The Post-Imus Radio Landscape Gets Scarier

One of the most frustrating aspects of the whole Don Imus fiasco is the apathy shown by people who in my opinion should have been enraged that such a minor, off-the-cuff remark had led to a public lynching of the legendary host.
The attitude of too many people was either “I don’t listen to his show” or “I’m glad it happened because I hate him”. Sorry, but that’s complete bullshit. The issue wasn’t the person behind the microphone but the idea that a minority of loud-mouthed media whores could limit the free speech of any (or all) broadcast personalities.
Chilling proof that the Imus incident has completely changed the landscape of commercial radio was evident earlier this week in New York City. Free FM’s The Doghouse featuring JV and Elvis repeated an earlier broadcast which featured a prank call to an Chinese restaurant. Hack radio, for sure, but no different than what dozens of “wacky” radio stations do on a daily basis.
While the initial airing resulted in no listener complaints, the post-Imus rebroadcast almost-predictably resulted in a media run by otherwise unknown Organization of Chinese Americans, who decried it as “racist, vulgar, and sexist”. Puh-lease.
JV, who is married to a woman of Chinese descent, immediately apologized, but just like in the Imus incident CBS showed just how scared they are of advertiser backlash. The pair was indefinitely suspended, which in the radio industry almost always means that dismissal is imminent.
I suspect that this won’t be the last incident of this sort. Any radio show that deals with humor of any sort now has to worry that somewhere out there is an individual that will claim they are offended and will run to either a lawyer or a cable news channel. As New York radio critic Allan Sniffin wrote yesterday, “the real issue is that every single group (religious, ethnic, cultural, political--you name it) now feels empowered to object to anything they don't like and the broadcasting companies have no backbone to tell them to get over it. So, instead of laughing at ourselves, we've become an audience of over sensitive crybabies who run to Momma every time someone looks sideways. The end result is that no one can say anything without being in trouble.”
The bottom line for this topic is the same as for those whiners who complain about South Park, Skinemax, MTV, and WWE. If you don’t like what’s on the channel, there’s two wonderful buttons that will solve your personal dilemma. One is a channel changer. You push it, and you end up on a whole new channel. Wow. Repeat until you find something suitable for your bland tastes. If you can’t find anything, there’s also the on/off button. Push that and you’ll never be offended again.
Whatever you do, don’t even think about telling me what should offend me. Just as I don’t call for the banning of evil shows such as American Idol or Oprah, you don’t have the right to take away to take away my shows. After all, how would I get through my boring worday without those naughty bastards Cade, Jen, Opie, Anthony, Ron, Fez, and Little Jimmy Norton?


Anonymous said…
back before kdlt general manager gary bolton died from cancer sticks, he claimed that "2 and a half men" was soft-core porn.
Anonymous said…

You are 100% correct on your rant. It’s sad to see the complacency that exists in this country.
I wonder if these complacent people will feel the same when the overseers finally come for them.
Anonymous said…
Everyone is making such a big deal out of this. It's not like the FCC reprimanded him or anything. Just that the network decided they had enough of him. The Don Imus Show will exist somewhere else.
Anonymous said…
It wasn't the idiot listeners who fucked him; it was the commercial sponsors.

Popular Posts