Chad Dukes is Off the No-Listen List: Everyone Makes Mistakes

Posted: July 14, 2011 in Fandom, Journalism
Tags: , , , , ,

Hick

Who did he think I was? Bobby Ray Bodean from the Greaseman Show?

Early this morning, I had a run-in via Facebook with Chad Dukes. The details can be found here, in which I suggest Chad seek counseling. Since then, Chad has apologized to me via email and via my @RobertEBodine Twitter account, and unblocked this Twitter account (@MMADork). EDIT: MMADork is still blocked as of 1:00am, 7/15/2011. His claim is that he had me confused with someone else who’s been giving him hell for some time now, acting as an Internet troll. Accordingly, from his perspective, my otherwise innocuous post was the last straw. The fact that it was four in the morning probably contributed to the strength of his words.

Should I Believe Him?

This post from someone else’s Twitter stream gives me pause. It shows that Chad wasn’t convinced by my logic, which further suggests that his employer, also mentioned in my Twitter post, read it and was convinced by my logic and made him apologize. On the other hand, he could have been playing to his rabid fan base, which is understandable, or his fan could have retweeted him out of context. I can’t confirm the former because I haven’t been in contact with 106.7 The Fan, and I can’t confirm the latter because Chad has deleted his original tweet from his Twitter stream.

Regardless where the truth lies, the answer to my question is yes for a few reasons. First, everyone makes mistakes. You absolutely have to give everyone one free pass unless they’ve committed murder or something extreme like that. Besides, if he isn’t sincere, that will come out fairly quickly, as he’s bound to do the same thing to other people. Until I see that, I chalk this up to an error.

The second reason is that I actually met him once. He showed up to bar where I regularly watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which is Bailey’s in Ballston Mall (try the French Dip!). He was there with a couple of Washington Capitals. I tweeted that I thought it was him that I saw walking by, and he invited me over to say hello. He didn’t have to do that. When I came over, he invited me to join them for the night. He didn’t have to do that either. I couldn’t join him because our group organizer was out of town, and I agreed to organize our group that night, but the invitation was made, and that showed some class. This one Facebook incident seems out of place with the way the guy actually carries himself.

The third reason is that, when I met him, ironically, I asked him to pass on an apology to Lavar Arrington for me. About two weeks prior, Lavar had done something I didn’t like on the air. I responded via Twitter (can’t find my tweet for linking) by letting him know what I thought of it, and in hindsight, I thought I had gone too far. Chad told me that Lavar was used to that sort of thing so it didn’t matter, but it mattered to me. I hate Internet trolls. I hate people who talk a big game on the Internet, cowardly hiding behind the anonymity it provides. While expressing disagreement is okay, there’s a line you shouldn’t cross, and I felt I crossed it. I don’t know if Chad every passed on my apology, because – let’s face it – I’m not on Lavar’s radar scope, but if he did, I would have expected Lavar to accept my apology (especially because he started it). 🙂 So, who am I to take a single bad incident and from that form an opinion about someone I don’t even know.

But Rob, I Really Hate the Guy!

Really? Do you? Have you ever met him? I don’t claim to know the guy very well from a single 5-minute conversation, but can you claim to know him if your sole interaction with him is via the Internet or his radio show? There is often a huge difference between a public figure’s professional persona and his personal one. Yeah, he could be a dick, but you don’t know that, and I currently have no reason to believe he is based on everything I’ve personally experienced. That doesn’t mean you’re wrong, per se. If you don’t like his professional persona, that’s your business, and if he feels the need to change it, he will. I’m just telling you not to go overboard and hate someone you don’t even know.

The Lesson

So, why not just take down my post and delete everything from Facebook and Twitter? Because there are a few important lessons to be learned here by Chad, you, and me, some of which I haven’t discussed above but apply nonetheless.

  1. If you hate someone’s professional persona, that’s not a good reason to hate them personally. The two could be completely different entities.
  2. If you’re a public figure, you’re on the Internet, and what posts on the Internet stays on the Internet . . . forever.
  3. Right and wrong is often less important than image. That’s and unfortunate reality, but reality nonetheless.
  4. If you’re faced with an Internet troll, don’t look for the last word. Just block him and go on with your life. None of this is personal if the person doesn’t know you personally. In fact, as I was discussing with my friend, Lee, last week, if the troll continues to bad mouth you when you’re not responding, the troll is the one who looks bad. Only when you respond can you accidentally say something that validates their view (in whole or in part). Let it go.
  5. I am not a shrink.

Maybe there’s some more you can learn from this. I’ll leave that to you.

Conclusion

To be absolutely clear, Chad is 100% off my bad-guy list. He made a mistake, and he owned up to it personally and publically. If I didn’t accept his apology, I’d be the dick. Same goes for you.

As always, form your own opinions.

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork
Follow 106.7 the Fan on Twitter @1067thefandc
Follow Chad Dukes on Twitter @ChadDukes unless you’re an unforgiving jerk

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