This morning, there is a story about veteran NBC News anchor Sue Simmons dropping an F-Bomb on the air. I heard the clip. Pretty unbelievable. Now, she’s issued an apology, but it may be too late. She’s been with WNBC TV in New York City for 28 years. And, with one word, she may have ended her career. To her credit, she has apologized. "I’m truly sorry," she said. "It was a mistake on my part, and I sincerely apologize."
It’s happened to so many, it’s hard to keep track.
Imus, Al Campanis, Jimmy the Greek, Howard Cossell, Fuzzy Zoeller, the list goes on and on. We say, "sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us?" Do we really believe that? I don’t. If you haven’t read a book called, "Words that Work" I highly recommend it. The subtitle: It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear. Without question, there are times when people hear what they want to hear. They attribute motives, and twist what someone says to fit what they want them to have said. But, it seems to me that our society is a mixture of hypersensitivity (in hearing), and lack of sensitivity (in speaking). As a result, we are losing our ability to communicate with one another. There are a lot of cultural factors that play into this (e-mail, texting, etc.), but a lot of it is just a culture that has been created over time where reverent, thoughtful, and honest dialogue is on the verge of extinction.
How do we change this over time?