Simms is an embarrassment

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I write regarding the “Open Line” call-in show of Jan. 29, with Randy Simms on VOCM.

What an embarrassment listening to Randy Simms tongue-lash Simeon Tshakapesh and the followup caller.

There has been a lot of talk about bullying these days, but always in the context of schools.

Well, where do you think the children learn it from? Randy Simms is a loose cannon who has done some major damage this time and should be removed from the air until he makes restitution for his actions.

He has demonstrated how bullying works and has demonstrated a blatant disregard for an Innu band chief.

Nobody wants to call that racism but the way it came off sounded like absolute disdain and contempt. There is no call for that.

He should not explain and justify his actions — he should just suck it up like the man he pretends to be and apologize profusely for bullying Simeon Tshakapesh and indirectly the Natuashish Innu people.  

He did not even give the man a chance to speak.  

You don’t have to agree with someone to be amiable towards them, regardless of a person’s point of view. We believe in a person’s right to speak even if you don’t agree.

Having the power to turn Simeon Tshakapesh off in public the way he did is an abuse of power that should not be taken lightly. Any politician who would speak like that to another politician would be asked to tender his resignation and so it should not be out of line to request the same of Randy Simms for the way he treated this political leader of Natuashish.

Shame on Randy Simms. This was a blatant display of bullying if I ever heard it.


Gerald Vaandering

Pouch Cove

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Recent comments

  • I'm Right. Your Wrong.
    February 05, 2013 - 06:41

    Everyone needs to stop getting on with their foolishness saying this and that to mr Simms. After all he is only human and I am 100% EVERYONE has done something that they regret. The point of the matter is this. Forget about the little squabble of a raido show and focus on this. The Labrador Inuit are going to kill every last caribou they can. They have to be stopped. How hard is it for people to see that when they are gone they are seriously GONE. The herd of Labrador has unique genes to any other herd making them unique. AND the chief referred to killing pigs and cows ???????! Is that a joke ???? Like mr simms said if you were going to kill off the last of the pigs and cows I would call you stupid as well. NOTHING RACIST ABOUT ANY OF THAT so do not try and warp mine or other peoples words to take the focus off the main topic which is theses last few caribou. Bottom line. If the Inuit of Labrador want there grandchildren and others in the future to see and experience the caribou STOP NOW. We're not saying never hunt them again but my god let the animals breed for a few years so there will be many more. THIS IS COMMON SENCE. I am a 16 year old highschool student and I would of thought that adults AND A CHEIF could act more humaine towards theses few caribou. Seriously people wake up a realize what your doing and saying.

    • Jay
      February 05, 2013 - 09:26

      At the very least, maybe you should learn the difference between Inuit and Innu before you start showing your extreme ignorance in a public forum. There's a lot more I could add, but it's hardly worth the effort.

  • robert taylor
    February 05, 2013 - 00:25

    simms is well past his best before date if he ever had one. when are the management of vocm going to wake up and dump this ahole. where is bill rowe when we need him

  • Straight Talk
    February 04, 2013 - 14:09

    Tshakapesh is a fool and a detriment to his people. The Innu can do better than this guy as their leadership and spokesperson.

    February 04, 2013 - 11:53

    Sadly, public support for ignorant people like Simms is still pretty strong in this country. When racism, bigotry and intolerance raise their ugly heads there will always be people like Christopher Chafe to applaud. And there are powerful industrial lobbies in Canada that are only too happy to exploit that backward mentality to further their own ends. (Read Jeffrey Simpson in Saturday's Globe). Anyone who stands in the way of the next big dirty mining or energy project is automatically an enemy of progress. Environmentalists, natives and ordinary people who question such developments are derided and dismissed not only by loudmouths like Simms but by politicians in the pocket of big business. It is established fact that the diversion of the Lower Churchill and the flooding of large parts of central Labrador will deposit toxins in Lake Melville, displace wildlife including untold numbers of caribou, and threaten the marine resources on which native people depend. Government's own regulatory review agencies have questioned its necessity and economic merit but to no avail. In other words, blatant abuse of the fragile environmental and ecological fabric of Labrador by government and industry is quite acceptable - but natives are read the riot act. People like Simms, Hedderson and King can't see the hypocrisy in that. We'll destroy the resources you have lived off for a thousand years in order to serve our own greedy ends, and then we'll insist that you bear the brunt of that destruction. Anyone who has spent time in Labrador will attest to the fact that the Inuit, Innu and Metis are among the most mild mannered, honest, charitable, trusting, humble people in the world (except when under the influence of substances we introduced into their culture). How ironic that when faced with the near extinction of what was until recently the largest caribou herd in the world, arseholes like Simms feel free to spew their anger and contempt while at the same time insisting that the people most directly affected by such tragedy remain calm, rational and submissive. I don't support the continued hunt of the George River herd other than a small number of animals annually for ceremonial and cultural purposes. But nor do I fault native leaders for refusing to support the ban until government has demonstrated its readiness to engage them properly on issues of science, including the identification and amelioration of threats to the herd, and on compensation. If fishermen were entitled to compensation for damage to their way of life, then so too are native peoples. I accept that mine is the minority view - but one that needs to be acknowledged.

    • Watchdog
      February 04, 2013 - 14:00

      So it's ok for you to tar Mr. Simms as ignorant, racist, bigoted, and intolerant, even though he gave an unconditional apology? It's ok for you to call Mr. Simms an arshole, yet condemn him for using the same word as someone spewing anger and contempt? One set of rules for all and i could care less where your great-great-great grandfather came from. If you think that's bigoted or racist then you have the problem.

    • Taste of own medicine
      February 05, 2013 - 07:28

      Randy Simms and his bullying denialist ilk can sure dish it out but when it comes time for a taste of their own, they can’t handle it. Three different groups on various occasions felt he was promoting racism but there’s something wrong with everybody else and we shouldn’t be picking on poor oppressed talk show host mayors. Yeah right. Well I don’t listen to Randy Simms Open Line because I don’t put up with bullying or racism but unfortunately from time to time the slime of it seethes out into the whole community.

  • Doug Smith
    February 04, 2013 - 11:51

    Mr. Chafe, Mr. Simms did more than call Mr. Tshakapesh stupid, he also called him an idiot and an arsehole then cut him off so Mr. Tshakapesh couldn’t defend his position. Therefore that is bullying. You can listen to the interview to verify what I am saying is true. Denying reality is never a good thing for you or anyone else. Doug Smith,GFW

    • Frank
      February 06, 2013 - 10:57

      Simms called it right if you ask me. Now if he would only hang up on the other idiot Eugen Nippard, it would make my day.

  • Turry from town
    February 04, 2013 - 10:47

    This joker cuts of regular people he can't talk over,but gives polititions, especially the ones from MtPearl, all kinds of free airtime,sucks up to them,and never challenges them on any issues.And he never calls them stupid.

  • Ratings Ratings
    February 04, 2013 - 09:44

    I didn't hear what Simms said and frankly I don't care - open line is not my idea of a good use of my time. I'm willing to wager that everyone complaining about Simms listens faithfully every morning. Some people just love drama.

  • too funny
    February 04, 2013 - 09:02

    "He did not even give the man a chance to speak." Have you ever heard of anyone allowed to speak on the Simms Show. A caller gets their name in and then it's Simms talking for the next five minutes. The show is a joke. The only reason to listen is to hear Simms make a fool of himself.

  • Doug Smith
    February 04, 2013 - 08:44

    Mr. Chafe, do you realize that you have just indicted the vast majority of Newfoundlanders as bullies? Surely, you don’t approve of the way Mr. Simms treated Mr. Tshakapesh. Why couldn’t Mr. Simms just express his views without name calling and bulling? Doug Smith, GFW

    • Christopher Chafe
      February 04, 2013 - 09:55

      Calling someone stupid is NOT bullying.

  • Frank
    February 04, 2013 - 08:02

    He did apologize and Simean refused to accept it. Simean used the old tried and tested race card. It's not as if Open Line is a vehicle for informed and serious discussion. One need only listen for a few days to reealize that.

  • Happily Retired
    February 04, 2013 - 07:56

    Randy regularly bullies those who disagree with his point of view. Then after tey hang up, he runs them down behind their back. It's a common strategy that he uses. If you disagree with him, you may as well not even phone in. In this case, Randy ambushed the chief. He made the phone call and went on an immediate attack with his name calling. He should be ashamed of himself. He's a professional communicator, and should know better. I don't agree with the Innu point of view, but there is absolutely no need for his bullying and name calling. All he's done is polarized two opposing points of view. I'm almost ashamed of the numerous bigoted posts which I've seen in support of his position. When a man has to explain every day that he's not a racist, maybe he is. Furthermore, if John Steele had any intestinal fortitude, he should remove this man from his position.

  • Dave
    February 04, 2013 - 07:52

    Why is the Telegram publishing a letter on Feb 4th demanding an apology that was already given on Jan 30th.

  • Christopher Chafe
    February 04, 2013 - 07:20

    Randy only said and did what the vast majority of Newfoundlander's would have said and done!

    • Steve
      February 04, 2013 - 09:08

      Christopher Chafe, you need to learn some manners, if you think what Randy Simms did was proper behaviour. You are way off base with your remarks. Even if you've made up your mind about an issue before you have a discussion with someone having an opposing viewpoint, there is no call for the kind of rude behaviour Simms got on with. Especially an open line show, the point is that people get to air their views. The host can disagree with those views, and both parties attempt to present logical arguments to support their views. If you think starting off a conversation by calling the other person "stupid" is the right approach, I hope you are never elected to public office.

    • Christopher Chafe
      February 04, 2013 - 09:54

      They are stupid if they follow through with their hunt. Plain and simple. Just like any Newfoundlander who continued to fish COD after the moratorium in 92 are also stupid.

    • Sean
      February 04, 2013 - 12:20

      Again, Christopher, you seem to be baffled by the concept of what is and is not and appropriate way to speak to another human being. There are no circumstances where it is appropriate to call someone stupid to their face, period. There are no circumstances where it is appropriate to do so on the public airwaves. You can say, "I think you're wrong, and here's why." That is how you facilitate good public discussion. Even if the decision is stupid in this case, there will always be other situations where perhaps Simms will disagree, but the other part will not, in fact, be stupid, he or she will be smart, and possibly correct. If an open line host just resorts to calling people he disagrees with "stupid" then unfortunately the calibre of public debate is down the tubes. Apparently you don't place much value on that as a concept, you just want to be right.