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The Bruno Saga: An “Alien’s” Perspective

Anyone who has heard me speak, has read anything I have written or knows my interests know what my dream job is. Whether it’s writing, radio or television, any career in the field of sports would be a dream come true. As a person who constantly reads blogs and websites, listens to radio shows and has every sports channel on my DVR as one of my favorites, I hear and see mostly everything.

With social networking, moments of “Oh Shit!” and “Did you see that?” are caught instantaneously, Tweeted about seconds later and are up on YouTube within minutes. That’s the world we live in. Whether celebrities, athletes or journalists like it is another question, but what isn’t in question is this: no one is safe.

You don’t have to be a celebrity or athlete to be caught up in the moment either. From personal experience and hearing stories from friends, if it’s on the internet at any moment for any amount of time, people will find it, remember it and use it against you.  This brings me to the man of the hour: Mr. “Tell Me No Lies and Keep Your Hands to Yourself”…Tony Bruno.

On Friday, Bruno, an avid fan of anything Philadelphia and nationally syndicated radio host, took to Twitter to release his frustration on a brawl that erupted during the Giants and Phillies game that night; specifically Giants reliever Ramon Ramirez.

@TonyBrunoShow: gutless #!@%*# Giants. Bochy is a coward for having his illegal alien pitcher hit a guy since mighty Frisco boys …”

Despicable.

Bruno has been in the business for more than two decades, he should know better. Bruno is a constant user of social media sites (uploading pictures on Facebook and Tweeting every day), he should know better. Some of Bruno’s most frequent callers on KNBR are Hispanic, including the infamous Carlos, he should know better. Bruno is considered one of the best in the business, previously referred to as “fabulous” by his longtime friend and former KNBR cohort Gary Radnich, he should know better.

As a person of Mexican descent and a person also with the last name Ramirez, I was bothered by his comments. I don’t want to kill him or burn his house down, but his comments struck a nerve, especially for someone who is trying to get into the business he has been so successful in for two decades.

Bruno immediately deleted the Tweet, quickly followed it with an apology and has since written a much longer apology on his Facebook page. It doesn’t matter. In his apology he states, “I still stand by my comments that Bruce Bochy is a coward, as are all managers who order pitchers to throw at guys just because their pitchers can’t get a guy out.”

Okay?

You stand behind your comments, but not the one that got you in trouble?

In a much lengthier apology posted late Saturday night, Bruno speaks as to why his response to the brawl was much larger than the two teams, but more about the unwritten rules of the game, “What I posted was reaction to something that goes beyond Giants-Phillies rivalry baseball. My position on “unwritten rules” of baseball has been consistent.”

He continues: “The fact that 2 or 3 people who want to destroy my life are fanning the flames of true hate by spreading this all over the world wide web just disappoints me as someone who prides himself on being a man who embraces all races, religions and opinions.”

Big fucking whoop.

Bruno, what you said was wrong, insulting, racist and frankly shameful for a man living in the age of the internet and a man who has dedicated his life to journalistic integrity.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, and it surely won’t be the last. Former KNBR host Larry Kreuger said something similar on his radio show in 2005, calling some Giants “brain-dead Caribbean players.” He was soon fired. Everyone’s favorite commentator Rush Limbaugh while working an ESPN Sunday Night Football telecast (I don’t know why either), said this when describing then Eagles QB Donovan McNabb:

“I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve.”

There’s the Rush we know!

Did KNBR have a time machine? Did they go all Marty McFly and see this whole Bruno incident coming? Either way, it works out perfectly for the Bay Area sports powerhouse. Many listeners were shocked to hear Bruno was quickly removed from his and Radnich’s bit, self-referred to as “The Best Half Hour on Radio.” Now? Well, people who were turned off by the move better keep their feelings under their breath.

I listen to KNBR every day. I was actually a big fan of “The Best Half Hour on Radio” even though it was far from it (I put this title on anything Howard Stern or Playboy Radio). I listened to his podcast and even enjoyed his random appearance in the Madden football games.

Now?

I’ll have a hard time becoming a fan again.

When using social media, especially when being in a position of power, you must be smarter (See Anthony Weiner or Rashard Mendenhall). In Bruno’s case, he thought about what he was going to say, typed it, thought about it again then clicked “Tweet.”  It wasn’t radio where he was in a constant flow of talk and accidently let something out a la Kreuger. I consider Bruno’s case much worse than Kreuger’s simply because it’s much easier to let something slip while talking than to type and click.

Bruno immediately lost credibility, numerous fans and will from now on be considered a racist. Whether fair or unfair that’s how the world goes. In today’s world all it takes is one incident, one accident caught on camera or posted on Facebook or Twitter to completely tarnish everything you have worked for. Everyone makes mistakes, but for a man so deep in the realm of the business to do what he did will forever put a black eye on his career. He lost a fan Saturday night, and whether that fan comes back is still up in the air. Either way, Tony will never be looked at in the same light.

Very bad knowledge Tony.

—Jordan

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