The Dangers of Live Television

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I have received many e-mails asking if we will put a video stream of the Joran van der Sloot interview on our Web site, so that it can be seen by those who missed our show that aired it. We have not done so because the video is so long. But, in case you did not see the Joran interview, you can see most of it Friday night at 10 p.m. ET. We are going to replay much of the interview tonight.

As you might imagine, sometimes on live TV you "step in it" — meaning you say something that you wish you had not said or you wish you had said it differently. Sometimes, if it is REALLY BAD, you want to hide under your bed forever. It has happened to me on more than one occasion. Live TV can be dangerous because you can't stop, rewind and do it again. Sometimes you get so excited about the topic, you "get going" — sometimes you want to say something that does not come out right and sometimes you get cut off so that your thought is expressed in an incomplete manner that you never get to complete. Wednesday night was one of those nights, but this time the "stepper" may have been Bernie Grimm.

Bernie made some comments about the University of Florida and the University of Miami that were not well received by many in Florida. I have not had a chance to talk to Bernie and see if he wishes he had made his comments differently or if he stands by what he says. What I do know is that we got swamped with calls and e-mails about his comments. We even received a call from a representative of the University of Florida who was not pleased. We wanted to give the university opportunity to respond. That seems fair. We figured the best way to handle this is to give the university some blog space. While we have more viewers than readers of the blog, the blog stays on the Internet for eternity, so it might equal out in the end. Here is the letter we received:

"We object strongly to statements Bernie Grimm made April 12 on 'On the Record' regarding University of Florida athletics.

"The last NCAA major infractions case for the Florida athletic department was on September 20, 1990, and for the last 15-plus years the Gator athletics program has had a comprehensive drug-testing program where all student athletes are drug tested throughout the year.

"While Mr. Grimm's statements may have been made in jest, we take them very seriously. To malign the outstanding track record of our athletic department as he did is unacceptable, and we believe that an apology from Mr. Grimm is in order."

Steve McClain, assistant athletic director, UF Sports Information
Steve Orlando, associate director, UF News Bureau

I don't know how you feel about this matter, but the bottom line is this: Bernie is a very decent guy who I have known for years and respect. If you are mad at him, give him a break. Why? Because I will no doubt be asking you to give me a break the next time I do something I regret. It happens to us all. Yes, it is live TV.

I had a thought the other night — yes, even I have thoughts from time to time. My thought was about the scandal of the underage drinking with Duke's lacrosse team. The truth is many of us are guilty of this behavior, but now are responsible adults and know it is wrong. As I was driving home after the show, I realized that I was NOT guilty of underage drinking in college. Why? The drinking age was 18 when I was in college. The very year I turned 18, the drinking age in Wisconsin was lowered to 18. I don't know if my memory is playing games on me, but I think the reasoning was that since 18 year olds (males) were being drafted to go to Vietnam and asked to die for their countries, they should be treated as full adults. The voting age was also changed to 18. Of course women were not drafted, just the men.

Finally, a sneak peek: We are on the road again on Tuesday night. Any guesses where? You will never guess this one!

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