Viewer Sends Email To Maine News Station Demanding Reporter Be Fired Because Of Her Looks
When you accept a job in media, there's a certain level of notoriety that comes along with the job. That notoriety will inevitably lead to criticism, whether fair or not. Some people pine for nostalgia, that 'so and so' did this job better or that the station was so much more fun when 'so and so' worked there. That is the type of critical feedback that people in media can live with swallowing a little of their pride. But what Mike Redding shared on Twitter last week was an example of something that far exceeds criticism and ventures into the land of personal attacks and it's downright preposterous.
Redding, who serves as the News Director for News Center Maine, shared a viewer email he received about a female reporter. Some of the viewer email was redacted to protect the identity of the reporter, but the purpose of the nasty email is still on full display. The viewer believes that the reporter should be fired. Not because she's a bad reporter, not because she's made mistakes on-air, not because she's difficult to understand, not because 'so and so' was a better reporter back in the 90's. No, this viewer wanted the reporter fired because her hair looks bad. Here's what the email said:
"I guess it didn't take long for *redacted* to get her hair to look terrible on air. *sentence redacted* but HER HAIR LOOKED HORRIBLE. And it is starting to look that way again in the commercial I just saw with her in it. Get rid of her."
Redding took this to Twitter because he had crafted a response to the viewer and wanted other's opinions on whether he should send it or not. Everyone who has ever worked in media knows that it's a slippery slope when challenging the opinions of listeners/viewers and that it can lead to more good than bad. But that viewer email was just distasteful and upsetting, who could blame him? The response he crafted was this:
"I'll be blunt, your email makes me angry. Women have enough bullshit to deal with on a daily basis in life as moms, wives, and professionals. The endless pressure put on them to be something someone else wants rather than being who they are. And in *redacted*, she's a fantastic mom and wife...and a rock solid journalist. Yet you are concerned about her hair. So much so that you want her fired. Here's the deal I'll make with you, *redacted* stays and wears her hair any damn way she likes and you watch another channel for local news. Deal? Deal. Never write me or *redacted* again unless it's to humbly apologize for your inconceivable, heartless shallowness."
Mike's words were biting but warranted. and rather than further chide the viewer further, this is an opportunity to remind everyone that the people you see working in local media are human beings. Often times, friends and neighbors to other people you know. There are many local personalities who have grown up in Maine and have their parents, brothers, sisters and more still living in the state as well. There are others that have moved to Maine to start their career and end up putting roots down. They have bad hair days. They're overtired from raising a family or working multiple jobs. They're stressed about the same things you probably are.
Which is why calling for someone to be fired over their looks is so utterly ridiculous, it probably didn't deserve a response. But it really did.