Scott Raab discusses the Steubenville rape trial – WFNY Podcast – 2013-03-18

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WFNY Podcast LogoUsually I like to post about all the bullet points and things that we talked about, but it seems kind of weird to try and do that with a topic like this.

I will say that I was really happy Scott Raab was available to discuss this topic. I had a feeling that he would have some interesting takes on it that were different than the way it is being covered other places. We ended up talking about the case, specifically the criminals, the victim, the culture, the public reaction to this case and the press coverage.

Not a typical podcast, but I think I can safely call it a good conversation about a very difficult topic. Enjoy.


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  • Vindictive_Pat

    I had a hard time figuring out what points Craig and Scott Raab were making. It sounded maybe like they thought the reaction to the crimes is a little overblown because you also need to consider the world in which they were living and the nature of not just the town, but of high school football culture? If I’m understanding correctly, I don’t believe that, but there are many who might also believe that. I think that whatever you give for the nature of high school football players, you take away for the posting of their crimes and the antagonizing and mocking that was done on social media. You must also recognize how much larger a person’s social reputation matters in high school and how they are characterized on the internet weighs so much more heavily. If somebody accuses me or my wife of being promiscuous on Facebook, it gets laughed off as a joke or at worst, uncomfortably ignored. If it happens to a high school kid, it is immediately accepted as truth and it plagues that kid for the rest of their time in high school. I feel bad for these boys because they are about to go through an extreme hardship. I don’t feel bad for their punishment, nor do I feel like they are taking the whipping for a much larger group of people who are not being punished. They are taking just punishment… it’s the others who are not, and it makes me sad that they are getting away with it. The reaction shouldn’t be, “If this happens so often, it can’t be quite as horribly evil that it’s being made out to be.” The reaction should be, “I’m disgusted by how much evil there is in this world, and I want to weed out more of it.”

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I don’t feel bad for those boys period!

  • Harv 21

    This was great, Craig. Raab may be a wind-up-and-go guest but you interact with him so well and produced a thoughtful conversation, rather than just giving him a silent soapbox.

    As self-serving as his complaint is that Cleve radio doesn’t take advantage of him, he’s right. The best local radio guys are tired hacks, and most of the rest are the standard controversy-inventing shtick guys who transparently chase low-brow listeners in the blowhard, know-it-all voice inflection. Raab would be a breathe of fresh air: genuinely smart, thoughtful and brave rather than provocative shouting for it’s own sake.

  • Steve

    Raab being smarter than the local radio guys isn’t much of a compliment, not that the former deserves one. That provocative shouting for it’s own sake is exactly how Raab found his way into the Cleveland sports media. As it’s become clear that he doesn’t actually bring anything new to the table (he’s passionate as hell, but he’s no smarter than anyone else talking sports in the media in Cleveland) he’s faded back out of the spotlight.

  • Harv 21

    completely disagree with your subjective assessment of Raab’s talent. Objectively, that’s not at all why Raab was ever “into” or now “out of” Cleveland sports media. He’s a nationally known and acclaimed writer on many subjects, and hasn’t lived here for decades. He was only in the local sports media while promoting his book about LeBron a few years ago.

  • Steve

    I know who Raab is, and there’s a reason no one gave a crap about his opinions on Cleveland sports until he became a blowhard in order to sell a book.

    I do think he’s a pretty talented writer, but that’s not evidence that he knows any more than the talking heads already in town. He screamed and banged the table longer than anyone else about Lebron, but when he finally wore himself out, it became evident that he was simply a blowhard, know-it-all like those you complain about.

  • Thomas Pestak

    Craig – oft-ignored fact. The “George Bush Missions Accomplished” thing deserves context it never gets. In the speech, Bush said: [quote] Our Mission Continues [unquote]. The banner was for the “mission” of the USS Abraham Lincoln. I know it looks bad – and I know that he did say “major combat operations blah blah” and that turned out to be false when major combat operations were scaled back up for “the surge”. In the military – everything from missile defense to stapling reports is considered “a mission”. It’s a term throw around every day in the DOD, not exclusively for “The Death Star has been destroyed – Mission Accomplished”.

    Very interesting and entertaining podcast. I really like Raab but I’m not really sure what he meant when he said: “we live in a black and white world” and then went on to explain how political correctness makes it impossible to say anything decisive. I would argue the opposite – we live in a contrarian world of nuance and political correctness that makes it impossible to say: “put a bullet in TJ Lane’s head and save us all the trouble.” Right now go watch all the people defending him as “insane” and “troubled” and all that.

    Here’s a question. Can’t we speak away ever evil act as just be a poor old somebody that’s mentally disturbed?

    Lots of things in the world are gray. There is lots of “nuance” (and we are wearing out that word). Some things aren’t.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking entertainment.