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To: raccoonradio

PERFECT HEARING: WRKO talk show host — and Herald columnist —Howie Carr, seen yesterday at the station’s studio in Brighton, knows the importance of the right response to a distraught caller.
Boston based conservative talk host Howie Carr, heard on a network of stations in New England. Recent inductee (along with Dr. James Dobson and Art Bell) into the Radio Hall of Fame
2 posted on 02/05/2009 11:59:01 PM PST by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio; Andonius_99; Andy'smom; Antique Gal; Big Guy and Rusty 99; bitt; Barset; ...

Howie Carr list ping—Herald article about Howie helping a distraught woman on air


3 posted on 02/05/2009 11:59:38 PM PST by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio; Andonius_99; Andy'smom; Antique Gal; Big Guy and Rusty 99; bitt; Barset; ...

Howie’s column from today (Howie column ping)

Suicidal caller rings close to home
By Howie Carr | Friday, February 6, 2009 | http://www.bostonherald.com | Columnists

Anyone who hosts a radio talk show for any length of time will eventually get a call from a listener who’s contemplating suicide.

But the way the economy has been tanking, I think it’s going to be happening more and more.

Still, I wasn’t expecting “Carol” to lose it on me last week. She said she was 54, from Jonesport, Maine. After talking briefly about her 23-year-old neighbor who she said is collecting $690 a month on SSDI, she began speaking about how she’d been looking for a job for 2 years but couldn’t find one.

“My mortgage is only $414.21 a month,” she said, “and I can’t afford it in the United States of America.”

She told me she’d tried to kill herself last February by taking “100 pills” but that her daughter had found her. But now, she said, she was thinking about it again.

Now, this is not the kind of call I solicit. My job is to entertain you, not depress you. So when “Carol” mentioned suicide, my first response was to try to snap her out of it without appearing to be a callous brute, which is what I basically am. “Don’t kill yourself,” I said. “Sell those pills to the junkie and you can get some of her SSDI.”

But by then she was crying, so I had to try a different tack. I told her what a bad mistake it is to kill yourself. “Your family never recovers from a suicide,” I told her.

She said she didn’t want to be a burden on her two daughters.

“It’s a bigger burden to kill yourself, Carol,” I said, “because that way, they’ll always be asking, what could I have done?”

We went on for a while, and finally I had to cut her off. But other callers wanted to keep talking about Carol’s obvious despair over her financial plight, so I told them what I knew about suicide in times of economic turmoil.

In 1931, my maternal grandfather killed himself. He worked in the post office in Monroe, N.C. I’ve never really been clear about why he did it - a common theme, I’ve discovered - but one reason I’ve heard was the Depression. Supposedly he’d lost some money, but I don’t know for sure.

All I know is, my grandfather went down to the basement of the post office and blew his brains out, and that was basically the end of my mother’s family. The relatives urged my grandmother to put her five kids into an orphanage. She kept things together by giving piano lessons in return for food.

Another caller, “Judy,” addressed her remarks to “Carol.”

“You’re not alone,” she said. “The economy has affected a lot of us. Suicide, if you’re thinking about it, is final. It’s not a final solution, Carol, but it is final.”

I hope “Carol” was still listening. She deserves better. So do her daughters.

Listen to the audio of “Carol’s” phone call at the
Herald’s site.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1150342


4 posted on 02/06/2009 12:02:59 AM PST by raccoonradio
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