The things we say but do not mean

We’ve all been in situations where we’ve said the wrong thing. It might be in a fight with a member of your family, your spouse, your children, a workmate. You might make a rude, cruel or off colour joke to friends and family. We humans can be cutting, mean. You could even end up saying something you don’t mean to someone you’ve never met who crossed your path at what you consider to be an inopportune moment.

If there is a person who says they have got through life so far without making a bitchy comment about or too someone, I’d like to meet them and call them a liar.

We all hear stories of kids at school being nasty and picking on the weaker ones, the fatties or the gingers. Different ethnicities get a lot of this too. Basically, anyone who can be deemed ‘different’ in some way can become a target. Bullying starts from an early age and sadly, it seems to be human nature to on occasion, slap someone down.

It’s not right. I know this because I was vaguely weak, a bit of a fatty and a ginger. I wasn’t bullied a lot but there are one or two guys from my school who the mere thought of can bring up some pretty ugly memories.

16 years later in my job as a breakfast radio host it’s live, fast paced and while a show is heavily prepared, it can go in any direction.

I have to think quick and I have a hundred different things going on at the same time.

What am I saying right now? What am I saying in 5 seconds? What am I saying in 5 minutes? What is someone saying to me? What will be my response? Is what I’m saying legal / moral / offensive / funny / sad / quirky / entertaining? How are my levels? How long have I been talking? Is what my co-host is saying legal / moral / offensive / funny / sad / quirky / entertaining? Am I actually allowed to say this? How long until the news? How long is this song? Is what we’re talking about working? Is what the person on the phone is saying legal / moral / offensive / funny / sad / quirky / entertaining? How are my levels now? At what point will I end this and play some ads or another song? Where are my notes? Do I need to do any editing before my next break? I get up really early and I’m tired but I must box on and say things that are legal / moral / NOT offensive / funny / sad / quirky and entertaining because this is my job.

All of this is going through a broadcasters mind while they are talking, operating a dozen or more audio sources, 5 phone lines and 3 computer screens.

People on air are expected to never say the wrong thing, to be objective, morally upright and just. Sometimes, however, I say things without thinking them through fully. Mostly, these things are ok although sometimes they cross a line and when they do, I am sorry.

I do my best.


  1. And THAT my friend is why male radio dudes are ALMOST as good as women at multi-tasking - ha thanks for the memory x

  2. AnonymousJune 28, 2009

    message received loud & clear - cheers, JunH (ZL2UQU)

  3. is this is a sincere apology for a very irresponsible remark you have made or simply an inside peek on the fast-paced life of a radio host? so sad that someone who claims to have been discriminated/bullied as a child would be doing exactly the same things as an adult. i hope you will reflect more about your role and the influence you have. i dont think your job includes entertaining your audience at the expense of others!

  4. AnonymousJune 28, 2009

    You need to man up and tell what actually happened, then apologise sincerely, certainly not through three words after nine rambling paragraphs of pathetic rationalisation. The people you have wronged deserve more than that.

    Sam G

  5. Hi Sam,

    You misunderstand, this isn't a formal apology, it's a blog post and should be read as nothing more.

    The written apology will go to the people concerned and will be also broadcast tomorrow at around 845am on Classic Hits 90FM Wellington and 92.7FM Kapiti-Horowhenua.


  6. Erwin, this is as you say, "simply an inside peek on the fast-paced life of a radio host".

    The formal apology for the "very irresponsible remark" will go to the official complainant tomorrow and the apology will also air tomorrow morning at around 845am on Classic Hits 90FM Wellington and 92.7FM Kapiti-Horowhenua.

    Thanks for your interest.

  7. Could we have some examples? Of things you say wrong? Just to make me feel better about myself?

  8. The written apology has gone to the people concerned and been accepted. The public apology was on air this morning and has also been accepted.

    I stand corrected, and I appreciate being kept honest.

    Thank you.
    Dave Smart

  9. Dave, one of the reasons I listen to you and Camille in the mornings is that you are both funny, quirky, entertaining, occasionally tear-jerking, and you are very rarely offensive. You seem to have a knack for pulling in callers when they are getting too long or boring, or offensive (except for the guy who calls in with your voices.... he's ... Read Morehilarious!).

    You and Camille are the kind of broadcasters I am proud to call friends - not media (in the cringe-worthy, Paul Henry/Paul Holmes sense!).

    Please don't stop being you - my mornings would be dull without you!