Rebuttal #atozchallenge


I think TV stations have gotten out of the practice of stating the opinions of station managers as more TV stations are being run remotely by out-of-state companies and are no longer as much a part of the communities they serve. At one time, stations would choose an issue each week, come up with a position on it, write an editorial and present it at various times throughout the week. Here’s an 1973 editorial from WMAQ-TV in Chicago urging people to put pressure on the Butcher’s Union, who had written into their contract with grocery store chains that meat would not be sold unless a butcher was present, which was from 9 to 6 Monday through Saturday.

That bit at the end about welcoming the opportunity to “present significant opposing viewpoints” was a solicitation for a rebuttal, in this case giving the heads of the Butcher’s Union an opportunity to explain why not selling meat after 6 PM or on Sunday was vital to the rank and file of the union. To make their case, they picked someone who could say “kiss my rump roast” without actually saying it.

I was on the debate team when I was a freshman in high school. In high school, debates matched two teams of two students each, one of which would argue for the year’s proposition (the year I was doing it, it was whether or not the US should start the EPA, a moot issue because President Nixon had created it several months before) and the other against it. These teams were called the Affirmative and the Negative. Each member of each team would have ten minutes to state their case, one kid from the Affirmative side and one from the Negative, then the other kid from each team. Then each team was given five minutes for rebuttal, to try and rip apart the other team’s arguments. This time, the Negative went first, then the Affirmative. I think my partner and I argued more with each other than with the kids we were debating. Needless to say, we didn’t do so well, and I quit the team before the last tournament, much to the chagrin of the debate coach (but the delight of my partner), who was also my Theology teacher. Let’s just say my grade in Theology fell off significantly that quarter.

At least I didn’t get thrown off like Ron White did. Warning: very strong language ahead! NSFW! Send the kids out of the room!

19 thoughts on “Rebuttal #atozchallenge

  1. I wish I were reading from somewhere I could watch the videos, these look interesting, but sadly I’ll just have to infer the details. When you began with the editorial idea, I thought you were going to address the <a href=”>Sinclair Media story, which of course is not a true ‘rebuttal’ though I wonder if they’d consider it that… anyway, great really thought provoking piece, well done (sorry I’m late).
    Jamie Lyn Weigt | Theme: Odds and Ends Dragons | Writing Dragons


  2. Tater salad! Love him. I never was on the debate team, though people have told me I like to argue (only when I know I’m right, which, contrary to their popular opinion, is not always. 🙂 )


  3. Debate was never one of my fun subjects. Hated to get in front of people. Can’t even remember any debates from school come to think of it. We’ve seen Ron White a couple of times. He definitely has a way with words.


  4. I loved debate in high school. I wonder if we shouldn’t require it in lieu of speech. Everyone needs to know how to have a civil discussion on opposing views.
    That’s interesting about the meat. There are so few butchers here now. There used to be one right down the road. Man, I miss that place. Now I have to drive 30 minutes if I want something specific and fresh. 9-6 wouldn’t work for me, either. I could only buy meat on the weekend!


    1. More and more, “civil discussion” is an oxymoron.

      Actual butchers are a rarity anymore. The supermarkets package everything in one location and ship it out to stores, and the people who work in the meat departments actually do little meat-cutting anymore. When I was a kid, our regular grocery store was owned by a guy in the neighborhood, and half of it was a butcher shop where they did all the meat-cutting inhouse, while you watched. You don’t see that now.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I wish debates would actually be calm and allow the person to give a rebuttal but normally people digress into overtalking, becoming loud, sweating and just obnoxious.


  6. It’s starting to seem like TV “news” has turned into a never-ending series of attacks and rebuttals and sometimes it’s hard to know which is which.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


  7. Recently had lunch with New Trier classmate Lew Witz, whose father managed Chicago AM rock radio station WCFL during the late 1960s and 1970s. Lew was a DJ at Albuquerque’s KOB for awhile before he saw the writing on the wall – centrally-run, satellite-controlled stations with no personality and pre-programmed content – and got out.

    No one would even think of covering community editorials on radio anymore. The best of that coverage comes from letters to the editor in local newspapers, the only thing saving the Albuquerque Journal from being solely a characterless re-parroting of AP wire stories. There’s very little personality anywhere in the media these days, unless you’re listening to a syndicated shock-jock style broadcaster (thank you, Larry Lujack, for starting all of that). Lujack was hired at WCFL by Lew’s father in the 1960s.


    1. I knew Lew very well. How is he? Next time you see him, tell him I said hi. He and I made contact a few years ago (over twenty, I think) and sort of drifted apart again.

      The best radio these days, I’m convinced, is on the Internet. Maybe local podcasts will revive the notion of community radio and the personality-driven radio we grew up with. Then again, maybe not.

      Liked by 1 person

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