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Scoot's Blog

Tune in to "The Scoot Show" for lively, candid discussions about news, politics and culture with WWL's "Radical Moderate!"

Weeknights 8pm-Midnight

Twitter: @scootwwl
Email: scoot@wwl.com
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Scoot: Did 16-year-old know it was wrong to have sex with teachers?

Two female teachers at Destrehan High School face charges of having sexual relations with the same 16-year-old male student from the school. Shelley Dufrense was arrested Tuesday and Rachel Respess turned herself in to Kenner police Wednesday. Kenner police are involved because the alleged sexual activity took place at a house in Kenner.

An investigation into the alleged sex with a student began after the student apparently bragged about having sex with the teachers. Most of us can think back on teachers we had who were really "hot" and we might have done the same thing if given the opportunity. But would we would have known we were doing something that was wrong? And if it wasn't wrong for the 16-year-old male student – then why are the teachers facing charges?

The teachers were wrong and in any cases involving teenagers and adults – the adults should be presumed responsible – but that should not exonerate the 16-year-old student. Reaction to this scandal says a lot about our society's prevailing attitude of males being encouraged to have sex early. If this had involved two male teachers and a 16-year-old girl – would there be more outrage?

In the case of the 16-year-old male student – he appears to have voluntarily consented to sex with the both teachers and at 16 he should be expected to know right from wrong. Let me be clear – I am not excusing the responsibility of the adult female teachers who were involved – but is it not fair to suggest that the 16-year-old male student willingly participated in something he knew was inappropriate?

The teachers should face charges, but the teenage male should also be held accountable for his actions. I have experience with being 16. In fact, no one has been 16 any longer than I was 16 and at that age I was impressionable but I would have known that what I was doing was wrong. It could even be argued that a 16-year-old male having sex with a 16-year-old female is wrong – so why would it be wrong to hold the male who had sex with the teachers somewhat accountable?

At the age of 12, a babysitter tried to have sex with me in a hotel room in Oklahoma City. It was during the summer and I was on a business trip with my Dad. He had meetings to go to and he hired a babysitter to stay in the room with me. I remember she was very attractive with long black hair and wearing a black dress.

At one point, she came over to the bed I was lying on as we watched TV in the hotel room and she tried to kiss me. Her advances continued and while I didn't exactly know what she was trying to do to me – I didn't feel right about it and I run into the bathroom and locked the door until my father returned. I remember hearing their conversation while I was still locked in the bathroom. She said, "I tried – he wouldn't let me and he locked himself in the bathroom."

At the time I did not realize what my dad was trying to do. It wasn't until I recalled the incident years later as an adult that I realized that my father had hired someone to give me my first sexual experience at the age of 12!

My father was part of a generation that encouraged young males to have early sexual experiences. I never blamed him and I never brought up the fact that I know what he did. I was so embarrassed by what had happened that I could never bring it up to him.

I was always very shy with sex. I was also an insecure kid and teenager, but I think I was that was natural and the incident in the hotel room did not cause me to be extremely shy and insecure with females. Obviously, I got over it and never felt like it had any lasting impact on who I am today.

The point of sharing this very personal story is that even at the age of 12 – I knew that kind of physical contact with an adult, or at least someone much older than I was at the time, was wrong.

As we condemn female teachers who allegedly had sex with a 16-year-old male student – we should also understand that at 16 – we know what is right and what is wrong.

Of course, I have thought about that day in the hotel room in Oklahoma City and knowing what I know today – I have wished I could relive that moment!
 (2) Comments
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Locations : Oklahoma City
People : Rachel RespessShelley Dufrense


Scoot: Something is wrong with the Saints

There is a general rule that changes in a teenager’s personality could be a sign that something significant is wrong with them, or at the very least, that something has changed.

Football teams have collective personalities that are defined by their coach and leaders.  It is obvious to me that the personality of the Saints has changed and something is wrong.

I am not going to speculate on what may be wrong with the Saints right now – but we would all be naïve if we failed to admit that something is wrong.  And whatever is wrong is being covered up with the typical cliches, like “we can do better” and “we know we have to fix the problems.”  But more alarming than the repetitive cliches is the obvious lack of emotion and passion from the Saints top leaders.  It is almost as if those who lead and speak for the Saints have become unemotional droids.  But why?

There are many more questions about why the Saints are showing so little passion for winning before, during and after games than there are answers.  But make no mistake about it – something has changed.

We have all experienced changes in our personal lives distracting our professional lives and we have all experienced moments when we are humbled in life – but the ONLY solution to any changes is the willingness to admit that the changes have affected our professional lives and then act to resolve the issues.

Someone knows what is wrong with the Saints and maybe all of the players know – but we should not expect retrospective revolutions.  The Saints are better on paper than the Falcons, the Browns and the Cowboys and yet, they lost games to those teams.  If talent is there and performance is lacking – then it is the absence of the human factor of passion that is missing.

After the Saints beat the Vikings at home, I wrote a blog about the Saints blatant lack of “killer instinct.”  A few criticized me for criticizing the Saints even after a victory – but the absence of passion for most of that game should have been seen as the symptom of a growing problem.  Sunday night’s performance proved there is a problem.
If after the embarrassing loss to the Cowboys Sunday night on nationwide television, Coach Payton and Drew Brees had displayed a defiant tone of “this is not who we are” – “we will change things now” – “we have failed the fans and ourselves and that is unacceptable” – I would sense a determination in the leadership of the team that is currently missing. 

The lack of passion in the explanations following the loss to the Cowboys is disturbing.  Fans are left with the possibility that the coach and many of the top players have their fat, lucrative contracts and they are now complacent.  While it can be argued that their performances made them deserving of those big contracts – they are also being paid for current and future performances.

Someone told me once, “Scoot, it’s easier to become #1 than it is to stay #1!”  I have never forgotten that and it is so true.  Humans fight for what they believe they deserve and once they get it – there is a tendency to become complacent and fighting that complacency become the challenge.

Another possibility is that the Saints are so loved by their fans that there is an attitude of “we can do no wrong.”  Regardless of the quality of play, the Saints have a sense that fan loyalty is so strong that they really don’t have to win – they just have to be the Saints.  In any relationship, personal, professional or political, it is unhealthy for any individual or organization to think that they do not have to prove themselves every day.

As the painful emotion from the poor performance against the Cowboys Sunday has settled – it is easier to now see the overall picture of how the Saints are acting before, during and after games and whatever it is – it is uncharacteristic of the Saints under Sean Payton.

We may never know what individual or team issues have changed the Saints, but they have changed.  Through fan support of the Saints and everything associated with the team – the team works for the fans and there is nothing wrong with an employer telling employees that their performance and attitude is totally unacceptable.

Share your thoughts with me:
Email:  Scoot@WWL.com
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Topics : Religion_BeliefSports
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People : Drew BreesPayton


Scoot: Young Muslims Denounce ISIS

The temptation to label all Muslims as terrorists and evil people seems overwhelming from my perspective of hosting a radio talk show.  When a topic revolving around Muslims or Islam is discussed, it has become predictable that there will be callers who condemn ALL Muslims and Islam as an innately evil religion and many paraphrase the Koran, which I am certain they have not read.
Sound bites that support hate are easily conveyed through social media, but there is a great tendency to pay attention to only the messages that support preconceived opinions.
There is a new social media campaign that communicates young Muslims’ condemnation of ISIS.  The campaign, #Notinmyname, is run by Active Change Foundation, a British organization.  The campaign features Muslims saying ISIS does not represent them or their religious beliefs.  The general message is ISIS is not representative of Islam – a religion of respect, love and harmony.  But, this campaign will fail if people do not listen with an open heart and mind.
The general condemnation of Muslims started after 9/11 with the unreasonable, but convenient conclusion that “all of the terrorists were Muslim – therefore all Muslims are terrorists.”  In the context of history, it is literally impossible for ANY Christian to justify condemning all Muslims based on the behavior of a few.  But true hypocrites do not see their own reflections.
Whether Americans want to admit it or not, there is a tendency to hate those who are different.  The angst inspired by the 9/11 attacks on America led to a desire to find a target to blame and for many Americans that was Muslims and the nation of Islam.
Many Americans are quick to stereotype all Muslims as militant terrorists, forgetting that Muslims were in our news nightly during the war in the former Yugoslavia.  Muslims, who were white with light hair and light eyes, were seen and talked about every day in the news.  If there was not the wholesale condemnation of the Muslim faith then, how can it be justified today? 
It is easier to hate a group than it is to make an effort to distinguish good from evil within a group…and that goes for every group.  As humans we have a desire to reduce every-thing to good and bad and in doing so we tend to either love or support an entire group based on the behavior of a few.
Preconceived ideas are difficult to change, but as humans, we have the intellect and the ability to recognize it is wrong to be judgmental. 
It can certainly be argued that Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist, as he was not a Muslim.  I have often ridden in cabs driven by Muslims and have found no reason to feel threatened.  It can be argued there is less debauchery in the personal lives of Muslims than many other religions, because strict Muslims do not drink or smoke.
America was founded on an effort to escape persecution for religious beliefs, yet, in America we have been far too tolerant of those who are willing to persecute based on religious beliefs.

The campaign #Notinmyname should be received with an open heart and mind and should serve as a reminder that as a nation we have been judgmental of others, which defies the spirit of America.
If you have a comment – my email address is: Scoot@WWL.com; I may read a few responses on the show.  You can send me a tweet: @ScootWWL.
 (1) Comments
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Topics : Religion_Belief
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People : Timothy McVeigh


Scoot Blog: Do the Saints lack a "killer instinct?"

In the 3rd quarter of the Saints - Vikings game Sunday afternoon in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome – a fan in front of me so captured my mood and the mood of many of the fans that I took a picture.  This Saints fan began reading the complimentary sports section from The Advocate that awaited many fans at their seats.  My first thought was, "I can’t believe this guy is reading a newspaper during the game!"  Then I realized his action reflected my mood and other members of the Who Dat Nation.  He reminded me of the guy who starts reading the church bulletin during the homily!  The guy is bored!

The Saints game had become boring, not because the Saints were running the ball or trying to run the ball, because the Saints lacked passion on the field.

In the opening drive, Drew Brees and the Saints surgically sliced through the Vikings defense.  Then, with the Vikings offense on the field, the Saints defense, which had two poor performances in their 0-2 start, received a loud, standing ovation as they took the field.  Fans were saying, "Welcome home boys; we know you are going to be great!"

The defense did its job and the Saints offense was back on the field.  On the second possession the Saints combined running and passing over 7 plays to go 82 yards for the score.  The extra point was missed and the Saints led the Vikings 13 – 0. 

After the first two drives it looked like the Saints would score 50 points, but with the score 13-0, I felt the Saints lose the killer instinct they seemed to have at the start of the game.

After opening up with a 13-0 lead, the Saints offense seemed to be coasting.  Could they have subconsciously convinced themselves they were rolling back home and had the game won?  The thought crossed my mind.  There was an obvious lack of passion and dedication on both offense and defense.

The Vikings marched down the field twice with the Saints defense missing assignments and tackles.  The Saints defense did stop the Vikings from getting in the end zone and the Vikings had to settle for two field goals and the score was 13-6.

Honestly, Drew Brees has not been as sharp as we have seen him in the past.  Some say it’s because Brees missed so much of the preseason and "game speed" is different from "practice speed."  With less than 2:00 remaining in the 1st half Brees threw 2 passes that were nearly intercepted and the Saints punted.  The half ended with the Saints leading the Vikings 13-6.  But I wondered what happened to that team that came out in the first two drives and went through the Vikings defense like runny grits go through a strainer.

When the Saints came out for the 2nd half the lack of spirit seemed even more obvious.  The Saints continued to make mistakes and I was shocked at what appeared to be no sense of urgency on the field, which inspired sloppy play.  The Vikings scored another field goal and the Saints led the Vikings 13-9 and that would be the last time the Vikings would score.

The Saints offensive line had a difficult time protecting Brees, and then something happened that ignited team passion.  Near the end of the 3rd quarter, a Vikings defender hit Brees and body slammed him to the turf.  In a rare moment of visible anger Brees got up and went after the first player he saw, which was not the player who slammed him to the turf.  But Brees got mad and showed great emotion.  That moment sparked the Saints!  That drive ended with Brees hitting Colston for a touchdown and with just over 12 minutes left in the game the Saints led the Vikings 20-9, and that would be the final score.

Why did it seem to take Brees getting slammed to the ground and immediately displaying angry emotion to fire up the Saints?  Why was the team so sharp in the first two drives then appear to lose passion?  I showed the picture I took of the fan in front of me reading the newspaper during the 3rd quarter to someone at the station and she told me about a friend, who is an absolute diehard Saints fan, who sent a text during the game saying, "I’m SEEING the game but not FEELING it."  That is the exact feeling I had in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday.

The Saints won and a win counts even if a team underperforms, but if any team begins to feel complacent after scoring on the first two drives, then I would have to say that team lacks the "killer instinct" of a champion.  I also thought it should not have taken Brees being manhandled and visibly showing emotion to spark the team to improve.  But that’s what appeared to happen.

I can only speak as a fan watching the game, and I know I reflected the sentiment of many other fans in the stands. the Saints appeared to settle after a dominant opening.  And, teams that expect to get to the playoffs can never settle! 

We can all relate to the challenges of getting a big lead and the temptation to feel satisfied.  It happens in business and in everyday life.  Sports are a metaphor for life and we can all learn from the motivation and dynamics of a team.  If you have ever become complacent after getting ahead on something, you now know what that looks like to others.

I love the Saints, but I have to be honest and say that they have become predictable and maybe too complacent overall.  The entire organization knows how loyal the fan base is, but that can never be taken for granted.  The players and the coaches, with the exception of performance bonuses, earn the same amount of money whether the team wins or loses.  But the fans and many businesses suffer.

It is not fair to demand that your team win or demand team perfection, but it is fair to demand that your team play to its potential.  And, the Saints have not done that yet this season.

The Saints will need to be better than they were in the win over the Vikings at home to beat the Cowboys on the road this Sunday night!

What did you feel while you were watching the game Sunday?  Share your thoughts and I will read some of the emails on the air.  Scoot@WWL.com

 (1) Comments
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Topics : Religion_BeliefSports
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People : Drew Brees


Scoot: "So help me God" becomes option in Air Force oath

A new policy change for airmen/airwomen taking their enlistment or officer appointment oaths for the Air Force is sure to spark controversy.  The Air Force has announced that when taking the oath – the phrase “so help me God” is now optional.

The policy change is the result of an atheist airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada removing the phrase from his reenlistment papers and that sent to case to the Department of Defense General Counsel, which ruled that “so help me God” could be removed from the oath.  The other branches of the military declared the phrase optional years ago.

An attorney representing the airman said that her client felt that it was important to be totally honest when reenlisting and as an atheist – it would be dishonest for him to take an oath to a God he does not believe in.

The instant reaction from many Christians will be outrage over that fact that any branch of the military of the United States of America would allow a soldier to omit the phrase “so help me God” from the oath.  But instant reaction is not always founded on logic.

I realize that by addressing this topic I set myself up for criticism, but I will not allow that to prevent me from shedding a logical light on a controversial issue.  I feel the need to proclaim that I am a Christian and my support of the new policy in the Air Force is not rejection or condemnation of God or Christian beliefs.  I support the phrase “so help me God” now being optional because belief in God or taking an oath to God comes from a person’s heart and not from repeating words.

Without admitting it, many Americans are interested in forcing religion into the lives of individuals – whether it is the phrase “so help me God” or a school-led prayer.  Prayers and pledges to God are meaningless if an individual is forced to repeat or agree with the meaning behind the prayers or pledges.  Prayers and pledges to God can only come from the beliefs that live in a person’s heart and not simply from spoken or written words.

As a Christian, I do not understand the views of atheists, but I also know atheists who are not evil people and are highly contributing members of American society.  As an American, I have always understood the vital importance of the acceptance of individuals and groups that I do not necessarily agree with.

The fact that a soldier is an atheist does not impact a soldier’s ability and dedication to protect this country.  Atheists may not believe in God the way others do – but they have a willingness to live and the idea of protecting life and liberty are crucial requirements for all soldiers.

There are many Christians who have chosen not to participate in our military and I do not see any reason why there would be questions about the ability and dedication of an atheist in his or her role in our military.  Many people live for God, but others live for different reason.  As long as an individual is interested in life – then why should being an atheist disqualify them from military service?

When topics like making the phrase “so help me God” optional – or school-led prayers – or forcing students to recite the pledge of allegiance with the phrase “one nation under God” – I argue that it is the beliefs from within a person that matter and not just the words they speak.  Is any prayer effective if the words are repeated while the mind is focused on other things?  In church when the same prayers are recited every week – it is easy to recite the words while thinking about unrelated things.  Prayers come from our hearts – not our mouths.

Forcing someone to say a prayer does not make them religious – but allowing individuals to participate in prayers and pledges reinforces their beliefs.  Some will argue that if a student or an individual is forced to say a specific prayer or forced to declare belief in God – then they will one day believe.  If you were forced to read from the Koran or another religious document – would that change your beliefs – or would you simply be repeating what you were told to repeat to appease others?

If an airman in the Air Force is so honest that he asks to omit the phrase “so help me God” because it does not represent his true beliefs – isn’t that a soldier who should be respected – and trusted?
 (1) Comments
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Topics : Religion_Belief
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Locations : Nevada


Scoot: Is 'tipping' officially out of control?

I find myself tipping people I never thought of tipping in the past.  Is tipping officially out-of-control?

Marriott hotels have announced a plan to encourage all guests to leave a tip for the person who cleans and makes up their room.  The hotels will begin leaving envelopes in the rooms with the name of the person who cleans the room that day, with a message asking the guests to leave a tip to express your appreciation for the housekeeper.  Appreciation?  Aren’t they doing the job they were hired to do?

I recently visited my son and his girlfriend in Portland, OR and I left a cash tip in the hotel room each day.  When my girlfriend saw that I had left a $5 bill on the end table in the room she said, “What’s that for?”  Resisting the obvious opportunity at a cheap joke – I replied, “It’s for the housekeeper.”  That was an indication to me that tipping hotel housekeepers is not a universal practice.

I admit that I am now tipping people for doing their job.  The custom of tipping a waiter or waitress has always been based on the idea that they are not even paid minimum wage and the assumption is that they will be tipped for service rendered.  But what about the people who are paid minimum wage or above – why are we suddenly tipping those people?

TIPS is apparently an acronym for “To Insure Proper Service” – but it seems as if the expectation of tipping is spiraling out-of-control and there is no end in sight!  I first noticed this when I realized I was tipping the baristas at coffee shops.  I often go to familiar coffee shops and the baristas usually remember what I order and in appreciation for that and the extra service I think I’m getting – I tip and do it willingly.

But tip jars have started to appear at some convenience stores and I do not tip the store clerk because they are not providing me with any kind of extra service or attention.  I understand the argument that the hotel housekeepers and the baristas are “doing the job they were hired to do” – but I am happy to tip for extra personal service.  Since tipping housekeepers has become a new custom, I feel the need to tip and worry about someone being alone in my hotel room with all my stuff and developing a bad attitude about me because I didn’t leave a tip.  At the hotel in Portland, I did receive a nice note from the housekeeper thanking me for my generosity and that is the first time that has happened!

Think of the people we now tip who would never have been tipped in the past.  I have even tipped the cable guy because he came on a Sunday to fix my cable connection.  He was paid to be there and working on a Sunday was not my decision, but I tipped him.

If the tipping world continues to grow I can only imagine who we will soon be expected to tip!

Tipping is not a common custom in other parts of the world.  When I lived in Miami, I would go to restaurants that had an automatic 18% tip added to the check, even in the case of a party of two because many Canadians joined the “snow birds” that came to the Miami area for the winter and they do not tip like we do in America.  In Japan, tipping was considered an insult because the Japanese – even the minimum wage workers took pride in their work.  I have known numerous people in the service industry who talked about how people from other countries are not good tippers.

The question to be asked is – “Why have we become tip crazy in America?”  The only answer I can think of is that we are a generous culture and we have always been willing to show our appreciation for good service – but when tipping those who are fully paid to perform a job begin expecting tips – I think that becomes part of the entitlement mentality that is now part of the fabric of our society.

I will continue to tip – but I do recognize that we have literally, reached a “tipping point” in America!

Who do you tip who really doesn’t deserve a tip? Send me an email and I will read some of them on “The Scoot Show” tonight: Scoot@WWL.com.

I’m wondering if there is a way I can get tips from callers if I go to their call first???
 (0) Comments
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Locations : MiamiOregonPortland


Scoot: Adrian Peterson sparks debate over spanking vs beating

Child abuse charges against Minnesota Vikings star RB Adrian Peterson have sparked another national debate over disciplining children.  Peterson is charged with disciplining his 4-year-old son with a switch that left wounds on the boy’s body.  Peterson justified his disciplinary action by saying that’s how he was disciplined as a child.

Many have supported Peterson’s use of a switch to discipline his young son, and lament about the days when that style of punishment was more common, and children were more civil.  But many others, including former Vikings star Cris Carter have condemned Peterson for beating his son with a stick.  In a very emotional rant on ESPN Sunday, Carter said that NFL players don’t respect women and they don’t respect kids – the only thing they respect is being kicked off a team!  Former NBA star Charles Barkley defended Peterson for punishing his child with a stick by saying that is part of the culture in the South.

Contrary to what many people have been led to believe, it is legal to spank your children, but it is not legal to “beat” your children and parents are expected to understand the difference.  A spanking is intended to punish a child – not hurt a child.  There will be those who equate a no-spanking policy as a liberal policy which has contribute to society’s problems with younger generations.  That is blatantly false.  

I can tell you from first hand experience that establishing – and following through with using “time-out” as a punishment is much more challenging than a spanking.  For many parents, a spanking is a quick way to administer punishment and requires not follow-through.  I also think that spanking a child at the moment of wrongdoing is a way for parents to vent their frustrations with their child.  Often spanking at the moment of frustration is driven by anger.  

For the record, you do not own your children.  They are young children but once out of the womb they are protected by the state.  That’s not an opinion – that’s legal fact.  If your choice of disciplining your child is a spanking – you are free to spank.  However, there is a line – blurred as it might be – between spanking and child abuse and the parent is ultimately responsible for understanding the difference.

I do not understand the need to use a switch or any other item in the punishing of a child.  The use of a switch, a paddle or a belt invites the punishment to become abuse – to which the parents will be held accountable.

In his initial response to the child abuse charges, Adrian Peterson said that he did not abuse his son, but not he is saying that he is “sorry” he hurt his child.  That seems to be an admission of abuse, since physically hurting a child is not necessary in the process of administering punishment.

The child abuse charges filed against Peterson have also led to the discussion that football is a violent sport and conditions men to be violent in the real-world.  That is a convenient premise for those who seek to justify beating children, but to argue that football makes individuals violent would also have to excuse men in law enforcement and the military being violent in the real-world.

In our society, the only person you can legally hit is a child.  Hitting a woman or another person is abuse or assault. Hitting a child is legal – as long as it is a spanking, and not a beating.

Any parent who does not comprehend the difference between a spanking and a beating would be best advised to implement another form of discipline.  And the support of spankings should not be support for a parent exercising their anger at the moment a child does something wrong.
 (1) Comments
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Topics : Law_Crime
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Locations : Minnesota
People : Adrian PetersonCharles BarkleyCris Carter


Scoot: Why did we have to see Ray Rice punch to react?

I have a difficult time believing that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was not fully aware of the magnitude of Ray Rice knocking out his then-finance in an elevator in Atlantic City.  It has been reported that law enforcement turned over the full video of the Rice punch to the NFL in April – but Goodell has insisted that he did not see the full video until it was made public this week.

Following the release of the full video – Goodell extended Ray Rice’s suspension from 2 games to indefinitely and the Baltimore Ravens fired Rice.  Though he did say he accepts responsibility, Goodell’s insistence that he did not see the full video should not be an excuse.  Remember, it was Roger Goodell who said throughout his harsh punishment of the Saints during Bountygate that saying you didn’t know something was happening was no excuse.  Well, Roger?

But there is another side of this story that must be addressed.  The public outcry from fans and the general population was inspired by the release of the video of the actual punch.  Why did it take seeing the actual punch to create such an uproar?

If we – the public – are critical of Roger Goodell, we should recognize that we did not react the way we should have reacted when the video of Ray Rice dragging his limp fiancée’s body out of the elevator was first viewed.  We know he punched her and we know he knocked her out – that was obvious.  But the public’s outrage did not spiral out-of-control until the full video was released.

This is NOT defense of Roger Goodell – who clearly protected one of the stars of the NFL – but we should accept that the public’s opinion of the incident did not reach this level until we saw the punch.  Looking back on what we all saw from the video of Rice dragging his fiancée’s body from the elevator – the public’s reaction should have been as strong as it is now.

Goodell had no choice but to severely punish Ray Rice because the public’s cry for action became so loud.  This clearly demonstrates that fans do have power.  But what would fans ultimately do?  To boycott the NFL would mean that fans would have to boycott their team and I can’t envision the Who Dat Nation boycotting the Saints to send a message to Roger Goodell.

The public’s opinion of politicians on Capitol Hill is at an all-time low – but voters continue to re-elect their local politicians.  The relationship between fans and their team is similar.  Fans may disapprove of Roger Goodell as NFL Commissioner – but I doubt that Saints fans would boycott the Saints in protest of Goodell. 
 (0) Comments
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Locations : Atlantic City
People : Ray RiceRoger Goodell


Scoot: Is the "liberal media" beating the drums of war on ISIS?

Do you get the feeling that the news media is beating the war drums for action against ISIS?  If the news media is presenting the developing stories about ISIS and its perceived threat to the United States in such a way that it is swaying the collective opinion of the American public, that would seem to contradict the image of the “liberal media.”
In general terms, conservatives are more “hawkish” about war than liberals.  The media is perceived as being liberal – not conservative.  If those assumptions are accurate – then what is the explanation for the possibility that the news media is slanting stories for the purpose of rallying Americans around the idea of war? 
The simple answer is – the news media – even the perceived “liberal media” – instinctively thrives on the news stories and the developments that will get you to watch the news.
Conversation about the actions and reactions of the media and its relationship with the audience – society - are a recurring theme on “The Scoot Show” on WWL.  It is imperative that we – the audience – understand the role of the media and how we ultimately control its direction.
When I address the possibility that the news media may subconsciously present news stories with the desire to shape public opinion – I am not suggesting that the stories that may be slanted are actually fabricated.  The news stories are based on facts – but inevitably, facts can be presented in such a way as to encourage a specific conclusion and opinion.
Fact:  ISIS is brutal and hates the United States and everything we stand for and is aggressively pursing the takeover of territory in Syria and Iraq and most certainly has aspiration beyond those areas.  But is the news media objectively presenting both sides of this current issue involving ISIS? Or, is there an unspoken agenda to beat the drums of war?
The idea of the news media attempting to manipulate opinions on the subject of war is not unique to this president or the news media in 2014.  This is a discussion that has been raised in the past.
The news media does have the power to rally public opinion on issues, but it is important to remember that the news media ultimately reflects the audience.  Therefore, if the news media is guilty of beating the war drums – then it could be responding to what it feels is prevailing opinion of the American people.
But make no mistake about it – though it may not be an actual policy – the news media presents and airs news stories that will attract an audience.  As I watch the developments with ISIS and its horrific acts and learn that Americans and Westerners are part of the militant group – I see much less being said about the U.S. not going to war and more about the U.S. going to war.
While the story of Ray Rice punching and knocking out his then-fiancée and Commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of the incident are attracting heightened media attention – the story about the militant group ISIS and its possible threat to America has developed into a story that asks the question: Should the United States go to war – again?  And news stories don’t get much bigger than that.
It does appear that the President has few options and military action against ISIS is necessary – but as a nation – we have been down this road before.  If, as predicted, President Obama’s plan includes arming and training the rebel groups that could be our “boots on the ground” in the fight against ISIS – we need to remember that we have armed and trained people who used our weapons and our training against us.
Maybe there is nothing we can do about the reality that our friends become our enemies and our enemies become our friends.  I guess it is all about instant gratification – who can do what for us right now.  And instant gratification is something Americans understand quite well.
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People : ObamaRay RiceRoger Goodell


Scoot: Is it okay to hate the Falcons?

With great expectations, the Saints open the 2014 season against the Falcons in Atlanta this Sunday and that makes this week “Hate the Falcons Week!”  Since I often talk about how there is too much “hate” in this country – I had to ask myself if it is appropriate to promote the idea of hating the Falcons – and of course their fans, too?

Honestly, I did not have to do much soul searching before reaching the conclusion that it is ok to “hate” the Falcons and their fans!  Hate for the Falcons and their fans and the reciprocal hate they have for the Saints and Saints fans is an acceptable part of the world of sports.  Hate for sports rivals – the Saints and the Falcons – the Tigers and the Tide – reflect the intense passion fans have for teams that has always been part of the sports world.
In our culture, we often use words in ways that reach beyond their specific definitions.  For example, when a Saints fan says he/she hopes the Saints “kill” the Falcons this Sunday – they don’t literally mean “kill” the players.  I’m sure some do – but for most it is just an exaggerated expression of passion for the Saints.

Saints fans hate the Falcons and their fans – we hate what they do and what they stand for - but we don’t hate the individuals who play for the Falcons – with the exception of Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Julio Jones.  

It is easy to hate Falcons fans for their undying loyalty to the team Saints fans hate.  Those Falcons fans cheer wildly for their team and jeer at the Saints and Saints fans.  They act like they are so much better than Saints fans and the degree with which they demonize Saints fans justifies the feelings of hate for those individuals. 

The behavior of Falcons fans, much of which will be captured by the network TV cameras during Sunday’s game, puts many parents in a position of explaining their behavior in a public place to their children – thus forcing their children to deal with adult matters at an early age.

When the TV cameras focus on Falcons fans in the stadium, there will be young children who will ask an embarrassing question like: “Daddy, why are those two men jumping up and down and hugging each other?”  To which the parent must respond with an answer like: “Son, their behavior is an abomination. You know your mother and I don’t approve of that lifestyle and it’s not something we want you exposed to.”

Adding to the challenge for the parents who want to help their kids deal with the inappropriate behavior of Falcons fans are the national network announcers – the media – that makes it seem as if being a Falcons fan is acceptable behavior.  Yes, we all hear a lot of talk about fan equality in America and how all fans should be respected and not judged – but when you witness the blatant attempts by Falcons fans to force their beliefs on others – you can’t help but wonder if our society is falling apart.

There is also the uncomfortable issue of Falcons fans marrying each other - as if that’s a positive thing for society.  Good luck explaining that to your children!

At least the game is in Atlanta this Sunday – but when the Falcons play the Saints in New Orleans – parents will face the challenge of explaining to their kids why Falcons fans are walking down the streets of the city holding hands and even kissing in public.  If they would just keep their lifestyle behind closed doors!

The hate Saints fans have for the Falcons and Falcons fans is justified – even in a world where there is too much hate!
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Topics : Religion_BeliefSports
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Locations : AtlantaNew Orleans
People : Julio JonesMatt RyanRoddy White

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