Why We Did a Show on the Petraeus Affair

On Nov. 14, we produced a show titled: "Gen. Petraeus' Affair: The Fallout." We announced the show on the Forum Facebook page and asked "What do you think of the Petraeus scandal?" Turns out a lot of listeners felt it wasn't worth airtime. Here are some of their thoughts and our response.

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  1. I think there are far more important things that we need to focus on and deal with - people from all walks of life have affairs all the time.. His profession creates no excuse to turn gossip into news..
  2. Tired of hearing about sex-scandals. Why are americans so obsessed with sex? Is this junior high? Who cares if ___ is ___ing __? I don't! Find something real to care about, folks!!!
  3. Cover climate change instead
  4. Other folks felt that at least if we were going to cover it, we should stick to the privacy angle:
  5. I would be EXTREMELY interested if you had some intelligent (no pun intended) folks on to discuss this angle:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/13/petraeus-surveillance-state-fbi 
  6. And yet others expressed their frustration with some levity:
  7. I don't really care about his sexual exploits. Let's have those guys from America's test kitchen on again. They had the best recipes!
  8. Listeners, thanks for the comments, especially those of you who kept them respectful. Guest host Scott Shafer read some of the critical comments on air. Please know, we value your opinions. We mull over them. We discuss them as an editorial team. In this case, we felt the story rose above that of a mere "sex scandal." Here's more from Forum's Senior Editor Dan Zoll:

    Some listeners have questioned Forum's decision to devote a segment to the Petraeus affair. Clearly, not every high-profile political sex scandal is worthy of our airtime. However, we agreed that this one warranted coverage. It raises compelling questions about national security, ethics, and privacy.

    Forum aims for a balance of news and arts and culture coverage. When deciding on a show topic we weigh its relevance to our audience among other factors, such as what the show will add to the local and national conversation. In this case, we felt a discussion with our guests, including national security expert Thomas Ricks, who has written extensively on Gen. Petraeus, would be worthwhile. We feel that it was
    .

    Thank you for your comments and for being engaged listeners.
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