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The Voice of New Rochelle: Erasing an Accidental Stain

The author is concerned that a line about the vetting of some Republican candidates, in a recent column using satire to lampoon 2011 news stories, may have done unfair harm to the Westchester GOP.

Three quotes have gone through my mind several times since I discovered the uproar that my column of Jan. 4, entitled 2011 Liner Awards, created. First, and somewhat self-serving, is this one from the great talk show host of another time, Barry Farber: “I, sir, am not implying that which you are inferring.”

The other self-serving quote comes from the character Anthony Stabile in the movie Goodfellas: “Tommy no, you got it all wrong.”  

And last, and certainly not least, the old cliché, “Timing is everything.” The latter can be attributed to multitudes.

The offending item was intended to poke fun at the Republican Party of Westchester for some poor vetting of candidates over the past few years. I firmly stand by my opinion of these choices and the humor they evoke. But I sincerely regret that my satirical allusion to the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” used to poke fun at the selection of a man who has been accused of writing anti-Semitic material to run for Congress two years ago, has in anyway created the charge that the GOP in Westchester—or any of its members—is anti-Semitic.

The joke, if you will, is that they did not find out about the candidate’s alleged writings until he was on the ballot. I was making fun of their competence. 

It needs to be said that the party quickly rejected the candidate and took an unequivocal stand on the matter, even as the reported writings themselves, like all such things, would and should fairly be placed in the proper context. Indeed, to be fair to the author, such a review may well have cleared him from the interpretations then being made. Nonetheless, to eliminate all doubt as to where they stood, they acted swiftly and decisively. The game of politics being what it is, though, it can fairly be said they screwed up royally.

Now, coincidentally, as I was making what I thought was a clever lampoon, a recent City Council candidate, Steven Mayo, perhaps through his own poor choice of words following a tough loss at the polls, made a comment focusing on the large number of Jewish voters in the north end that was viewed by some as anti-Semitic. Steven is Jewish himself and, from all I know about him, proudly so.

So here is the problem I have contributed to and wish to nip in the bud now: My mediocre allusion, coming as it did at the same time as Mayo’s post-election venting, seems to have opened an issue among some that is no issue at all; that the Republican Party here in Westchester may have an anti-Semitic vein in its body. 

This is wrong, unfair and an injustice to them. And, I am sorry that I have inadvertently raised this question. In this day and age, even the hint of anti-Semitism can be hard to dispel; so much so that I considered leaving well enough alone and not writing this piece so as not to fan the flames further.

Coming from corporate America, I carry the regret that sincerity is a handicap that costs a person money, promotions and many a good night’s sleep, yet I still believe in it. It is my hope that expressing my feelings in this way will help to set the record straight.      

Billy L January 18, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Interesting how this perception comes about and I have heard it before. I have found, in my experience more anti-semitism from the democrats and the far left as of late than anywhere else. The conservatives and Rupublicans tend to be more pro-Israel. They also tend, especially on the conservative side, to be more religious, and many Christian, who also appreciate people of God, such as the Jewish people.
newrochellesouth January 18, 2012 at 01:51 PM
As the original responder who pointed out your poor attempt at satire which smeared the Westchester Republican Party as anti-semites, I say thank you again for recognizing your error. Not everyone is a stand up person when they make a mistake (see Eugene Robinson when talking about the Santorum family's grieving process), so kudos to you for taking responsibility for your words. Your lucky you said it about Republicans, otherwise you probably would be out of a job.
Aunt Sandy January 18, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I am a regular WVOX listener during the morning commute and very much appreciate your series in the Westchester Guardian. So, in a way, I am a fan of yours. However, as a Republican I am keenly aware that you regularly snidely and arrogantly belittle and insult Republican and Tea Party members, while in the same breath supporting various positions on issues. Thank you for this apology and follow up, but some self-introspection may be in order for you because you are a news man. Are the Republicans and Tea Party supporters as bad as you say? How is that possible? We are the people that listen to you and read your columns. When you insult tea party people or allude that Republicans are anti-Semitic, you are aiming barbs at me.
inman January 18, 2012 at 08:27 PM
If you spent one half the amount of time on your broadcast analyzing the specific ways, and they are many, that Mr. Obama has failed our nation, as you do slamming, ridiculing, belittling, and smearing the members of the Republican party, you might have a show that's quite a bit more honest and interesting. What you obviously don't realize, Bob, is that many of the WVOX listeners happen to be Conservatives and Republicans. I know that just irks you, but nevertheless, it's true. We don't mind a fair fight, but your consistent references to us as "the far-right" and the ridicule you lay, particularly on the women of our party, get's tiresome. If I didn't know better, I'd say you have a serious problem with women in general, from the barrage of caustic remarks you've made on the air about the intelligence of Congresswoman Bachman (who holds two advanced law degrees, and you hold how many, Sir?) and, former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin, whom you've been particularly vicious in denigrating since she arrived on the scene. It's a rare morning when you actually aim your barbs towards the actual deficiency's, so very obvious, in our unfortunate, inexperienced president. Perhaps in the New Year, you could actually consider a new tact: Saying that you just threw the "left" under the bus, because you're for the Second Amendment, just doesn't cut it. Be as specific as you are with the other side of the aisle.
Bob Marrone January 27, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Hi Sandy. Thanks you for your reply. I must say I am introspecting. It's funny, I do not think of myself as arrogant, but obviously it is coming off that way. That is not a way I want to come off, and I am concerned about it. But snide I know I can be in an attempt to make a point., Also, I am very much aware that I have many Republican listeners, which is why I make the distinction about "far right.." I have a strong aversion to meanness, which I . perceive, rightly or wrongly, to dominate extreme politics on the right these days. Now I have to wonder if my response has not grown to shrill in response. Also, to insult Republicans en masse is not fair at all and I will address that. I will give it some serious thought. Thanks again. .
Bob Marrone January 27, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Hi..thank you for your comments particularly about the show. See my above response as well. First, thank you for listening. I would rather digest your concerns and consider my approach than have you not listen. Let me address them in two parts. First, yes Mr. Obama has not done a very good job. Yet,and yes, my reactions to the national debate, which are largely directed a the Republicans on the far right have been harsh, and from what I am reading here, not palatable to some. I need to look at that. I will confess that I have grown increasingly agitated over the propensity of the right to not engage and just accuse. However, I see I may now be guilty of that as well in my reactions. I would prefer dialog.. Next, local Republican issues. I can assure you..and you can ask about among Republicans....they know I will treat them fairly and without malice. I make most of my jokes about the national stage, yet somehow I have manged to let the national satire wash into the local ones in your eyes. To me they are different areas. Anyway, your feedback has given me food for thought. Also, will make a greater effort to separate news from commentary. As for the women thing. Not to worry. I would vote for Condie, Hilllary and many others.. But I cannot back off my opinions of Palin and Bachmann. Men or women, they are not fit in my view for higher office. Oh, and email me with your concerns. It will keep me honest. trx again.

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