Local talk show host Chris Stigall of WPHT, the Phillies flagship radio station, upset many yesterday with some comments about local cancer survivor Julie Kramer. Stigall laughed about her visit to the "Ellen" show, and Chase Utley's promise to let her come visit during Phillies season. Aside from joking that Utley would not be on the Phillies next season (a remote possibility, but a possibility), Stigall joked, "It's probably terminal what that woman has. You think she's going to live through an entire season?"
Now, Stigall is saying he was "taken out of context" (transcribed here from PhillyNow.com):
“I want to be serious with you here for a minute,” Stigall said to his audience. “We talked about this absolutely wonderful surprise,” he added, explaining Kramer’s face time on Ellen. He asserts that he talked twice about theEllen show appearance, and the second time is when things went awry. “If you were here, you heard it,” he goes on, “and, you heard it in context the way it was delivered. If you weren’t, you’ll never hear it in context.” Stigall then went to say that those who wish to do him “harm professionally, they’ll see to it that it’s never heard in context.”
Most fans are reacting to a video posed by YouTube user D.Nello, who posted a recording of Stigall's comments and asked fans to call or email the WPHT station manager and program directors to complain.
Stigall said he was acting "stupid" and that he "takes great pride" on free speech:
It was a really stupid attempt at humor. It was a careless, stupid attempt at humor,” he told his listeners. “It occurred to me almost immediately after the show that I had screwed up … It came off like I was poking fun at Miss Kramer’s battle with cancer.” He insisted that he “in no way” was doing that.
“I talk on this show a lot about words meaning things,” Stigall continued, “and I take great pride in my freedom of speech to speak with you honestly and truthfully, but most all responsibly. And, I broke that trust yesterday. It was beneath me. I expect better judgment from me. I know my heart and intent was something very different from my words, but that doesn’t matter.”
So, the joke that Kramer was not going to live that long was supposed to be about what exactly?
Only after all of the above did he offer a "very sincere apology". Just how sincere can it be if he was blaming being taken "out of context" and going off about "free speech" before apologizing? Excuse one, excuse two, excuse three; oh, by the way, I'm sorry.
YouTube user D.Nello who posted Stigall's original statements included this longer video today, to show the true "context" of Stigall's statements. In other words, D.Nello is trying to prove there is no extra "context" involved in this situation.