Ah, the great Leo Laporte. Leo the wise, the kind, the loving....
At least, that's what he'd have you believe. He's made innumerable hypocritical comments on various things, from lightly chastising someone for calling the TRS-80 the "Trash-80" - "We don't call computers names like that here." - to calling a computer over three years old "An obsolete piece of trash."
Then there's his speech on how he's re-invigorating that good ol' one-on-one student/mentor relationship with his help shows. Which he follows up by calling someone who doesn't understand the differences between a modem and a cable modem a "nitwit".
Then there was the time that he spoke to Mayor Coyne (pardon any spelling errors) of Brooklyn, Ohio, about auto safety and the big car makers' plans to make Internet-capable cars - answer your e-mail while doing 80 MPH! Mayor Coyne introduced the first seatbelt law in the US, and one of the first laws to keep drivers from using cell-phones while driving. Therefore, he should be an authority on this sort of thing. Within two minutes of commending Coyne on his forward-thinking and 50-plus years in office, Laporte (out of the mayor's earshot, of course) makes a cheap joke about the mayor's age.
This is just disgusting. Leo Laporte seems to be in his mid-to-late 40's. (Though I'm a dreadful judge of age.) In about thirty-five years, I'll be a respectable fifty-something and he'll be in his eighties - precisely Mayor Coyne's current age. Laporte's ears, eyes, and brain will most likely be failing him. A shame, really, but there you go. Will he be mayor of a town? Probably not. Will he have fifty years at the same career under his belt? Definitely not. Will he have done anything to significantly change the life of any large group of human beings? I doubt it. Will he be asked for interviews, which he will graciously give on his own time? No.
So I ask you, Mr. Laporte. What right do YOU have making fun of Mayor Coyne? Who knows, maybe forty years from now my still-functional body will be willing to carry me to Laporte's retirement home, where I will get a good laugh at his advanced age. It will be so much fun.
Addendum: I suppose this is unfair, to pick on someone like this when he has no valid means of defending himself. So I'll balance it out by making it a two-on-one fight - let me now turn my attention to Laporte's The Screensavers co-host, Kate Botello.
This is going to draw some flames if a member of the The Screensavers fan community finds this page, since Ms. Botello seems to be far kinder than Laporte. And she's female, which may be enough to elevate her to a goddess in some quarters of the boy's club 'geek' community (mostly the places where women don't go for good reason).
But I wonder about her kind exterior. I'm naturally trusting at first, but I'm also paranoid.
There's been the occasional incident where she clearly didn't know her microphone was being piped to the outside world and she's said things I'd be more willing to attribute to Leo Laporte. Which is really no basis for anything but musings from the darker corners of my mind.
Of course, this page is nothing but dark corners (four of 'em), so here it goes: I've wondered how anyone could put up with Leo Laporte on a daily basis, until I realized that someone who was - to some extent - similar to him would easily tolerate him.
The difference? Ms. Botello is professional about it and keeps it to herself unless she thinks the public can't hear her. I suppose in Real Life (TM), this could be seen as two-faced. But this isn't real life, it's television. Remember that, children. Ghostly images across a pane of glass. Poor players that strut and fret their hour upon the stage and then are heard no more.
Go back! Back I say!
Run along home.
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