Skip to comments.We ought to give Dog a second chance (Daily Trojan)
Posted on 11/13/2007 12:30:44 AM PST by panther33
We ought to give Dog a second chance
By: Joshua Sharp
Tuesday Opinion Columnist
It's always a good day when "Dog: The Bounty Hunter" is on TV. Bored by the prostitutes and stab victims on "Cops," I enjoy watching Duane "Dog" Chapman and his family hunting down meth-crazed fugitives on the Hawaiian Islands.
The long-haired strongman, accompanied by his trademark sunglasses and busty wife, usually ends each arrest by giving fatherly advice to his capture and offering a cigarette - if that's his or her thing.
But production of the show is now suspended indefinitely after the bounty hunter's estranged son, Tucker, recorded a private phone call where Dog repeatedly used racially charged language. Tucker then sold the tape to the National Enquirer for a reported $15,000.
In the call, Dog was chewing out his son for his relationship with a black woman whom Dog suspected was leading recently paroled Tucker back into trouble.
"I heard this girl was maybe not being the best for Tucker - and I'll leave it like that - so I tried to interfere," Dog explained on "Larry King Live." "I don't care if she is black at all. He's on parole for a 20-year sentence, and if he messes up, he goes back."
Dog's recorded rant was an angry, obscenity-laced tirade. But what's worse, Dog used the n-word to refer to the girlfriend.
Over the past two weeks, Dog has been rightfully vilified in the public sphere for using such indefensible language. But knowing Dog's track record of compassionate public service, and after his repeated, presumably sincere apologies, we need to forgive and move forward. ...
Continue reading "We ought to give Dog a second chance," by Joshua Sharp in today's Daily Trojan...
But some of the Freeper comments here make me want to puke! Where are the conservative and Christian standards and expectations?? Dog revealed himself for who he really is. He has two choices now - stand up and be authentic and NOT apologize....or apologize and (oh, what is that Christian word that Christians like to ignore in their own lives...? OH YEAH..) REPENT!!
Some of these ‘freeeepers’ are no more a positive difference in this world than Lefties! This ‘two wrongs make it ok’ justifications are mentally weak. Where is your intellectual rigor and community standard? We’re going to lose to the Facist-Muzzies if we don’t admonish each other, support each other, and repent with AUTHENTICITY.
Revile and admonish the actions of Dog but not the person. What in his life do we see in our own? Where are we mentally weak?? What do we hide?? Why DO we just give ourselves justifications and a ‘pass’?? YAWWWN!
How many of us are so damn quick to justify who Dog is (as he cowardly hides himself from the world) but at the same time were so eager to send ‘’Rev’’ Fred Phelps to hell (as he gladly exposes himself to the world)? I didn’t see any of the mentally slovenly Freepers just say ‘’Well, he is a Kansas Baptist. It’s just in his DNA. Live and let live, duuuuuude.’’
No!! Most the great Freeps stood up, were vociferous, and took action - quick to admonish the acts of hate!
Who are we that we are a Conservative? Who are we that we Freep?
Dog has done far worse things than use foul language. Yet not a single gripe about them. He has used the M-F word. And he has committed adultery during previous marriages. Ask any woman: "Which is worse, your husband having an affair or your husband using bad language with an adult son in a private conversation?"
With regard to your first rebuttal about Dog betraying us, he did betray our trust to a certain extent in that he is a role model for many and was not more careful with the way he referred to that woman. I understand that it was a rant, I understand that it was in private, but what he said was not acceptable or defensible and is now in the public domain.
How do the parents of kids who looked up to him explain why Dog is on the TV apologizing instead of bounty hunting?
When you make yourself a public figure and role model, you have to take on a higher moral standard for yourself. We all make mistakes, but what he said was indeed a small betrayal.
I agree that Tucker's the (much) bigger rat here, but he does not have young fans across Hawaii and the world. His transgressions of recording and selling the tape should not obscure the guilt of the owner of those words.
I agree. I strongly feel that A&E withdrew their support prematurely. They should have stood by him -- he's brought fantastic ratings for the channel, and if they hadn't pulled their support I'm not sure the comments would have seemed so "career-ending."
I hope when they re-consider the issue in a few weeks, they choose to stand by Dog.
Thanks for posting your thoughts.
You're right that authentic repentance is what's needed in this situation, instead of making excuses or justifications. It is my belief that Dog has already begun that process.
I also particularly liked your comments about self-reflection. I think it's helpful to use this time as a chance not to muzzle ourselves completely, but still to remember what a huge effect words can have.
Think before you speak, I always tell myself. Still working on that one...
Duane Chapman and his clan perform a necessary role in civil society ... but they are far from the heroes that some make them out to be. A&E has paid this family a small fortune and they still won’t buy a shirt. I couldn’t care less if the show never airs again.
Neither do most of Larry King's viewers. But then they aren't his peers, and they don't understand his background.
There's something wrong when a man is forced to apologize to the whole world for what was said in a private conversation, in which he had an expectation of privacy.
Well at least he hasn't checked into some kind of rehab (yet).
FYI, here's that land-grab case in Boulder, CO.
Don't tell me you're an anti-idiotarian! Shocking! /sarc
Here's the tape of Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd on The View, talking about Dog's situation.
Thanks. Just one thing. They forgot to inform the owners of this law.
Who’s this “we”? Whether his TV show continues is between him and the network.
Forgive me for using your well-meaning post as an example of the problems we have with language in today's media-saturated culture, but regardless of your good intentions, several of the things you said as fact simply can't be proven true.
First, you claim as fact that his profession "requires him to use coarse language and racial slurs from time to time." This statement is clearly not fact, it is one opinion among many. The case can certainly be made that he can effectively catch criminals without using bad language it's probable that only an authoritative tone of voice when he commands them to surrender will work just as well.
Next your post says, "He was merely pointing out to his son that he did not want somebody in the family making a big deal out of it every time he did so. This is a perfectly reasonable position and really has nothing to do with racial denigration or the individual girl involved." Again, absolutist words "merely", "perfectly", "really", "nothing" are used to describe a situation with many shades of gray.
I'm not trying to pick on you; I believe most of us here understand that your remarks were made in the vernacular, everyday language most of us use. I'm trying to make a point about language usage. Dog was doing the same thing using his everyday frame of reference. However, most people today do recognize the sensitivity of the n-word, as Dog himself did. That's where this situation breaks down.
The word is a bad word. Dog's other frequent frame of reference, "m****rf****r, is a terrible image that should offend virtually everyone, and he uses that one during almost every bust against a male perpetrator, without losing his show. But the n-word is directed at an oppressed people who have been freed only in stages, thus it has an extensive political lobby backing it up.
The n-word is a particularly offensive word, and it's hard to make the case that the person who uses it, black or white, isn't accountable for offensive speech aimed at a person's race rather than their character. When he called her a "whore", nobody got upset. This word was understood to mean that he doubted her character as being a person who would sell a thing of great value cheap. As it turns out, she did encourage Tucker to do just that, in selling out his own father at any price.
But Dog's specific use of the n-word in this situation implied, without stating it, that most black people are persons of bad character; or that her bad character was somehow associated with the fact that she is black. That's where he went off the rails. Even if he had said, "Son, in my experience some black people in high-pressure situations with white people can be suspicious that everything we do is about race, and she seems a little insecure this way, and this will cause us trouble," it would have still caused a firestorm, but would have been harder for Tucker and the girlfriend to use against him. He was impatiently using the n-word to try to telegraph all of that in shorthand, instead of sitting down with his son and having a counseling talk face-to-face, and it didn't work out for him.
He didn't do the killing, but was an accessory after the fact, having been part of the criminal robbery during which the murder was committed by someone else in his gang.
LOL!! I'm surprised she hasn't put someone's eye out with those things. Suddenly meeting up with her must be like having the air bag go off.
We = loyal viewers
You're correct to an extent, but it's perfectly legitimate for his viewers to discuss (and advocate) for/against his return to television.
Let's get him back on the streets and fighting crime. His time on Earth is best spent doing that, not sitting in the courtroom of public opinion or negotiating a reduced deal with A&E.
God finds people where they are at.
Dog was in a bad place, never had the benefit of the great education you are getting and he is rough as a person.
I think if his cable channel doesn’t pick up his show, that some other channel who is smart will. He makes cable money.
I think he is human and that he was never trying to say the N word on his own in public, it took the secret recording in privacy to bring it out.
He at least had the good taste to keep it away in public to not hurt feelings.
I think if he feels bad and grows from this to speak less foul things, then good for him as well.
He’s a guy out of prison who took up bounty hunting and got himself a cable show, we should NOT expect to find Jay Leno or Henry Kissinger there.
Well, he is less in the catching criminals business and more in the entertainment business, these days. He has made quite a lot of money by projecting a certain public persona. That persona is coarse and uses foul language and slurs as a matter of course. He is in a very unusual position in that using the N-word really is part of what makes him successful in his field.
Such is the state of our culture.
Having a one-sided conversation like this into an answering machine is just stupid. I will grant you that.
That's true. However, I also think it's legitimate for the network to conclude, based on its commercial evaluation, that he's better off doing his job without their cameras.