How to handle tragedy on your show.
With intent, I did not run this last Tuesday, September 11.
Even 11 years later, the effect this will have on you may be strong. That’s the point, really.
Most radio morning shows on music stations are humor-based, and the whole reason for such a show becomes absurd after something like 9-11.
Hopefully, we will never again have a day after like that one in 2001.
Thankfully, tragedy on such a scale is rare, but as someone who lives within biking distance of Columbine, and driving distance from the Aurora theaters and the devastating fires in Waldo Canyon, perhaps I am more aware than most just how fragile “normal” seems.
So how do you respond when the unthinkable happens in your community?
This may help you. Watch:
Ok, I understand you have a 4-hour show and Stewart has 30 minutes, and that this monologue took less than 9 — but it can teach you so much.
Be authentic. Just because you’re funny doesn’t mean you don’t feel. It’s ok to cry.
“I wanted to tell you why I grieve…but why I don’t despair.”
Don’t be afraid to use your gift of humor at the same time you’re shedding your tears.
“Luckily, we can edit this.”
Find a message of hope. Even in the darkest of hours, especially in the darkest hours, hope is the most important message you can share.
“The view from my apartment…was the World Trade Center. And now it’s gone. And they attacked it, this symbol of American ingenuity and strength and…labor and imagination and commerce, and it’s gone!”
“But you know what the view is now? The Statue of Liberty. The view from the south of Manhattan is now the Statue of Liberty. You can’t beat that.”
You can’t prepare for the day after, but even if you could, I wouldn’t want you to.
I would want you to learn as much as you can by feeling as much as you can every day until it comes.
And when it comes, be human.
That’s more than enough on that day.