In retrospect, one has to wonder if Jeff "Mr. Stupefaction" Wagner's gallant defense of Jessica McBride wasn't aimed at her paymasters as they struggled to figure out why WTMJ was sullying its reputation by employing La McBride.
Before Jeff "Let's talk more about American Idol" Wagner's defense of a fired talker goes down the memory hole, the Brawler posts it in its entirety:
MONDAY, May 14, 2007, 5:55 p.m.
It seems that my colleague Jessica McBride has attracted her very own cyber-stalker. It would probably be somewhat flattering if it wasn't so - well - downright creepy.
Jessica's Rupert Pumpkin (uh, Jeff or Amber, whoever wrote this: It's Rupert Pupkin -- The Brawler) has created a blog that offers, on an almost daily basis, an unrelentingly hostile critique of all things Jessica. To do this, it appears the stalker listens to all her shows and scours other media outlets looking for any references to Jessica and her family. Talk about God's way of telling you that you need to get a life.
Frankly, I've never really understood the obsession that some people have with radio talk show hosts that they dislike. I mean, if I don't care for a particular show, I simply don't listen.
For a variety of reasons however, the kook fringe seems especially obsessed with Jessica.
First, a lot of her critics are undoubtedly insanely jealous of her. She gets paid to teach journalism, write and host a radio show - and they don't.
Second, I think there is a huge element of sexism in the attacks on Jessica. My guess is that listening to her radio program is the closest that a lot of her critics ever come to having a woman other than their mothers (at least one that isn't inflatable) in their homes during the evening. In other words, they are unfamiliar around and don't deal well with women. (The Brawler suggests Crawford's Take might take exception to this characterization -- The Brawler.)
Finally, Jessica baits the nut cases in a way that most of us in the business don't - and this unquestionably fuels their fire.
To my way of thinking, this small dark corner of the internet is so tiny that the the mushrooms who thrive there could probably avoid risking carpel tunnel but signing up for AT&T's "five friends" plan instead of blogging. Nevertheless, what they lack in numbers, they make up for with a crazed sort of intensity - with an emphasis on "crazed". I've personally always thought it was a waste of valuable air time to spend it commenting on the ramblings of so few.
In contrast though, to help pass the time and entertain the evening audience, Jessica chooses to use these fringe elements as props. I presume that the only way her props feel they can fight back is through web sites like the one in question. Whatever.
In any event, Jessica now has her own cyber-stalker. Congratulations Jess, you've hit the big time.
I wouldn't get too excited though. Anybody who has the time and inclination to spend cyber-stalking Jessica McBride (or any radio talk show host for that matter) is probably someone for whom life isn't really working out all that well in the first place.