Yates was a notable exception, although his views seemed to be based on opinion rather than fact.)
Samparali feels justified in having to abandon the discussion. Scientific evidence may support the benefits of wearing a mask after earlier confusion, but do not stop asking the question of why some people consider it such an insult.
As Samperelli admitted, the problem seemed to invite anti-masks to explain their logic.
In fact, that’s what the presenter is doing in her original tweet. How do you interpret a call out to hear from people who have a strong opinion about masks?
While one can understand the general morality of the negative impact of social media from the incident, Sampareli must be able to understand that it is dangerous to start a “discussion” on such a crucial topic via Twitter.
Her career – from apprentice on the BBC TV reality show to top television presenter, sitcom star and radio host – has depended on her harsh and outspoken image and her abilities as a broadcaster. With this in mind, her tweet is unlikely to be interpreted as an invitation to a learned, logical discussion, especially if it is a sandwich between thumping tunes and celebrity gossip.
Ultimately, Samparelli seems to have played her hand excessively. For cranks who reject scientific evidence, there is room for further discussion about the application of control measures.
There is a difference between suppressing important debate and withdrawing from an irrational idea. When someone is completely sympathetic to any offensive messages she receives from the presenter, it is hard to agree with her wounded explanation that her real purpose was misunderstood.
The whole question of a tweet with bad words is less than the harsh realization that a presenter at a government-owned radio station has limitations on what can be done to create on-air heat.
Wannabe twitter trailblazer. Troublemaker. Freelance beer evangelist. Amateur pop culture nerd.