Listener Letters: Tyson Gay

Jul 19, 2013
Originally published on July 19, 2013 3:45 pm

There was a little misunderstanding over something we said recently. In promoting the story of Tyson Gay, the elite runner who admitted that he’s tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, we said “Tyson Gay, say it isn’t so!”

We heard from one irate listener who wrote “Shame on you!” She joins us to explain.

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OK. So, Jeremy, we have to take a second now to clear up a little misunderstanding over something we said.


Yeah. In promoting the story of Tyson Gay the other day, that's the runner who admitted that he's tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, I said, Robin, on the air, "Tyson Gay, say it ain't so."

YOUNG: Which made sense to us at the time. However, one irate listener wrote us: Shame on you. Why not Tyson Gay? Oopsy. Bonnie Mohler(ph) joins us on the line. Bonnie, Tyson Gay, what did you think Jeremy meant?

BONNIE: I thought that he was referring to Mike Tyson.


BONNIE: And I came in - and I heard: Tyson Gay, say it isn't so. I thought, how dare he say that?


BONNIE: And on NPR, nonetheless.

YOUNG: Well, of course, we were referring to Tyson Gay, the elite runner who had just admitted that he had tested positive for some performance-enhancing...

BONNIE: Oh, if not, well, see. I'm just not up on the latest news. And I guess...


BONNIE: You know? Anyway, that's what I thought, and I'm so glad.

HOBSON: Well, that's why, you know, Bonnie, that's why we do that promotion is so that you will stay with us and learn all about the latest news.


YOUNG: Well, it just goes to show that we have to be so careful how we choose our words. I mean, you never know sometimes how they might be interpreted.

HOBSON: Well, Bonnie, now that you know the facts, do you forgive us.

BONNIE: Yes. Of course, absolutely, especially now since you called. So...

YOUNG: Well, thank you, too, because you could be the only one who thought that.

BONNIE: What? Really?

YOUNG: So we've now nipped that rumor about Mike Tyson in the bud, not that there will be anything wrong with that.

BONNIE: That's right, and I really enjoy your program, too, so.

HOBSON: Thank you, Bonnie.

YOUNG: Thank you.


YOUNG: Where do you listen?

BONNIE: New Haven, Connecticut.

YOUNG: Well, thank you so much.

BONNIE: Thank you. Be well.

YOUNG: Just goes to show that we read all the mail. You know what she did? She ran into her son. She ran home and said, Mike Tyson is gay. Let's look it up on Yahoo.

HOBSON: You know, you just have to listen to the whole show. You're going to have to - you just can't do anything else when HERE AND NOW is on. This is HERE AND NOW. It's a production of NPR and WBUR Boston. I'm Jeremy Hobson.

YOUNG: I'm Robin Young. This is HERE AND NOW.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.