There is a universal adage that the Internet holds millions upon millions of corners in which anonymous folks masked by a cute little username can lob text bombs at anyone and everyone with ease.
But if you bring their family and loved ones into it, you cross a line.
Submitted for your approval: “S_A_Longhorn,” a regular at the message board on spurstalk.com, who won’t waste an opportunity to rant about sports radio hosts in San Antonio, especially KTKR/Ticket 760 afternoon drive host Mike Taylor – who early last month became the proud father of twin girls with Jennifer Dodd, a news anchor for local ABC affiliate KSAT. Taylor usually refers to her on the air only as “Tita.”
Never mind the fact that “Longhorn” claims he “stopped listening to him” about five years ago.
Late last week, a thread was started discussing the ouster of Chris Duel, who had co-hosted afternoons with Jason Minnix on rival sports station KZDC/ESPN 1250. opposite Taylor on KTKR. Moments after the thread was created, “Longhorn” chimes in with, “How are the ratings been on Chris & Jason? … Hopefully better than the jackass show on 760.” The next day, “purist” responds with: “The jackass on 760 is pretty damn funny, though.”
This is the part where “Longhorn” decides that he is going to be a jackass.
In response to the pro-Mike Taylor post from “purist,” “Longhorn” nonchalantly claims that Taylor “cheated on his wife”, then took a shot at his marital status upon the birth of his twins.
“Now they are proud parents of two bastard children.”
Ouch. With the kind of vitriol “Longhorn” dishes out to Taylor, you would think it was his own ex-wife posting under that username.
You can argue that if radio talk show hosts aren’t generating enough buzz on the Internet, they might not be doing their jobs (see: Bruce Jacobs). Usually, a radio host can shake off a message board criticism or two or twenty.
Unless one of them is taking an unwarranted shot at your family, including twins that are barely a month old.
So on Tuesday, Taylor took it upon himself to register an account on spurstalk.com, but primarily to give “Longhorn” a piece of his mind.
“I never post on these things [because] they’re not for me,” Taylor writes, “but I’m not going to stand for fecal matter like S_A_Longhorn going way over the top like that.
“How dare you say something like that about my 3 week old daughters,” Taylor scolded to “S_A_Longhorn.” “Is that how far America has bottomed in which some a**hole decides he can say whatever he wants behind some anonymous moniker?
In further stressing the anonymity of the user, Taylor proceeded to pose the question “Who are you?” twice in his post to “S_A_Longhorn,” and hopes that he’s not a family man. “If you indeed do have kids of your own,” he writes, “then you’re a bigger scumbag than your previous posts suggest.
“You can say whatever you want about me,” Taylor added, “but when you discuss my family, that’s grounds for an ass beating.”
Granted, there may be no intent to follow through with said “ass beating,” since he has no idea who to even look for. But Taylor’s point is that any man who hides behind a username and hurls assaulting posts at people, probably isn’t man enough to say it to people’s faces.
(I know… You’re reading this column and getting ready to call me a hypocrite because I use the name “Diamond Joe.” That’s mostly to distinguish from my higher profile job. “Media Rantz” is just good ol’ fashioned leisure for me. But Joe is my name – and I would never call people out for having children out of wedlock… By the way, in discussing this ordeal in his “people I want to punch” segment, he cited a study that more than half of Americans age 30 or over are not married.)
Obviously, “S_A_Longhorn” is wrong on so many levels here. Not only was the “bastard children” comment unnecessary, but this all took place in a thread not about Mike Taylor, but the competition on the other sports radio station in town! It was “Longhorn” who was the first person on the thread to make reference to “the jackass show” in afternoon drive on KTKR.
And why would he know about someone’s personal life, if he hasn’t listened to his show for five years?
That might be “grounds for an ass beating.”