It’s not surprising to me that shock jocks behave badly. This is a capitalist society, and as long as we (collectively) create a market for shock jocks, people like Opie and Anthony will continue to push the envelope, just like car companies will continue to build SUVs as long as there are suburban yuppies who want to buy them. To a certain extent, we have no one but ourselves to blame for the Imuses and Opie & Anthonies of the world.
It’s a little surprising that DC-based XM, which is not subject to FCC regulations, suspended Opie and Anthony. But hey, if I owned a broadcasting company and my on-air talent made jokes about how fun it would be to watch the look of “horror” on a woman’s face as she’s being raped, I’d fire their asses. Like, before the end of the show. Without apology. Not because they don’t have a First Amendment right to say it, but because their rights do not require me to provide salaries or studio space for them while they do. And because their rights do not require their employer to lose ad money or subscriber revenue in the name of “Creative Freedom.”
So I think Jim Treacher is full of shit when he calls it “censorship”. It’s not censorship; it’s capitalism. (Comedy Central has an agreement with Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of “South Park” that’s at least honest about it. They can do whatever they want, but Comedy Central will show episodes in advance to advertisers. If the advertisers stay in, the show airs. If they want to pull their ads, the show doesn’t.)
It’s worth noting that the terrestrial radio version of the Opie & Anthony show has lost advertising from none other than Trojan condoms over this incident. How tasteless do you have to be when the company who gave us the “Trojan Man” commercials decides you’re bad for its image?
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs