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Tailing the Komets

Bob Chase's statement

In today's Journal Gazette, Justin writes about a fan complaining about Bob Chase's use of the term ``A little Jap from behind that time.''

Here's my thought: If Bob had instead used the phrase ``He Al-Qaeda'd him'' no one would have said a word and everyone would have accepted it and understood exactly what he meant.

You need to understand that to Bob's generation, they are the exact same things. The statute of limitations has not run out for his generation who had to fight the Japanese as the result of Pearl Harbor. Some of the things they saw will never be forgiven.

The Journal Gazette proves it in their same edition with this story by Frank Gray.

That story includes the paragraphs: ``For decades, though, the date of the attack was burned into the American memory, just as 9/11 is today. The attack killed thousands, crippled America's Pacific fleet, and took people like Cook, who had joined the Navy at 17 to see the world, and showed them a world of fury and destruction that they could never have imagined.

``Marking the anniversary of the attack is still something that is done every year, and the media, fond of nice round numbers like 70, will probably pay a little more attention than it did, say, last year.

``The anniversary is worth remembering, but as time passes, and as Dec. 7, 1941, becomes more and more distant, fewer and fewer people even remember it.''

Just because it happened 70 years ago doesn't mean it's any less relevant today. The day it is forgotten would be the real tragedy. The people from that generation are totally entitled to their own memories and experiences from their lives, and that's a big one, the same as any Jewish person could naturally have doubts and be wary of those of German descent.

Now, if you want to debate Bob's use of dated terminology or the political correctness of refering to horrific acts to plays during a hockey game, that would be a different issue. Everyone brings their own experiences to their jobs, especially broadcasters. They are allowed and often encouraged to do that.

Posted in: Komets


Tue, 12/06/2011 - 3:16pm

So if my Grandfather was robbed and beaten by a Spaniard in 1936, its okay for me to refer to all Spaniards in a negative light in a public forum? Its ok to use terms like "Boucher made a great stop there, robbed him of a goal like a real Spaniard!"? My life experiences have led me to feel that way....

Treating people of Japanese decent with dignity 70 years later does nothing to negate the tragedy that happened at Pearl Harbor.

Blake Sebring
Tue, 12/06/2011 - 3:21pm

Exactly. I'm not disputing anyone's right to discuss it

I'm pointing out I think it is exactly comparable to people of Bob's generation. To them, 9/11 is the exact same thing as Pearl Harbor.

Now, because of all the things those people fought for, we can choose to disagree about that.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 3:33pm

My father fought in WW11. He is 90 years old now. The word Jap was used everyday during his time. He still says it. I feel nothing negative about what Chase said. That is who they are from so long ago. When I was growing up, the word for black people was Negro or colored people. It was not being disrespectful. It was used by people and the press. We are so darn thin skinned anymore that it makes me sick. Bob, you have done nothing to apologize about. I am honored to have met you and know you fought for all of us so we could be free. I feel the same way about my father and if he says a word that some of you find offensive, so be it. My dad was born in Germany and had to go fight his homeland. He has been called a Kraut and feels proud of it.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 3:51pm

There's a generational disconnect on this issue. I think thats going to be clear to anyone who follows the comments. I'd place the age line @ 45 yrs old or so?

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 4:04pm

I heard that game and was watching it. I swear I thought Bob said jabbed. I am sorry but I just don't understand "Political Correctness" Life is what it is. In my opinion Bob did nothing wrong, period! Let him who is without sin cast the first stone!

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 4:20pm

We need a list of who we can and cannot make fun of. At this point fat people and middle class white men seem to be the only ones who are free game.

I mean really people, who takes the time to write a letter abotu something so silly. It as an unfortunate comment he should not have made, but let sleeping dogs lie. He wasn't trying to be mean to anyone, it is what it is. Your intent should be taken into consideration in matters such as this.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 4:24pm

Not sure what point you're trying to make, Blake. I understand what he meant and I have some appreciation of how the events of his generation bear on this, but that doesn't make it any less offensive. I am by no means a PC zealot, but I do believe that when one offends people gratuitously, one should own up to it and apologize. Instead, Mr. Chase doubled down and took offense at the fact that someone was offended And, please, Dan. The fact of Bob's and your father's service to our country, for which my family and I are eternally in their debt, does not absolve them of the responsibility to treat their fellow human beings with common courtesy and respect, the kind of respect that we exhibited when, after we laid waste to Japan in WWII, we stuck around and helped them rebuild their country. No, I don't think Bob should be fired, run out of town on a rail, forced to undergo (shudder) sensitivity training, or anything like that. But, he should realize that he done wrong and apologize.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 4:26pm

If you want to REALLY have some fun...catch the movie "Midway" or "Tora, Tora, Tora" on TV the next time their on.

I don't know what channel it was on, but it showed the headline "JAPS ATTACH PEARL HARBOR"...and the "JAPS" was pixelated out and the dropped the sound anytime someone used the word "Jap".

IT'S A WORLD WAR TWO MOVIE!!! It's period-correct and historicly accurate!

This PC crap is rediculous!

Better yet, catch a 1970's episode of "All In The Family" or watch "Blazing Saddles." Have a laugh and LIGHTEN UP!

Blake Sebring
Tue, 12/06/2011 - 4:31pm

I'm one of the most PC people you'll ever meet, and I guess I don't accept that he did anything wrong. If he was referring to the Japanese people of today, then yes, that would be very offensive, but that's not what he was doing. We can't change history just because it makes us uncomfortable.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 5:00pm

"Period-Correct" makes my point. That period has passed. If the world hadn't evolved we'd still be locking people up in camps for their religion and appearance.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 5:04pm

I believe the person who wrote in and found offense with the statement is someone who is married to a Japanese woman and has children.

The slang word used has the same effect on many Japanese that certain slang words have on blacks, mexicans, jewish, polish, etc... when used in a derogatory manner... I spent 2 1/2 years stationed in Japan and had all kinds of experiences with that WW2 generation where they would spit in my direction because I was an American and we dropped the A-bomb on them 2x, while others would appologize to me for them saying their behavior was dishonorable... Depends on the person...

Unfortunately, words and actions by one can affect the many and reflect on them negatively as a whole.

My grandfather and 3 great uncles served, I served, cousins, friends, etc... have all served and not once have we made comments that we are now allowed to do or say anything we like towards any group of people that we mave have served "against"...

I am in no way part of the 'PC' Police and have thick enough skin to let most derogatroy comments made in my direction just make me laugh; but that may be entirely different if I had family members who are affected by certain remarks.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 5:25pm

Bottom line people in Sports who are in the public eye are held to a higher standard and that includes Bob Chase. While I did not find his reference offensive, that doesn't mean someone else didn't. Is it fair that individuals involved in the athletic industry are held to a different standard, no, but it is something that those individuals realize and accept. Asking someone to have "thicker skin" when it comes to references or comments are just as offensive as the original comment. There have been sportscasters that have lost their jobs because of a comment perceive to be a slur because of PC. This could be one of those times where something like this just doesn't go away and unfortunately the Komet organization will have to deal with because somebody took offense to the reference, sad but true. A simple acknoledgement of this and apology would go a long way.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 7:08pm

So........HOW ABOUT THEM KOMETS ???????

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 7:13pm

My thoughts:

#1- Bob Chase is a good, decent man.

#2- Whether you were offended or not, lets be thankful and appreciative to those who served in WWII and all other wars. They are the ones who keep us free. If one makes a mistake in the choice of words he uses, lets be quick to forgive, not persecute.

#3- Tomorrow, please take a moment to remember those lost at Pearl Harbor, and the 420,000 Americans who died in WWII. Also, please take a moment to say a pray for all American service men and women protecting our freedom throughout the world.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 8:10pm

Blake, would you really expect the "target audience" (the Japanese) to make that distinction? Would you really expect them to think, "Oh, it's OK. He's not talking about me. He's talking about my parents or grandparents."? Don't think so. I repeat - Bob messed up and should apologize.

Blake Sebring
Tue, 12/06/2011 - 8:24pm

He should only apologize if he feels he did something wrong, and he does not. A fake apology would be meaningless. He truly doesn't believe he did anything wrong.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 8:27pm

Bob also doesn't believe in talking bad about a president, sorry, his "generation" has passed and he does have a responsibility while being on public radio.

We all love/like/respect him, but that doesn't make his actions correct just because who he is. I see both points, but just because that's how "he" talked in his day doesn't make it right. Segregation anyone? How did that generation refer to African-Americans? Is it okay to throw those names around?

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 8:40pm

If anyone says cracker I will be offended.....get over it people...theres more important stuff to worry about nowadays

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 8:52pm

We can talk about reporters/commentators, etc. making politically incorrect statements all the time. You can check out one of the articles from a certain newspaper today for another example. I lost a lot of respect for that newspaper today in their incorrect reporting, and now, it looks like I lost respect for another for making something of nothing. Maybe I should stick with the comics :/

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 9:45pm

Bob will get a pass and damage control because he's old and has been there forever, that's just how it is. Whether or not certain people will admit it, that's what is/will happen. I'm not offended, but I'm not Japanese. I've had several speakers from the Vietnam war come into my room and give speeches about their experiences. However, they didn't go so far as to use the terminology they used while they were over there for the people they were fighting (and I'm not referring to "Charlie"). They were professional and knew the difference. Bob is also professional, but when it comes to this, doesn't care what those who are offended think. I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday, but I don't hate all Muslims. That would be ignorant. I also don't throw out phrases referring to them. Once again, ignorant. To do so on the radio, even more so.

As much as we've been preached to on here about how much even blogging something that supposedly isn't read by the people who are talked about, I find it interesting the defense that Blake is putting up for Bob. And I get the whole "It's his generation" thing. I have two great uncles who fought in World War II; One in the European theater, one in the Pacific. I've heard every derogatory name possible for both groups and, to be honest, they don't phase me in the least. If Bob and I were talking in person, let them fly, I couldn't care less. However, to do it over the radio wasn't smart, plain and simple. Bob also grew up in times where African Americans were called lots of other names, but hasn't thrown any of those out. He knows what he's doing, and in this case, just didn't think anyone would care. Again, he's old and didn't come up in this thin-skinned PC world we live in.
So, not to go all Alan on everyone with the book (you know I kid), but I get the whole "his generation" thing. I have a doctorate in history, so I get it. I'm not offended, but at the same time I'm not going to say doing it over the radio was the right or smart thing to do.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 9:56pm

I understand and admire those who stand up for thier friends and defend thier character, thats the sign of a good buddy; but i think it takes an even better friend to look him in the eye and let him know when he is wrong...

What you say in private among friends is one thing, what you say for thousands to hear in public is an entirely different matter. Careers have been ruined by just a few words...

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 11:04pm

way to much is being made of this please let it die down and be happy that we have a great franchise like the komets and they are off to such a great start this season.Bob should not have to apologize for anything.He is a fine gentlemen and we should all leave the political debate for cnn and fox. Go Smitty!!!

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 4:49am

TO SUM IT UP..... people of bobs and my fathers generation went thru things and saw things that most of you will never understand. even tho the horrors of nam were terrific they will never match what happened in ww2. in nam you went for one year and then home. in ww2 you were in for the duration, and the whole homefront was at war daily.so to be attacked in secret and then having to endure years of war you dont realize what that generation went thru. the word jap was a word these people used and heard everyday of their life for years and to see the horrors some of them saw and to loose friends and families, im sure its hard to just erase a few words from your vocabulary for politicaly correctness. its unfortunate bob used the word in public but he doesnt have to apologize for using a term that has been branded into his soul. just a thought.........

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 5:26am

Thank you Blake for not making a big deal in print about this. It speaks well for your integrity as compared to the other guy. It's not an issue or a story, it's plain ol' 'yellow journalism'.

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 6:20am

EVERYONE IS MISSING THE REAL STORY ON THIS ONE! Justin laid out a story that a single person contacted HIM about a single comment Chaser reportly said during a broadcast that supposedly offended this one person. No place in his story did he mention that the person had contacted the CHL, or Komet management, or WOWO management or Chaser to file a complaint. If the person was not offended enough to file a complaint then they aren't that offended to start with.
To me, in my opinion, this story was more about filling column inches then reporting true news. Justin took 15+ column inches to tarnish Chaser's image without the person feeling strong enough to file a official complaint.

kyle hunt
Wed, 12/07/2011 - 7:38am

And the HITS just keep on coming.

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 9:09am

I was waiting for it... Attack Cohn for reporting the facts. That will deflect the heat away from the guy that made the statement then went into attack mode when called out on it.

Cohn reported facts, not his opinion. If you are that upset that the facts got reported it says a lot more about you than it does Justin Cohn. I respect the fact that he addressed the situation and didn't sweep it under the rug to protect a fellow media member.

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 9:40am

Watched the Early Show on CBS this morning. They did a piece about Pearl Harbor. Interviewed a survivor and he used the term "Jap" more than once. I wonder how many will bombard CBS with comments about that.

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 10:29am

Do the Japanese even play hockey?

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 11:08am