Taking Heat For Topics

By Dave Scott, Host, Spaced Out Radio
If there is one thing I’ve noticed in my time as host of Spaced Out Radio, it’s that certain topics we choose to discuss on the show can create a real fire and anger in the listeners we have.  I love the emotion.  Honestly I do.  And trust me, I see the messages people rip at me when we have discussed conspiratorial topics, no matter how big or how small they are.  But there’s one subject that really seems to get people angry and quickly.  That topic is Flat Earth.  More than the Mandela Effect or 9/11, the Flat Earth Conspiracy is one that sends people off the rails.  So much so, I’ve actually had people remove me from their social media pages because they are so disheveled about the fact that I would even give time for the conversation.   Look, I’m going to be the first one to say that I’m not a fan of the Flat Earth theory, nor am I a believer in it at all.  I’ve seen way too many weird things coming from space to even entertain the assumption that there’s this grandiose conspiracy that’s been going on for centuries to claim the earth is flat and not round!
Part of the critic’s argument is that a show like Spaced Out Radio, that has a positive image in front of its listeners should not be wasting time on a topic so absurd that it could ruin the show’s reputation.  People have stated to me that its repugnant that I’d even consider the topic, let alone give people quality air time to discuss such theory.  I understand that logic, which is why we don’t cover some topics on the show.  It’s tough having an edit button in this position on the topics we will and won’t discuss, but in my estimation, even though we have only ever done two Flat Earth shows in our history, it’s a topic that, unfortunately, seems to be gaining steam.  And on the other side of the ledger, as a show host, it’s a topic that makes listeners show their emotions, which is a bonus as well.  But for some listeners, they just can’t take it, and to be honest, I understand their anger, but to have a complete meltdown over it does make me scratch my head.
The concept of the Flat Earth Conspiracy doesn’t make sense to me at all.  For those reading who don’t quite understand it, go back and watch the Jim Carrey movie, ‘The Truman Show‘, which came out in 1998.  The movie is about a fake world where Jim’s character, Truman Burbank, grows up and everything is staged for his entire life.  Finding out that he actually lived in a bubble, and had no concept of the outside world, until the end. If you haven’t seen it, you should.  Well, in essence, that’s what Flat Earthers think. That our flat world is surrounded by a one thousand foot tall wall of ice.   They also believe there’s no such thing as tides, eclipses, the sun being the center of our solar system, science, astronomy, aliens, or that there are even satellites in the sky.  They also have no idea what’s on the other side of us either.  The concept is ludicrous at best, as science has for centuries proven and re-proven the earth is round.  Add to another part of the Flat Earther’s conspiracy is that the moon landings never took place, which I highly believe did happen on the Apollo missions.
The problem we have with Flat Earthers is that for most of them, they can only throw out statements, without any sort of argument to counter the true scientific fact of space, and what we’ve learned from it.  Whether it’s how we’ve learned about solar flares, putting satellites in space, traveling to Mars, or anything of the sort, their answer is always the same, that it’s the illuminati or some group who runs this planet that are holding us back by these virtuous stories of the final frontier.  For centuries, some of this planet’s brightest minds have looked up into the stars to figure out what’s up there.  And as of the 20th century, we’ve been able to try and figure out and confirm a lot of those mysteries.  So to me, the theory that it’s all a big hoax, doesn’t add up at all.  We’ve already proven it.  The claims that every alleged photograph from space is a hoax taken by a fish eye lens camera to make up the fact that there’s curvature to the planet we call home is ridiculous and a weak argument at best.
But when it comes to the show, my opinion does not mean a thing.  You see, I’m an ‘old school’ journalist, where I do not believe it’s my job to side on one side or the other when it comes to the topics we discuss on a nightly basis.  It’s difficult at times, because at times, I do use my opinion, but I try to be very careful to state that it is my opinion.  I’m not one of these hosts that tries to push my personal agenda as fact or the only solution to the answer.  That’s not my job.  I try my hardest to be like the referee in football and hockey, or the umpire in baseball, who tries to call everything down the middle where it’s fair for both sides.  My opinion, as a host, has no merit in what this shows topics are, or whom we interview.  If I start to sway the audience in my personal beliefs, then we aren’t accomplishing anything.  The audience, who is the most important people in this entire project, are the ones who have the choice and the free will to believe or disbelieve anything that comes on the show.  Whether it’s a topic like flat earth or whether it’s bigfoot being the North American great ape, the topics are a big part of what we do on this show.  Now some may say that I don’t have the guts to call a guest out on the topic, even if it is controversial like Flat Earth.  But why should I?  What good does that do to try and scold someone publicly?  The only time I’ve ever done that is when a previous guest came on and said all newsrooms in Canada and the United States have a government official approving what can and cannot go on the air or be printed in the paper.  That was simply an untrue statement of the ridiculous kind to where the guest needed to be taught reality from someone like me who’s actually worked in real news rooms.  The point that I’m getting at is this.  My job is to ask questions, and sometimes pointed questions as to get the answers we need.  If the guest sounds like they’re not credible, then that’s on them for not selling themselves as believeable.  I do not want to influence the audience’s opinion in anything.  That’s what journalism is.  Bringing the story, and asking the questions the audience wants to hear.  The host’s opinion should never determine which way a show goes or the topic that’s discussed.
That’s calling it down the middle.  Some may have a problem with that.  Others will see that as bringing old school radio back to where we need it to be.  Either way, it’s your opinion to think what you want to think.  I don’t write that out of sarcasm or haste.  I write it because your opinion as the listener is what matters.   But that still means we’re going to take on some weird and strange subjects.  Why?  That’s what we do.  Do I believe, personally, every guest that comes on our show?  No, I don’t.  But even the guests I don’t believe, I will never throw them under the bus.  That’s unprofessional.  They have given their time to bring their stories or information to us.  The least I can do is show the respect back.  As hard as it is sometimes, like with Flat Earth, there still has to be a modicum of professionalism when the microphone is on.



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