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The Terrorist

Chuck, Annie and Verena Maier on Monday night

I have been called many things in my nearly 19 years on the radio, many of them deserved: Butthead, Jerk, Asshole, Dickhead and others certainly come to mind.

But I was pretty floored to read Bob Cuddy’s column in the Tribune today and discover that he now considers me to be a terrorist and the head of a terrorist organization.

Really. I’m not making this up.

My crime? Apparently it’s that I was so moved by the sight of a grown man crying in my studio over a lost dog that I set up a Facebook page that ended up with about 4200 dog lovers from around the world. We held one rally. Gave voice to the plight of Chuck Hoage after Animal Services and the county decided to move on. We worked the local media. We had a letter writing campaign.

Contrary to accusations from Mr. Cuddy, there were no incidents in Arroyo Grande where the new dog was staying. The accusations flying about have never been proven.

The good and wonderful news is that Chuck and Annie are back together again.

It had nothing to do with terrorism, Bob.

It had everything to do with community.

We can disagree on issues. But I think Bob crossed the line with his language and I think he owes all The Friends of Annie an apology.

Meanwhile, can’t wait to meet Annie tonight at 6 p.m. on the radio.

  1. bobfromslo
    August 31, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Dave: Bob Cuddy does owe you an apology, period. “Terrorism”? “Lynch-mob mentality”? I think that Mr. Cuddy gave too much credence to the supposed letter from “Sasha” the temporary owners of Annie the dog; how many times has just a single person posting a sick comment anonymously ruined the overall feel of a thread of comments? I know you can answer that one yourself, Dave (sicko in AZ) for example; nowhere did I notice anything that would lead me to believe that the new owners were “in danger” by your comments or actions, and the hysteria from the new owners concerning your phone message was delivered in a manner to make a lot more out of what was actually said than implied. I get it that you were concerned for the temporary owners, but their reaction seemed to indict you for the “fear” that they were feeling. I hope they settle down and get on with their life and let go of the negative feelings they seem to be harboring.

  2. chrisinpaso
    August 31, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Mr. Cuddy really overtaxes the word “terrorism”. The family that adopted Annie obviously felt stressed, but that is a far cry from “terrorism”. According the note allegedly from the family, they initially refused to return the dog because the original owner had not had her tagged, chipped, etc. That is being a stickler by shattering the emotional well-being of another person, a man who obviously did a good job of raising the dog. Just because the adopting family had the law on their side, however, does not mean that insisting on keeping the dog was a good thing which everyone else must just quietly accept. Mr. Hoage certainly deserved our sympathy, and Dave and the others who took up this cause were perfectly within their rights to raise a ruckus and put public, moral pressure on the family to return the dog. Even if someone may have gone slightly over the edge and left nasty telephone messages, such an excess act by one or the other jerk does not mean that the Friends of Annie should have kept their mouths shut. After all, we live in a free society which also allows a lot of rough and tumble public discussion and, yes, the application of moral pressure.

    Congrats to Dave and the Friends of Annie for helping Mr. Hoage recover his beloved Annie. And let’s not forget to thank the adopting family for having the flexibility to recognize the absolutely unusual and emotional nature of this situation and return Annie to Mr. Hoage.

    Finally, just to keep in form, does anyone see the similarity to the situation with the “Ground Zero Mosque”?

  3. Russell Hodin
    September 1, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Shouldn’t be too difficult to coax an apology from the Tribune. They give those out all the time, don’t they? ; )

  4. cindy1000
    September 1, 2010 at 10:12 am

    I’ve got to say that I was egregious after reading Bob Cuddy’s recent inflammatory remarks depicting you and the Friends of Annie as a “terrorists group”. However what I find more incredulous is the fact that Bob actually pains takingley scrutinized every Friends of Annie Face Book post, thousands of posts, all in an effort to identify any possible diatribes. He managed to find one authored by White Rabbit and although the post wasn’t directed at the family in question, he chose to exploit the post in a fashion that would escalate and seemingly substantiate (aka) Sasha’s unfounded accusations! I should remind Mr Cuddy that the post he so vehemently quoted as proof of a threat was expressed by its author as follows,”if that was my dog”! Obviously unless the author, aka “White Rabbit” was Chuck Hoage himself, no threat was directed at anyone or their property, of course to take note of that fact would have left no so called threats.
    Surprisingly, while Bob Cuddy should have been privy to the “common” knowledge that several facts as expressed by Sasha were “outright” inaccurate, he continued to lend credence to the authors exaggerated claims of unfounded threats, tirades of persecution by a lynch mob, including her own claims of ignorance to having been a participant where resolutions had been previously addressed! Mr Cuddy certainly owes you and all the friends of Annie an apology. Since when is fear of embarrassment (brought on by ones own actions), translated into an act of “terrorism” or committed by those who seek to bring attention to a wrong by means of garnering public awareness? Jeeezzzzz

    • cindy1000
      September 1, 2010 at 10:21 am

      Dave or moderator, please edit my post. There are two words that need to switch places. They are in caps for your easy detection! Thanks

      I’ve got to say that I was INCREDULOUS after reading Bob Cuddy’s recent inflammatory remarks depicting you and the Friends of Annie as a “terrorists group”. However what I find MOST EGREGIOUS.

  5. September 2, 2010 at 8:40 am

    I couldn’t get through the WordPress login process to post this on your blog, so here you go. Use it as you please. Cuddy speaks of “mirrors” while only blowing smoke.

    Bob Cuddy writes “all of us… should re-examine our behavior… need to be honest with ourselves…” and then proceeds to violate the very “cardinal rule of journalism” (“Never assume anything”) he admits breaking. He uses a letter of unknown origin (“purports to be from… don’t have that verified yet”) to spew his new presumption that “Terrorism works”, based on an unfounded assumption (“If the letter is true”) to say “something horrifying” has been revealed. He then concludes his screed by giving “the last word to Annie’s new owners”, as if the source of his excerpts has been verified.
    What has been revealed is Cuddy’s blatant hypocrisy and utter lack of journalistic integrity. Preaching his “take a good look inside yourselves” sermon, he uses a letter he rumors is from a valid source to demean the “fan club and ralliers” and “public”, and, while in the act of violating the ethics of his own profession, to accuse folks, falsely, of not directing their “passion” and “time” toward other pressing issues. Putting the letter-writer’s ignorance on full public display (“I’ve yet to see this public show of support…”), Cuddy rips off his own mask, exposing a rumor monger devoid of any credibility.
    David Broadwater

  6. goodhelp
    September 7, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Mr. Cuddy does not appear to be a writer who can compose a balanced opinion piece without distortion and outright name calling.

    Two ingredients NOT to be found in the journalist’s toolbox. Where’s a good copy editor when we need one?

  7. myslotown
    September 13, 2010 at 12:34 am

    While I do not agree that Mr. Congalton is a terrorist I do understand why Mr. Cuddy said what he said. The Send Annie Back campaign spurred several people to make threats to the family who loving adopted her. They did not deserve that type of treatment from the good people of San Luis Obispo. In this day when our news media will call anyone a racist or people like the Tea Party group inciting riots to push their own agenda; it is no wonder that people will threaten innocent citizens like the adopters of Annie. When you no longer feel safe in your own home because of a group of people are trying to make you do what they want is a sad commentary of our community.

  1. August 31, 2010 at 8:26 pm

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