April 11, 2011

Global TV: Mike Sobel Calls Woman a Dyke While Camera Was Still Rolling.

(So, from what I understand, he decided that a female Facebook viewer who had commented that a female anchor looked "especially gorgeous lately" must be a "dyke".)

Apology: http://www.globaltvedmonton.com/Morning+News+Apology/4596962/story.html

This is how YOU all found my blog post. I didn't push this issue on you. Please remember this.



Ron said...

Big deal! Move on. This isn't Jr. High!The world is way too uptight. Sticks and stones. R.Eger

Bee said...

Move on? Ron, I posted this 10 minutes ago.
I'm not protesting to have the dude fired.

Anonymous said...

Imagine that the slur was "nigger" and maybe this would be importna t enough for people to take a bit more seriously. I am a lesbian and certainly do not appreciate having to hear that on my news channel first thing in the morning. Besides, it is not that he said it that really gets me, but that when I watch him on the news now I will know tat he is the type of man to hold such values.

It is pretty disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit. What an idiot.

Anonymous said...

like nobody else in the world has said something they regret! OMG the world's going to end!

Bee said...

I don't think people understand the implications of this from a major media outlet stand point.
Sure, the world won't end, but his career might.

You may not agree with people's sensitivities, but people who are in the public eye sign contracts to ensure they do not use disparaging language like nigger, wetback, faggot, dyke, wop, kike... etc.
This may have a huge impact on Global's sponsors, viewership, and ultimately, Sobel's future with the company.

So, yes... I found it important enough to write a blog entry about it.

Anonymous said...

Blah blah...such a minor gaff with a technician leaving his mike on while they were off-air.

C'mon, be reasonable people.

Anonymous said...

Who gives a shit, Mike Sobel has been the man since Darkwing duck. He makes global mornings and hes not going anywhere. buzzzzzz off.

Bee said...

It is pretty cut and dry. He used a derogatory term live on the air. He WILL be repremanded.

That may result in him getting fired, as many news anchors have been fired before him for doing similar things.

We could argue all day about whether or not lesbians "should" take offense to the term "dyke" (we haven't even decided if and when white people can use "the N word").

But, come next Monday, our beloved Mike "Disney Afternoon" Sobel could be out of a job.

Bob said...

Everyone says things they regret, but the more you're in the public eye, the more accountable you are. After all, the media (for which Sobel is a member) operates on this premise.

Ezzie said...

Well shit.

I typed this really long, thoughtful response and blogspot ate it.

In summary (not as well-written):

1. We all say shit from time to time, including racist and/or offensive stuff.

2. Public figures, whether they're goofing around or being serious, should always treat microphones as if they are ON. Don't you learn this the first day in journalism school? They should have a "Treating Microphones As If They're On 101" and the final includes walking around "turned-off" microphones while provocative stuff happens in front of you.

3. I would be shocked if Sobel doesn't get at least a reprimand. It's smart legally and I would argue required ethically. But I hope he doesn't get fired, because it's tricky to judge a person's character and career from one comment, however offensive. (I seem to recall saying something regarding a "Down's haircut" during Negative Facebook Status Month that would definitely have gotten me fired from ANYWHERE had I said it into a microphone.)

4. Official apologies that use official language to sound official always wind up sounding officially insincere.

5. Blogspot sucks.

Ezzie said...

Oh, and an addendum (official!):

I also think that, while I can't judge Sobel's character or ability to be a TV person from one comment, Global is in a position to judge. They have to. If they truly believe they are impartial and responsible to the viewers, they must conduct an investigation. If Sobel was trying to be funny, or there was some kind of running joke or dare or something going on, that's one thing. If his off-camera conduct reveals a person who cannot report impartially on, say, gay issues or women's issues, or who does not consider himself responsible to all viewers, it's Global's responsibility to sort that out. I will write a letter!

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

Has the woman come forward to tell the world that Mike was wrong?

Was there some other conclusion he was supposed to draw?

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

Besides the semi-obvious fact that Mike has yet to be proven -- what's that quaint old word -- wrong, it's clear from the tape that he was answering a question from the guy off-mic.

Bee said...

When you say "wrong", do you mean has the woman been "proven" to be a homosexual? Because that is not really the issue.

The issue is not whether or not Sobel was correct in his declaration of her sexual preference (though, I am not sure that kind of discussion would be acceptable in any workplace, let alone one with recording equipment); the issue is that he used a defamatory slur and it was caught on tape.

In any workplace, even without microphones, would it be okay to call someone a "nigger" because they were part black? Would it be justified to call a man a faggot because it could not be proven wrong? What about calling someone's child a "retard" because he was mentally challenged? I'm not WRONG when I make a statement like that, so therefore it should be excused?

Like I have mentioned previously, we could all get into a huge discussion about where we should draw the lines in society regarding sensitivity to those in the workplace, but as it stands now, Global has a responsibility to all of it's employees and their viewers that people do not have to be a part of disparaging comments about their race, sex, gender, or sexual preference. This is basic labour standards.

He was caught being inappropriate. Yes, it could happen to anyone. And if you were overheard by a large group of clients or customers saying that a coworker was a faggot or a wetback or a hoe, you would probably also be reprimanded.

I don't believe anyone here is advocating his termination, but to allow the behaviour to slide because his assumption of her sexual activities is not yet proven wrong is completely missing the point.

Lisa said...

absolutely hilarious. i love real life. its way better than normal tv. i dont think he meant to offend anyone, people, forgive and forget.

Anonymous said...

I notice that some of you have no worrys about posting ofensive language about others genders or color for the whole world to see but find Mikes comments offensive..isn`t that calling the kettle black???

Bee said...

If you are referring to my using defamatory language, it was clearly meant in an illustrative sense.
And the pot, in this case, is not representing a company whose anchor labelled a specific person & their minority group a "dyke" with an audience of 500,000+.

No one here was calling any particular person anything, or encouraging the use of such language. In fact, my use was to illustrate why it is important that people in such public positions such as a journalist or politician or news anchor at a prominent media company need to pay close attention to what they are expressing, microphone or no microphone.

I don't know if people understand that "dyke" is not just another word for lesbian. It is a slur.

Just as you have "overheard" some crass language here, regardless of the intent when using it, others around Sobel overheard him and could have been as offended by it, as you were.

If the terms used here are offensive, I apologize, but to pretend they don't exist is to perpetuate the view that this issue of sensitivity in the workplace doesn't exist either.

Sometimes you have to talk about something with a bit of blunt honesty to help people realize that, while it may not hit close to YOUR home, it hits close to someone's home. And we are all in this together. Let's try to make it as inclusive as possible.

This is not the biggest blunder an anchor has made nor do I believe he meant it offensively. I have heard worse at family reunions. But my only point here, because I have attempted to steer clear of the more political side of this, is that he must be reprimanded, and Global has said as much calling his outburst "accidental, but not acceptable".
That being agreed upon (I hope), it is wait and see time as to how Global will choose to handle this.

In the meantime, an sincere apology to the LGBT community might be a nice start for Sobel in reclaiming his seat as our respectable weather man.

Anonymous said...

I agree.

I am sure Global will take into consideration that it was accidental, but there can not be a precedence set that if you feign ignorance or make it look like an accident you can say whatever you want.

Pretend that the Global Weather platform was Safeway and there were a bunch of people around and the store manager came out and said "Hey! That girl looks like a dyke!". They would get suspended.

He has to take his hits with this one. It is unfortunate that his character may not recover, even if his career does.

Anonymous said...

Dyke or dike may refer to:

Dyke (construction) or levee, a natural or artificial slope or wall to regulate water levels
A ditch, a water filled drainage trench
A regional term for a dry stone wall
Dike (geology), a subvertical sheet-like intrusion of magma or sediment
Dikes, diagonal pliers, a hand tool used by electricians and others
Dyking out, a slang term for a uniform or dressing assistant at Virginia Military Institute and other military schools or colleges
Dike (mythology), the Greek goddess of moral justice
99 Dike, an asteroid
D-Yikes!, an episode of South Park
Dyke (slang), a lesbian
Dyke (car), a brass era automobile

Anonymous said...

Some long winded opinions that took some time to write from some of you (mostly those who'd like to see him fired). Mike should go "postal' on global, take revenge on his coworkers and employers, and set precedent for the next time someone wants to trump an individuals life over political correctness. He does have a family and did host the Disney hour almost 20 years ago, so all of a sudden his livelihood should be ruined because some "dykes" might take offence to a word? As an individual, he should be infuriated.

Anonymous said...

Acountable but not crucified.

Christina Anne said...

So i google "mike sobel comment" and guess what pops up, my little Bee in her war between.

Anonymous said...

Ok the guy made a mistake. Can we let it slide and quit bitching about it so life can move on? Are we not supposed to be forgiving? The guy was stupid for a second and apologised, he's human, let it go. He's got a family let's not hang the man for something so little.

Bee said...

I don't believe anyone here said he should be fired. In fact, anyone who weighed in said the exact opposite.

For your TL;DR version (if "long winded" discussion isn't your style), I believe most recent anonymous said it most succinctly:

"Accountable but not crucified."

Bee said...

And, perhaps let's not condone or encourage Mike Sobel getting revenge on his co-workers % peers and murdering people because Global noticed and took reasonable action for his misconduct.

If we all did that every time our employer gave us shit for something we didn't think was that big a deal, our population would be culled in no time.

Bee said...



Anonymous said...

So, Mike Sobel could have been calling a woman a levee?
That sounds about right.

The next time my kid beats your kid on the playground, I'll make sure to tell him to call him a cigarette.

Because we are going to abandon common sense now.

Trev said...

Anonymous (the one right above this comment) Bee was not trying to say that at all she was merely supplying the definitions and providing facts so people could make logical and informed comments/conclusions. A fact that you missed

michelle said...

Big deal. We have all said something pollitacally incorrect from time to time. His mike should have been off, so it's not his fault. He can state his own opinions when he wants when his mike should be off. It may not be the nicest of comments, but noone should have heard it.

Anonymous said...

If Global is going to fire Mike Sobel it should look at a few of their other news casters. Some may not say it but their posturing and expressions say similar things on air

Bee said...

I fear my point may have missed completely, either intentionally or incidentally.

So, in an effort to be less controversial, I would just like to state for the record that I like fruit that is in season.


Anonymous said...

Honestly let it go! Mike sobel is the best weatherman they have. Everyone has said a comment offensive to others at one point in their life. Global will lose a lot of viewers if they fire him.

shirley said...

Mike 'makes my day' on a regular basis some of the things he says make me laugh out loud...with nobody else in the room. Obviously we don't 'know' the people who show up in our homes thru the TV screen, but from my interpretation he is a great person. I think this is blown way out of proportion. He didn't say it in describing a group of people or intentionally to degrade anyone. He thought he was having a conversation with a co worker/friend. Don't we all say things that we would never say in public, but would say quietly to a friend??? The majority of us aren't hooked up to a microphone ! So get on with your day, kids and think of all the enjoyable times we've had with Mike...and if you have to gripe about something Google Charlie Sheen...now there's a nut case.

Anonymous said...

So, because his mic was off, he didn't say anything insensitive?

So, if someone overhears me calling someone a cunt, I can defend myself by saying I didn't intend for anyone to hear me?

Plus, he was talking to someone when he said that. He may not have been intending the public to hear him, but he assumed someone would.
Otherwise, why did he even say it at all?

I am not understanding how you guys aren't hearing what Bee is saying. She hasn't said he should be fired or that reign of fire should befall him. She is explaining why Global will have to reprimand Sobel. In a pretty dignified and diplomatic way.
If you aren't getting it, I fear you don't want to. Nothing is confusing here.

Besides, when she posted it, she posted it without any personal comments. It is like you guys don't even want the story told or his blunder exposed. The first comment told her to drop it and it had just come to light.

Quick! Nothing to see here! Sweep it under the rug!

Anonymous said...

Sobel isn't on this morning, so clearly Global believes that he deserves to be reprimanded in some way.

Which is the reasonable course of action for a company to take when a slur is uttered under their roof, let alone with a mic on. (It is not his "fault" because someone else didn't cut his mic? Jesus, people.)

Bee said...

It would be great if Mike Sobel could somehow get access to these supportive comments.
No doubt he is in need of some support and absolution right now.

Perhaps I will make a copy of all of them and send it in to Global...

Anonymous said...

I don't support Mike's words.
But we need to be more open to comments!!?? Do our feelings get hurt that easily? There are bigger things in the world today that upset me. Children starving, people afraid to leave their homes because of gun shots, weather relate distruction and "OH MY God". Big bad religious people and their petty world of rightousness!!!