ETIN director sounds off on story

by Beacon Staff • April 25, 2007

I am connected to every aspect of the station. As I read the article on Thursday morning, I was shocked to learn that a student "complained to ETIN advisor Dr. Marsha Della-Giustina and threatened to sue" after learning that his name was used in a fictional, prerecorded episode of "Obscenes" that aired on ETIN.,As ETIN program director, I am disappointed with last week's article, "ETIN Episode Censored."

I am connected to every aspect of the station. As I read the article on Thursday morning, I was shocked to learn that a student "complained to ETIN advisor Dr. Marsha Della-Giustina and threatened to sue" after learning that his name was used in a fictional, prerecorded episode of "Obscenes" that aired on ETIN.

I was also shocked to learn that "Obscenes" "is recorded to sound like a professional news-talk show" and its creator, Jim Cummings, was so "out of it" that he would plead insanity if sued over the content of the first episode.

After believing that everyone involved had accepted the decision to never air the episode again, roughly two weeks before the article went to print, it is easy to see my frustration. I realized either I had been wrong all this time or some of the article's facts were not facts at all.

"Obscenes" is not a news program (I fully described the show during my earlier interview with the writer). I also believe Jim Cummings deliberately fabricated the details of his December "addiction" to drugs to create a sensational story, and that the student named in the program had never threatened to sue.

Jim Cummings, who directed and wrote the show, was the only person interviewed who said a student threatened to sue, and the only one to confirm other "facts" in the article. No other person involved was contacted to check Jim's statement and his words were used as fact without being attributed to its source. When looking at all of the information received from Cummings, a strong case can be made that there may be a personal agenda and any information gathered should not be used as the sole source.

I allowed this skit to air as I saw its writing and production to be satire of a well-known figure in the community without harmful intent.

As I talked with the student named, Jack Casey, and Marsha Della Giustina, I realized that while I still believed the skit to be satire, there is a difference between what you can do and what you should do.

For this reason, I, along side Jack Casey and Jim Cummings, will never again air satire of this nature involving any member of the Emerson community.

I have actively worked to correct this and have greatly benefited from the chance to correct mistakes. I ask that The Beacon do the same.

-Chance Dorland

Program Director, ETIN