Tag Archives: broadcasting

Profanity Ruins Buck’s Informative Treatise*

I am not frequently offended by profanity.  I don’t use it much, and there are times and places that it is quite inappropriate, but I don’t melt when I hear it.

So, when I tell you that profanity ruined Joe Buck’s best-seller, it is not because I am JoeBuckPictureupset from any moral or ethical standpoint.  I am simply turned-off.

Actually, I am relying on the same principle that I teach about speakers who use foul language.  I don’t really care about the language.  What I care about is that it distracts the audience from the focus of the message, where large numbers of people will simply stop listening, and focus on those words, think about what was said, react emotionally in some way, and so forth.

If that happens during a presentation, you can simply substitute “reader” for “audience,” and you have the same effect in a book. 

JoeBuckBookCoverThat is the problem with Lucky Bastard:  My life, my Dad, and the things I’m not allowed to say on TV (New York:  Dutton, 2016).  In its pages, you will see just about every possible streetwise cuss word.  Fortunately, many of them are in footnotes, but if you are one of the few people who read such things, you will see the words.

This is most unfortunate.  Buck fills the book with loving memories of his famous father, Jack, who called St. Louis Cardinals baseball on KMOX, and NFL Monday Night Football on CBS radio, for many years.  The picture below features both of them.  He also talks about his life with his two daughters, his struggles with his first marriage, and great insight into the way he works at FOX.  The story about how he climbed to FOX’s # 1 football and baseball broadcasting teams is particularly insightful.  I am surprised that editors at the publisher did not intervene to any greater JoeandJackBuckPictureextent.

I would like to recommend this book to you.  It’s got some great content.  I learned a lot.  But, when there is this much potential distraction due to the unnecessary inclusion of profanity, I just can’t do it.  What a shame.

* – the book is a treatise because it is systematic, careful, and thoughtful – as the dictionary requires