Thursday, July 08, 2010

With friends like these ...

Having been in the media here for the past decade, it's not all that unusual that my name pops up on the internet. As such I have a Google Alert sent to my phone daily with any new occurrences of "Scott Leffler."

Monday morning, I was excited to see a new hit from the local newspaper, the Niagara Falls Reporter. It was buried in the body of a guest view written by my friend Jim Hufnagel. Jim had been a guest on Dialog on a number of occasions and although we disagreed on some things, we agreed on others.

Jim's guest view was talking about the Greenway Commission, a topic that makes my eyes gloss over every time, which, Jim notes:
Around the same time, I called Scott Leffler, host of Dialog on WLVL-AM Lockport, about doing a Greenway show a week before the critical meeting at the Niagara Falls Conference Center. I had been on Leffler's show no fewer than six times earlier during his tenure, when he seemed genuinely interested in having guests with alternative and provocative points of view.

I pleaded with him.

"Scott, we're talking about how $7 million will be spent, every year for the next 50 years!"

"Boring!" was his response.

Scott might have lasted as a talk show host if he had had more of what it takes: talent, insight, maturity and a working knowledge of politics.
It was the last line that really caught my eye. It was the type of thing that I'd want on the sleeve of my book if I were to ever write a book. "Scott might have lasted as a talk show host if he had had more of what it takes: talent, insight, maturity and a working knowledge of politics."

Ouch. And yet, I loved it. Much better than any flowery eulogy could be.

So, I wrote my friend Jim to basically tell him I had seen the guest view and harbored no ill will. Politics is politics and if I got mad at everyone who had disagreed with me publicly, I wouldn't have any friends at all.

Nice diss in tomorrow's reporter.

I still love you, you jerk!

- Scott

Simple. To the point. Olive branch extended.

Apparently, my friend Jim is allergic to olives ... and/or their branches. Cause this is the response I got:

Publicly accusing someone of genocide is a "diss". Publicly accusing someone of murder is a "diss".

These words came from a fellow founder of your political party here in Niagara County. You did nothing to moderate, distance or disabuse yourself of his publicly stated views.

I have had friends harassed and even killed, and myself attacked, in no small measure because you, members of your political party, and people of similar "viewpoint", have publicly stated hate speech against a woman's right to choose and people like me who support them.

You still love me? Good luck, because I hate you.

Wow! Not what I expected. At all.

I'm not sure how we went from the Greenway Commission to abortion. And, frankly, I'm not even sure of what he's talking about. Many of you may know, I'm a registered member of the Libertarian Party. And when I lived in Niagara County, I was the chairman of that party. Libertarians have a split view on abortion. Some oppose it. Some support it.

My personal view is that I am opposed to abortion and I will do everything in my power to make sure I'm not responsible for any. But I hardly harass, attack or kill people over my viewpoint. And find it hard to believe that any fellow Libertarian would.

But if "I still love you" got a return of "I hate you," I'm not sure I want to continue to trade emails with my friend ... or should I say "friend?"

Hate mail is fun. But sometimes difficult to figure out.

Keep it comin'.