- The ‘Wow What A Great Interview’ Category - People in this category are quite pleased with the show. They enjoyed the interview, enjoyed my questions, and developed a pleasant, more human idea of Day afterwards. They generally have few complaints about the show and overall thought it highlighted my fervor for a balanced view to contemptuous situations and my ability to remain calm, ask pointed questions, and in general keep the interview on track.
- The ‘My Opinion Hasn’t Changed’ Category - These people are a little like the first group, except without the pleasant Day aftertaste. Respondents in this category felt I did a good job with the interview, but do not feel that Day’s answers to my questions painted him in any better or more human light than they thought of him before. In general, respondents favored the interview because they felt I reaffirmed their personal assumptions about who Day is as a person. However, technically speaking, there are a few respondents in this category who had a favorable idea of Day before the interview and retained it afterwards. So, one could call this category of respondents a split category. A little in both favorable and unfavorable responses.
- The ‘I Now Dislike Christian Day’ Category - These respondents told me that when news of Christian Day first came out, they gave him the benefit of the doubt. They were quite upset that the pagan community was coming down so hard on him, and some even highlighted Project Pagan Enough as their reason for initially wanting to come to Day’s defense. Generally speaking, the respondents in this category decided that Day did not give answers that made himself look good. Also, they seemed to feel he came off looking as though he was a name-dropper that is trying desperately to be famous. Respondents, again, liked my part of the interview, though it did not really factor into their responses as heavily as other categories.
- The ‘This Interview Was Greatly Disappointing’ Category - Respondents in this category are disappointed with both me and greatly dislike Christian Day. In fact, some feedback came from individuals who had previously sent me rather favorable reviews of past shows, yet they panned this particular episode. This category was generally codified by responses that were quite chagrined that I did not “rip Christian apart” verbally for 2 hours. Responses ranged from the idea that I pulled a lot of punches to the perception that I seemed to be overly chummy with the Salem warlock. In all, several folks said that they were really looking forward to me sticking my verbal pitchfork into Day and decided that I didn’t.
Now, if I may, I would like to tell you what I think about these responses and give my own idea of how the interview went.
To those that loved my portion of the interview, I am - naturally - quite grateful and flattered that you thought so highly of my poise and questions. I do try very hard to present a show that upsets comfortable thinking, asks direct questions, and demands some good answers.
To those that like or dislike Christian Day to any larger or smaller degree than they did, this was not my intention. I did not set out to give a favorable interview with Day in order to make him look good. Contrariwise, I did not set out to ask questions that would make him look bad. I set out to ask questions and see what he would say.
To those that disliked the interview, I was never going to please you. You probably know that. One respondent sent me an email that detailed a rather long list of dates and web addresses that contained podcasts, interviews, television shows, blog posts, and comments on websites all by Day that she was offended with. She was quite upset that I had not asked him questions about each and every offending statement he’s ever made, and about his generally perceived anti-feminist/anti-whatever rhetoric. Again, I was never going to please that person, nor was I going to please the scores of people that have always wanted to get Day alone in a room for 15-20 minutes just so they could yell at him, give him a piece of their mind, or…I dunno…punch him in the face.
I was never going to make any of those people happy, because I do not resort to bringing someone on my show specifically to rip them a new one. Christian Day makes a lot of people - including myself - very upset by some of his actions. He has grabbed a lot of media attention over the years, and as a result makes those of us that do not like the image he portrays very angry. There are people - I have come to find out - that listen to podcasts, watch television shows, and read blogs or message boards where Day appears specifically to pick apart his comments and feel offended. To those people you have my deepest sympathies. There are people that read my blog and listen to my show that openly dislike me and seem to only do so in order to write more bad comments and send even more emails about how I get everything wrong in my quest for knowledge. Again, I kind of pity you.
As to my opinion: Christian Day was honest. I told him in the interview that if he had come on the show and tried to deny that much of this was a blatant attempt to seek media attention that I would probably eat him for lunch. If he had lied about his intentions or desires or who he purports to speak on, again, I would have probably ripped him the new one that many of you wanted ripped. But, the simple fact of the matter is that he was completely open and honest about every question I asked him. There were a few times I had to follow up and challenge him, but for the most part he answered each question quite candidly. For that, I applaud him.
He fessed up to this being largely about publicity for three causes: himself/his businesses, Salem tourism, and permeating the culture with the word warlock. He accomplished those three tasks. If he had not, I would have probably seen such a response as an attempt to occlude the truth and called him on it. But…he didn’t. He was honest.
Now, do I stand by my idea that I would not have done this? Do I believe the image of the pagan and magical communities that Day and friends put out there is one that I like or would want circulated by the mainstream media? Absolutely and absolutely not. I would never have sought media attention in such a blatant, fame-seeking manner. Nor, would I want the images and messages being sent out on Fox News or CNN to be those that Day put out there. But! (notice the !) I am not going to fault the guy for doing what he did any more or less than I already have.
He came on a show with a host that was clearly not on his side on any of these issues and answered some (what I believe are) tough questions with honesty and candor. He admitted to a bit of hypocrisy when it comes to his actions for Sheen’s language versus potential action for language that he uses. He was called to the carpet about his use of salacious terminology. He was asked about alienating the pagan community, shooting himself in the foot, and whether this helped with the sales of his upcoming book. He frankly discussed his views on the pagan community, the fact that his sales are still thriving, and that no press is bad pres when it comes to his upcoming book.
Honestly, I will say that my views of Day as a person have changed. I feel he is a lot more intelligent and aware of the community than I initially gave him credit. Although, I believe his methodology for accomplishing his goals is misguided, I think he knows what he is doing and is right to say he only speaks for himself.
Generally, I was surprised by his answers. I did not expect him to be honest or forthcoming with as much as I asked of him.
So…I’m pleased with my interview. Did I know about the laundry list of Day’s sins? Yes. Did I know about those comments he’s made and interviews he’s done and television shows he’s appeared on? Yep. Did I need to ask him about every single one and make him answer why he did what he did? Nope. He said he does what he does to seek recognition for himself, for Salem, and for the word Warlock (or whatever pet cause he has at the time…like eating sushi). You can try for yourself. Here’s a sample question:
“Why did you use the c--- word when referring to [woman’s name]?”
“Because I say what I want and what I believe. I know it pisses people off, but no press is bad press, and it all helps to increase sales, name recognition, and the witchy aesthetic of Salem.”
You could pretty much apply that answer to any question you’d ask him. And they’re all honest accounts.
So, to those that are disappointed I didn’t accomplish your fantasy of eating Christian Day for lunch and spitting him back out with a bile-filled, well-worded bashing…I was never going to please you. I am generally pleased with the outcome, and while I recognize that he said some things I didn’t question further about, I feel he would have answered me similarly enough to prior questions that it would have become a fake flowers discussion. Besides, many people said of Day that he “set us back” as a community. What, then, would have been accomplished by having him on and verbally bashing him for an entire show? Setting us back even more? Making us look like overly emotional whiners or bullies? Like Day said to me, as fun as that might have been for us, it wouldn’t have solved anything.
What did YOU think about my interview with Christian Day? Comment below or email IncitingARiotPodcast@gmail.com
Love and Lyte,