In an open letter to Sirius/XM, Jay Coulter today on the Track ‘Em Tigers web blog pleaded with the satellite giant to remove radio host Paul Finebaum from its rotation.
While the sentiments expressed in Coulter’s post are understandable, his call to action will bear no fruit and may only serve to strengthen Finebaum’s position with the satellite network.
The radio host immediately went to his twitter account where he fired off a blast claiming “Auburn Nation calls for Sirius/XM to dump Finebaum.”
Wrong on several accounts. First, there is no Auburn Nation. Our family leaves the nation building to others. We believe family ties will outlive any nation. But that’s really semantics.
We also strongly disagree with Finebaum’s characterization of Coulter as speaking for the entire fanbase. Coulter’s opinion is his and his alone. His call to action is one the Never to Yield Foundation — a growing voice for Auburn family and friends — does not endorse.
To claim that Coulter, or any other entity (including this one) speaks for all Auburn fans is disingenuous.
The Never to Yield Foundation has certainly been critical of Finebaum, offering pointed displeasure over a rumor and innuendo filled screed masquerading as a lecture to a business class at Birmingham Southern.
On Saturday, the Foundation again took Finebaum to task for his Thursday and Friday pandering to Glennon Threatt, attorney for accused Toomer’s tree poisoner Harvey Updyke.
The Threatt/Updyke interview is the same issue which led Coulter to write his blog calling on Sirius/XM to remove Finebaum.
We understand Coulter’s frustration. We even agree that the Finebaum Show occasionally has the undesirable effect of casting the state of Alabama and by extension the entire South in the worst possible national light.
Where we disagree, however, is in the method of response advocated by Coulter.
Finebaum does have a pervasive national media presence. For better or worse, he provides a platform from which the voice of Alabama, Auburn and SEC fans can be heard.
Rather than issue futile and grandstanding calls for his ouster, the rational elements of both fanbases (Alabama and Auburn alike) would be better served to use whatever venues are available to prevail on Finebaum to scale back the rhetoric.
Finebaum built a sizeable audience and gained a national voice by stoking the fires of controversy. It’s what makes him among the best at what he does, and his talent for igniting passions is the very reason Sirius/XM added him to their lineup.
Paul Finebaum is no fool. He almost always knows where the line is and he is careful not to cross it. He has no qualms about skating right up to the edge and staring off into the precipice, but Finebaum typically pulls himself and his listeners back at the last minute.
There’s no harm in pointing out instances where you may think Finebaum has stepped over that imaginary line, as the Foundation did on Saturday. There’s nothing to stop any individual or group from asking Finebaum to alter his tone or present another side to an issue. There’s certainly nothing preventing anyone from changing the station as many Auburn and Alabama fans have done over the years.
Those are all viable options with a reasonable chance at affecting change.
You have to pick your battles. The Never to Yield Foundation believes tilting at the Sirius/XM windmill with a paper lance isn’t one of them.