Student productions should be more considerate

Annie Deitz, Campus Carrier deputy news editor 

When I’m bored, I watch Viking Fusion’s content, because they’re awesome and student media is important. A while ago, I decided to listen to the League of Morons for the first time since the initial episode was released last year. I listened to the fifth episode of the second season. Around minute 13, they begin a discussion of a specific response to the Carrier’s Bubble Banter of that week, which asked students to voice their opinions on gun control. They start the conversation by noting that their producer told them not to mention students by name, claiming they didn’t want anyone to feel targeted. I quickly realized they were talking about one of my close friends. For the next several minutes, they berate him over his two-sentence submission. 

They start by calling his statement stupid, then launch into an extended diatribe about their disagreement. I agree with the League of Morons’ opinions on gun control. But the manner in which they responded to a short Bubble Banter submission was unfair and immature. They use data to defend their point but end up vaguely spewing out uncited research in an attempt to make my friend sound ignorant and his opinion invalid. 

After being offended and disappointed by the episode, I listened to the rest of the second season. There was never as blatantly rude of a discussion as the one about my friend, but most episodes shared the same sense of haughty disrespect. Throughout the show, they derogate a wide array of individuals and groups, including Bonner, SGA and even the Carrier. While a lot of their arguments are valid, the general conceited nature of their conversations is off-putting and rude. 

In the first episode of the season, one host notes that the members of the podcast are not very diverse and can’t necessarily comment on many of the issues at hand. They still do. Despite the fact that all four members are white males, they repeatedly discuss issues of ethnicity and gender that they can’t understand. The hosts never engage respectfully with different points of view, or the perspectives of anyone outside of themselves. 

If the League of Morons wanted to create a discourse about Berry’s problems, they could invite community members that actually face those issues. For example, the most recent episode discusses Berry’s potential Pro-Life club. They could have invited a female member of the Young Democrats, a representative from U.N.I.T.Y or EMPOWER, or literally any person with a uterus on the podcast. They didn’t, electing to confine the conversation to the group of men. They degrade the intelligence of the women starting the group, implying that they better understand the issue. Anyone who knows me will tell you I share the opinions of the podcast on the Pro-Life Club. But listening to men talk about the rights I should have over my uterus for 10 minutes, especially men who state they know the importance of female voices concerning abortion, is almost as frustrating to me as getting an email about an interest meeting for an anti-abortion club. 

In my opinion, the League of Morons has two options for remediation. They can return to their first season style, where they invited professors or other experts to engage in well-rounded discussions about society. Or, they can end the show. There are talented students working at Viking Fusion whose names are tied to this podcast. Future employers will look at it as a demonstration of their professional ability. I think they deserve to be producing more mature and introspective content. 

If a group of white guys wants to talk about Berry’s diversity, privilege and social issues, they should create an inclusive and multi-perspectival dialogue. They should open a conversation that works to demonstrate the opinions of others, without just shutting them down. The League of Morons has the resources and the opportunity to develop positive change. They shouldn’t waste that on diminutizing people they disagree with. If the League of Morons, or anyone else, wants to further discuss this, they can feel free to reach out to me. 

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