“I think everybody’s got it all wrong about Yannis,” says Gottfried Stier. Stier has been marching up and down in front of Toro Talk Radio’s door since Tuesday, when the radio station relieved the controversial talk show host of his duties for an indefinite period of time.
Stier points to the photo on the sign he’s been carrying, then asks in a genuinely puzzled tone:
“Does that look like the face of a Bull who’s gratuitously cruel?” he asked.
That epithet is one of many that have become attached to Tavros’s name. Always known as outspoken and often seen as controversial, many believe Tavros crossed the line last Tuesday, when he criticized the intellectual capabilities of Hieronymous Hedgehog and his family.
“Nobody here thinks he should have said that,” says Stier, who says he agrees with those who believe Tavros should come forward and apologize.
“But I don’t think it’s an indication of his views. He’s argumentative…and combative on the air. That’s his persona. But his loyalties lie with The Park and he’s a staunch supporter of zoocracy. Considering where he came from, that’s not a surprise. But you won’t find many Animals who are as willing as he is to lay it on the line so The Park can be its best. I don’t think, right now, that Park Animals have any appreciation of his real attitudes. All they can hear is this one mistake. I think we owe it to him to give him a chance to speak honestly,” Stier says.
Another protester, Jurella Tamaraw, points out the irony in Tavros not being on the air.
“The last time there was a controversy about free speech, Yannis was there to help resolve it,” she says. That controversy, which involved the decision made by the Association of Park Radio Stations to pull a Cynics song from the airwaves, was resolved when Tavros offered the Cynics a chance to defend their song on his show.
Many would argue, though, that the current issue is not, technically, one of free speech. The protesters outside Toro Talk Radio believe there is a simple solution, nevertheless.
“I think he should apologize and we should all move on from this,” says Tamaraw.