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LAST WORD ON NEAL "Shoot those leftist bastards dead" BOORTZ ABUSING A DISABLED 9-YEAR-OLD [View All]

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civildisoBDence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-14-08 08:21 PM
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LAST WORD ON NEAL "Shoot those leftist bastards dead" BOORTZ ABUSING A DISABLED 9-YEAR-OLD
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Edited on Fri Mar-14-08 08:24 PM by civildisoBDence
Today on the Neal Boortz Show, Boortz said this about peace protesters picketing a Pittsburgh army recruiting station: any military personnel at the station should

"shoot those leftist bastards dead."



That was only the second most appalling thing Boortz has said this week. Please read the following and forward it liberally to anyone you know who has, or cares about, disabled children...or anyone with a conscience. You won't believe what Boortz did to a multiply-disabled nine-year-old child, Jordan Welch, and his father, Gordon.


Over the last eight days, this blog has posted four stories concerning the belittling of a disabled nine-year-old boy by Neal Boortz of WSB 750 AM in Atlanta. It defies logic and decency that one of the most storied broadcast stations in the South would follow such a course; surely financial gain doesn't justify causing harm to any child, much less a disabled one.

Jordan Welch of Lula, Georgia never asked to become the target of a bully like Neal Boortz. But last week, several large pieces of ice, probably from a passing airliner, crashed through the roof of Welch's Tire Ship. Reporters converged on the scene, and one recorded little Jordan's childlike reaction to the incident:

"Satellite things up in the sky, I thought one of them done fell down in the roof."

Jordan's father, Gordon Welch, was also recorded.

On Friday, March 7, at approximately 10:30 am, Mr. Boortz replayed the audio of Mr. Welch and began mocking the tire shop owner's speech patterns. Lula is at the southern fringe of Appalachia, and Mr. Welch speaks in a distinct (and, I think, beautiful) Appalachian dialect. This kind of mockery is the stock in trade of Mr. Boortz, who promotes his show as "Insensitivity Training." (More on sensitivity training later...)

Then Mr. Boortz played audio of Jordan, who not only speaks in his family's dialect, but also has some cognitive challenges that manifest in his speech patterns. Boortz proceeded to mock and ridicule the boy's speech, to demean his intelligence, and to question his future prospects. It may be unlikely that Jordan will achieve the kind of succes that Boortz has achieved---four million listeners to his syndicated radio program, several very successful books, numerous television appearances, and lucrative speaking engagements---but the child certainly has his own shot at achieving the American Dream.

Boortz continued demeaning the child for over an hour, replaying the tape again and again as he obviously took pleasure in what amounts to public child abuse. Some samples: Boortz said Jordan "sounds as dumb as a stump" and would probably wind up "changing tires" or "farming worms." Boortz also accused Gordon Welch of "child abuse" based solely on the boy's speech patterns. On his website, Boortz asked his listeners this question:

"Is Neal being too hard on that 10-year-old boy from North Georgia with the thick accent?" One of the statements respondents could choose from: "mah diddy sez neil's bein ignert."

On Tuesday, March 11, I heard Boortz again ridiculing Jordan Welch, whom he had now dubbed "Little Buford" the "future worm farmer." No child deserves such treatment, not on a playground or in a home, much less on national radio. I contacted Gordon Welch and asked him if Jordan was aware of what was being done to him. Mr. Welch said,

"It's really disturbing him...he's really, really sad about it." Like any concerned father, Mr. Welch also had a message for Mr. Boortz: "We just want him to leave us alone."

With a huge local following (Lula is less than an hour north of Atlanta,) it was inevitable that Boortz's abuse would come to the attention of the Welches. In fact, according to Mr. Welch, people had been coming into the family business and talking about it, leaving Jordan traumatized and depressed. I posted both Mr. Welch's statements and the fact that Jordan was suffering on this blog and also emailed the Boortz show to inform them that Jordan has, among other problems, ADHD. Their response that evening:

"Horseshit. There is no such thing as ADD or ADHD."

I replied in protest, asking, "And that justifies harming a nine-year-old child (not ten) named Jordan (not Buford)?" Based on subsequent comments made on air, and on search engine results, I believe that by this time, Boortz and/or his staff had been reading my posts, including the one quoting Mr. Welch on Jordan's being traumatized. Their response to me that same evening:

"Oh yeah! We're sitting here just shaking in our boots! Bid bad Preston is going to really show us who's boss here! Are we in trouble now! I guess we had better all get our affairs in order because soon we aren't going to have jobs! Oh, the humanity!"

The irony of these people invoking "humanity" appears to be lost on them.

On Thursday morning, March 13, I heard Boortz insulting me on air. He directly mentioned that I had been "blogging" about him. It defies credulity to think that by this time he was unaware of the fact that Jordan Welch suffers from much more than ADHD. Out of respect for the boy and his family, I've agreed not to specify the boy's disabilities, but rather to use general terms instead. For example, in the "blogging" Boortz refers to, I've mentioned a "learning disability," "severe disabilities" and "a multiply-disabled child."

Nonetheless, Boortz continued his attacks on the Welches, both on air and online, posting this on his web site:

...looks like we've really twisted a few knickers out there with our panning of Lil' Buford's communications skills. You remember Lil' Buford, don't you? The 10-year-old kid who can't speak the English language? Yeah .. that one, the future worm farmer.

In over a quarter of a century of monitoring print and broadcast media, the behavior of Mr. Boortz is by far the most outrageous and despicable I've ever seen. I know for a fact that hundreds of emails had been sent to WSB over the week ending Friday, March 14; Boortz referenced that on air. As of the writing of this post (Friday, March 14, 9:00 pm,) the post quoted above is no longer available on Boortz's web site, Boortz.com. This may be for legal reasons; I certainly hope so.

I firmly believe that the Welch family should file a civil lawsuit against this cowardly, hateful, arrogant man, Neal Boortz, and that WSB should at the least require an on-air apology and a suspension. WSB should also seriously consider making a good-faith offer of compensation to the Welches to avoid the added trauma of a very public and ugly lawsuit. Boortz's colleagues in the radio industry should, and must, come forward to condemn his actions.

I know that James Cox, the founder of WSB's parent company, Cox Communications, would be aghast at what's been done to Jordan and Gordon Welch. I'm also aware that the Atlanta Alliance on Developmental Disabilities is requesting that Boortz and his staff undergo some sensitivity training. People with mental disabilities should never, ever be subjected to the kind of abuse heaped on Jordon Welch, nor should the parents of such people be made to suffer needless abuse like Gordon Welch was. No decent person can disagree with that.

Sincerely,

Dr. Preston Coleman

Newsprism

Note: Everything above and everything in the four posts prior to this one---one on March 7, two (here and here) on March 11, and one on March 13---can be verified using appropriate search engine technologies and WSB's own audio archives. I'd like to make clear that I stand to gain nothing from this unfortunate incident (I've put myself in some jeopardy, legal and otherwise, including being threatened with violence by a Boortz fan and risking my job and professional reputation.) I've acted with the permission and blessing of the Welch family from the very beginning. Finally, at the request of the Welches, this is the last time I'll address the issue unless and until legal action is taken and/or the story breaks into the mainstream media, where it most surely belongs.
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