UPDATE: Monday at 6:30 p.m.: DirecTV, which owns Bruno’s syndicated radio show, has suspended him for this week.
When we saw the Tony Bruno-Twitter story concerning what he sent out about San Francisco Giants pitcher Ramon Ramirez over the weekend — Friday, in fact, on the night it happened — we decided we weren’t going to be the first to over react to it, and knew we wouldn’t be the last.
This would get more nasty before it got closer to being resolved. We wanted to watch from the sidelines how nature would take its course.
We know Bruno (his show linked here) is a passionate Philly native, saw “his” team get into a brawl with the Giants, so in the heat of the moment, while on his Fox Sports syndicated sports-talk show that’s heard on KLAC-AM (570) and eminates from Burbank, he did what his bosses probably want him to do — he used social media and let loose.
Then he probably realized: This isn’t going to fly well.
It’s why more coaches of teams, in every level, try to ban their players from using Twitter. Or Facebook. Or getting near a TMZ flipcamera. It’s all to protect them from themselves, and the mess they can create for everyone else.
On the flip side, this is why radio and TV bosses of employees who appear on their own radio shows or “Around The Merry-Go-Round” may eventually push them to do it more often — the backlash created is a new-found avalance of attention that everyone else wants to react to, puff up their chests, and supposedly earn their paychecks.
Let’s all join in on the public stoning.
All if plays right into the nature of this satanic-like beast: It keep’s the cycle of jibber-jabber going, 24/7, on an otherwise stagnant day of news. Here’s some more interpersonal context to add to it, a few more political hot-buttons to push, until we can beat this holy thing into the ground.
Because, when you break it all down to the bare essentials, it was a white guy who has a radio show called an Latino big-leaguer an “illegal” when he should have known better.
The wolves dressed as media watchdogs pounced on Bruno within seconds. The tweet captured for posterity and was widely distributed. What happens in Twitterland, stays in Twitterland, and cyberspace, and then explodes elsewhere.
Bruno, who has been in this radio business more than 30 years, threw in his lit match, and it blew things up good.
Too late that Bruno took down the tweet and apologized for it.
On his Facebook page (linked here), Bruno wrote: “My stupid and insensitive twitter post was up less than one minute before I realized it was caustic. It was removed immediately and I typed a quick apology on twitter and here. Since I was doing my live radio show, I apologized more emphatically on the air, and the podcast is available on my website (tonybrunoshow.com, hour 3) for those who choose to actually get some facts to go along with the hearsay or bloggers who spread falsehoods about my apology not being ‘sincere.’”
That’s another problem for another day. You can already read the vile stuff put up there by those who love to knee-jerk react right back at him. Like someone named “SF Lunatic Fringe”:
“So, let’s get this straight Tony. You call Bruce Bochy a swear-word, you call Ramon Ramirez a racial slur…you come on here and apologize, and call Bochy more names, and then you go on to call people that call YOU names classless and vile in the same post? Okay, no name calling. I promise. But (bleep) YOU Tony. I mean that from the heart.”
Then we have Giants manager Bochy calling out Bruno for his “racist” comment, two days after Bruno also called Bochy a “coward” for allowing Ramirez to hit the Phillies’ Shane Victorino, who homered earlier, in the sixth inning.
“Forget the remarks about me,” Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle. “That doesn’t bother me. For a guy to make a racist comment like that and have the ear of so many people, that bothers me. I can defend myself as a coward. I don’t know if you can defend yourself making a racist comment.”
Ramirez, from the Dominican Republic, said Sunday he is in the U.S. legally and wouldn’t be able to work in the major leagues otherwise.
“I’m not interested in what he thinks about me,” Ramirez said. “I’m not interested in what he has to say. I don’t need to pay attention to what he has to say about me. A lot of people say things about me. I know who I am. How would I be able to work here if I were an illegal? He put it on the Internet? I can’t believe that. …
“Everyone says what they feel in their heart,. But I feel that’s not right.”
There will be, and already has been, a big-time number of big-time mistweets. It’s the nature of this double-edged media sword.
And you may ask why we don’t use our own Twitter account for anything other than to alert you if we have posted a new story that you might be interested in? We’re trying to protect ourselves, you and anyone that might be offended by something we skipped right past all the filters and just threw out there.
Or, we can just make another sweeping generalization: Maybe all this is related to what happened to another Philly native, Kobe Bryant, when he mouthed the words of a gay slur at an NBA referee that happened to be caught on camera.
It’s just their nature. When you kick a bulldog, and they bite back, then we’re allowed to put them down.
So out to Dodger Stadium the next three nights, and you’ll see it on display.
Before we have any further stupid commentary, we’ll talk to Bruno later this week, after cooler heads prevail. We’ll find out what he learned here — good and bad.
Until then, maybe read what Bob Frantz, a free-lance writer who submitted this piece to the San Francisco Examiner (linked here), had to say about it. He’s got the right angle on this so far:
“Bruno’s apology won’t exactly stop the torch-and-pitchfork crowd in its tracks, since he basically reaffirmed his loathing of Bochy in the process, while calling his critics ‘classless and vile.’ Still, are we so afraid of mere words that we’re willing to destroy someone’s livelihood over them?
“We are talking about sports here, and I can guarantee you that the players themselves scream far worse things at each other in those on-field scrums while tensions and testosterone levels are higher than the national debt ceiling.
“Regardless of the outcome for Bruno, the episode should serve as a reminder for all tweet-happy athletes, media personnel and other assorted public figures: The keyboard can be a deadly weapon.
“Just remember, if you wouldn’t say into an open microphone on national television what you are about to type into cyberspace, then find the “backspace” key before you spot the “send” button. The career you save might just be your own.”