December 31, 2022
I had a quite incredible column 90% ready for today. I was explaining The Revenge of The Gladiators like you’ve never had explained before … but Fate & Circumstance intervened and that one has to wait. The Persecution of Gary Hahn takes precedent.
I am going to assume many/most of you know the abridged version of what happened yesterday (Fri) during The Duke’s Mayo Bowl as regards NC State’s “Voice of” Gary Hahn. NC State lost the game … and Gary Hahn, for the time being, has lost his job of the past 30 years.
Gary Hahn simply said two words “illegal aliens” in a sentence; and for that has been “suspended indefinitely” by his employer Learfield Communications.
Although an integral part of NC State Athletics since 1991, Hahn is actually employed by NC State’s contracted marketing/broadcast partner – Learfield Communications.
Learfield – based in Dallas TX – contracts with many/most Power5 schools – including UNCCh – to supply their sports marketing and broadcast services. Again, Hahn is an employee of Learfield … not of NC State Athletics.
By the time you read this, Gary Hahn may have already been paraded out – like a Viet Nam POW – to make the ubiquitous “bone in my body” forced apology. You know the one …
“Anyone who knows me knows I do not have a prejudicial ‘bone in my body’ towards “aliens” – space, legal or otherwise.
I never meant to offend ANYONE and I humbly apologize if my ill-timed words did so … blah blah blah”.
There will be a reference to “sensitivity training … blah blah” so “I never again say “illegal aliens” into a live microphone”.
And Learfield’s Chief People & Culture Officer – Kristine Schroeder – will smile smugly; hoping this will get her a guest appearance on The View.
THAT is Kristine Schroeder’s actual title. I didn’t make it up.
I’m just guessing, but I bet Kristine Schroeder wears “a Fauci Mask” 24/7 and … does NOT own a MAGA ballcap. And supports pedophiles having access to little girls’ restrooms. Again, just guessin’.
Whether she is gay or bi or trany or simply “shares their pain” is not noted in her resume on Learfield’s website.
The above description probably applies to many/all of Learfield’s Executive staff. Otherwise yesterday’s corporate train wreck would have been handled A LOT differently and much more professionally.
NOTE: None of Learfield’s Executive Staff have a UNCCH affiliation, that I could uncover. In case anyone was simply assumin’.
DISCLAIMER: I have never met Gary Hahn or communicated with him in any way. I would not have recognized him had I ever been in his presence. I DID know who he was by name / occupation. That’s it.
That he has survived 30 years as “The Voice of” NC State Athletics would seem a testament to his ability and his popularity with WolfPackNation.
I have no clue what any of Gary Hahn’d socio-political views might be. I have no idea if he has ever heard of me or ever visited this website.
I have “some” experience doing “live radio”. I have made over 50 guest appearances on various talk radio shows. For three years during the Fedora Era, I co-hosted a live pre-game radio show on WCHL.
And, of course, a buddy of mine had “some experience” doing live radio.
With any appearance I have ever made on live radio I was expected to be “provocative” … say something off-the-wall to grab the audience. I managed to do so in every instance.
When approached for the WCHL gig, I made it clear to all concerned that I do NOT share the general world view of their predominately Chapel Hill-based audience. Might that be an “issue”? Station management assured me it would not be.
In either Year 2 or Year 3 … UNC was playing a Thursday night FB game and wearing all-black uniforms. Chapel Hill was all excited for the Big Game. Then Chancellor Carol “Chihuahua” Folt was being interviewed by one of our reporters. At the conclusion of the interview I asked my co-host Art Chansky on-air …
“Hey, Art, he didn’t ask The Question we all want to know. Is Carol Folt a midget or a dwarf?”
The KABOOM impact of that one was to be muted a few minutes later when – referring to the black uniforms – Chansky noted on-air:
“They say “when you go black, you never go black.” …. Silence …
ME: “Art, do you even have a clue what THAT saying refers to?”
Meanwhile, our engineer – of the African American persuasion – was laughing his butt off.
The station GM was out of town but texted us immediately after the show …. What the heck did you guys say … I’ve got 27 ALLCAPS emails from enraged listeners!
Barry The GM thought it was hilarious. Neither Art nor I was “suspended indefinitely”.
7-8 years ago a young woman was testifying before some sort of committee demanding that “the government” pay for “all” of her abortions implying there were a number of them !!!
Rush referred to her on-air as “a slut”. UH OH! In retrospect, I suggested that “skank” or “trollop” might have been less well, you know … not that “slut” was not entirely correct.
In 32 years of literally 10,000s of hours at a life microphone with 20,000,000 listeners, Rush had three “probably coulda saids” out of millions of words. Rush was never “suspended indefinitely” but, of course, he never worked for Learfield Communications or had to please a Chief People & Culture Officer.
“Doing live radio” even with a “cough button” delay is juggling hand grenades … especially in today’s Absurd America.
That Gary Hahn was “suspended indefinitely” for saying “illegal aliens” says A LOT more about Learfield Communications than it does about Gary Hahn.
Gary Hahn was:
- NOT pontificating about the Biden Administration’s border disasters.
- NOT denigrating any racial or ethnic subgroup
- NOT advocating for any political group, candidate, or policy.
He simply used the phrase “illegal aliens” as an adjective describing El Paso as the site of the Sun Bowl game he was reporting the score of.
Did he HAVE to say that? No, he didn’t. Was his report of the score embellished by the OMG phrase? No, it wasn’t.
That the”aliens” are indeed “illegal” is NOT the issue.
That Gary Hahn was “telling it like it is” is NOT the issue.
Referencing – even in such an innocuous fashion – America’s Border Crisis is NOT what Gary Hahn is paid by Learfield to say.
Simply saying “illegal aliens” violated some ridiculous ultra-Woke sensitivity of Learfield.
His use of the OMG phrase did apparently produce a smattering of OMG social media comments from the perpetually offended nitwits floundering about in our society circa 2022.
And THAT caused Learfield to publicly humiliate and denigrate a 30-year career of a “good man”.
What Learfield coulda/shoulda done is…
After the broadcast, whoever Gary’s direct upline supervisor is shoulda called him and said:
“Gary, ya probably should not have said “illegal aliens” when reporting that Sun Bowl score. Lets be careful about any reference to the thousands of “touchy subjects” in America these days. OK?”
It’s likely that Gary did not even recall saying it as it was simply a stream of conscious phrase among the 1,000s of words Gary said during the Mayo Bowl.
As of this posting, I have no knowledge of any key NCState official – not Boo Corrigan nor Randy Woodson nor Dave Dorean – commenting or coming to the support of 30-year loyal employee Gary Hahn. THAT IS SHAMEFUL
If Gary did indeed commit a documented Learfield No-No, it was surely unintentional and totally harmless. His punishment does NOT fit the “crime”.
No clue how this “persecution of a good man” will be resolved.
As a 30-year employee, maybe Gary makes too much money and Learfield wants him to quit or be “fired for cause” so they can hire a younger cheaper replacement?
With a week or so, this travesty will be forgotten by 95% of WolfpackNation … but the totally unnecessary and unjust stain on a “good man’s” professional career will remain.