Tuesday, May 15, 2007

XM Suspends Opie & Anthony for One Month

Conservative Talk Hosts Sees Congressional Action Against Conservative Talk

Opie & Anthony have been Imused by XM Satellite Radio for a bit they performed on their show last Wednesday. During the bit, a fictitious caller named Homeless Charlie detailed a fantasy where he would have rough sex with Condoleezza Rice, Laura Bush and Queen Elizabeth.
Also, two leading right-wing talk show hosts issued warnings that Congressional Democrats will use this controversy to limit the free speech rights of conservative talkers.

In an announcement issued about an hour ago, XM indicated that they were suspending the shock jock duo for 30 days "to make clear that our on-air talent must take seriously the responsibility that creative freedom requires of them."

The details of Homeless Charlie’s sexually explicit interview with Opie and Anthony are contained in a previous post on Talking Radio as well as a link to the audio segment.

Opie & Anthony (AKA Greg Hughs and Anthony Cumia) apologized to their listeners for the bit, issuing the following statement on their Friday Show:

"We apologize to the public officials for comments that we made on our XM show on May 9th. We take very seriously the responsibility that comes with our creative freedom and regret any offense that this segment has caused," they said.

However, the XM statement issued today didn’t accept the shock jock’s apology.

“Comments made by Opie and Anthony on Friday's broadcast put into question whether they appreciate the seriousness of the matter," XM stated.

Outrage over the “Opie and Anthony” bit has been growing steadily over the past few days. Ironically some of the most vocal critics have been right-wing talk radio hosts, who fear that public outrage over the matter might lead to restrictions on their ability to make strong statements about liberals and other opponents of the Bush administration.

In piece posted on the conservative Townhall Hall site, right-wing talk show host Neal Boortz blasted O & A, who he referred to as “two extremely immature and sick people trying to be cute.”

“These two pathetic fools need to be removed from XM satellite radio right now. Today. No suspension. No warning. Fire them. Now, Boortz (who calls himself a free-speech proponent and libertarian) exclaimed.

However, Boortz focused most of his venom on Democrats in Congress, who he claimed would use O & A to curtail conservative talk radio.

“By the end of the day today you’re going to hear liberals in congress and the media referring to these two morons as talk show hosts. Comparisons will be drawn between them and people like Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage and myself. You’ll hear the phrases “hate speech” and “hate radio” over and over again as these leftists push their Stalinist-inspired plans to destroy conservative and libertarian talk radio,” he stated.

Boortz went on to say, “by the time the dust has settled the majority of the people in this country --- who don’t by the way, listen to talk radio --- will absolutely believe in their hearts that this O & A stunt is representative of all talk radio, and these people will be eager to support their politicians in their goal to shut us all down.”

So it appears that Boortz and other right wing talkers appear to be more concerned about their job security than the impact of O & A’s offensive bit on Condoleezza Rice, Laura Bush, and Queen Elizabeth

Boortz said that Democrats will use the controversy to push legislation to regulate talk radio, which currently offers conservatives a robust 13 to 1 advantage over liberals in number of hours of programming carried by terrestrial radio stations.

“Right now we have a little gem called H.R. 3302, the “Media Ownership Reform Act,” in the congress. H.R. 3302 is a project of DC Democrats who know that conservative talk radio constitutes a real threat to their plans for total victory in 2008,” Boortz warned. “If H.R. 3302 were to become law, talk radio as you know it would be dead inside of nine months. Period. Thanks to the antics of these two idiots there will be more congressmen who will be willing to join in this and other efforts to control broadcast radio and, incidentally, to control satellite broadcasting as well.”

Boortz offered some historical perspective and challenged the concept of “the public airwaves.”

“But by the time broadcasting came around politicians were savvy enough to find a way around the First Amendment in their goal of controlling broadcast content,” he said. “They created this ridiculous fiction of “the public’s airwaves” and have exploited that asinine idea to their benefit for years. Now they’re working to increase that control through H.R. 3302 and, at the same time, considering ways to spread their censorship agenda to satellite radio.”

So at the end of the day the public outrage about Imus’s infamous “nappy-headed hos” comment last month, JV and Elvis’ racist, sexist, and vulgar phone call to a Chinese Restaurant, and O & A’s latest outburst, could damage conservative talk radio.

“Opie and Anthony just gave these control-freak politicians a huge bit of leverage with their crude little skit,” Boortz said.

Boortz is not the only conservative talk show host to view O & A supension as liberal plot to get conservatives. Syndicated radio talk host Glenn Beck, appearing on CNN's American Morning, said it "smacks of leftist witch hunt in many ways."
"There is a real feeling, I think, on the left -- they couldn't get the Fairness Doctrine out, and so what they're trying to do is to shut people down," Beck said "If you look at the people that are on the shock radio list, you will see that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity -- and I am on that list.
I guess Boortz doesn't have to worry, since according to Beck, he's not on the list."


Anonymous said...

Another Howard Stern wannabe.

barooosk said...


Opie & Anthony or Neal Boortz

raccoonradio said...

They're still on CBS terrestrial
radio though, apparently.

Boston Radio Watch
has a piece
including a comment from a radio industry "observer" wondered if it was a stunt by XM to attract attention for them. The blogger
(Mark Schynder) does say though,
"Moreover, XM's 30-day suspension doesn't make much sense in this corner. While XM execs scolded their star employees, why will the satellite radio company allow them to work and promote the show on CBS during their suspension?!"

Some have felt that XM's move may be a Cover Their Butt move since
the Dept of Justice has to approve the XM-Sirius merger...

raccoonradio said...

L.A. Times article

"I signed up for XM because it's uncensored. I like these guys because they are so unfiltered," said Placentia resident Paul Hebert, who canceled his $12.95 monthly XM subscription Tuesday in protest. He wasn't alone. Hundreds of angry subscribers have flooded XM's operators with calls to cancel since the suspension was announced Tuesday. About 60 listeners smashed their XM receivers Wednesday outside the WFNY-FM studios in New York

(It's felt XM is catering to regulatory pressure/impending merger concern. One guy is said to have spent
6 hours on the phone trying to cancel.)

wackbag.com now links to a site called People Against Censorship. They say that O&A were suspended by XM and "are
soon to be fired"

raccoonradio said...

trying again--L.A. Times

Anonymous said...

Jv and Elvis were the best new show to hit NYC since Stern.

They were new to the market, they were in a crappy time slot, they had absolutely no type of promotion what-so-ever... Yet they still managed to pull competitive numbers with Opie and Anthony, and even beat the Radio Chick in most of the demos.

Program Director John Manielli of WFNY FREE FM, wanted to put them in Afternoon drive because he knew that they were gaining a huge fan base all by word of mouth.

Then came some over sensitive publicity driven group- parading all over tv, news papers and internet sites.. Calling them racists, sexists, every other IST in the dictionary.. Demanding and threatening for them to be fired.

Well the OCA..the C stands for CENSORSHIP, got their way... Jv and Elvis were unable to defend themselves, were gagged and fired.. So the OCA won when they were fired but everyone else lost.

Atleast all the independant news websites, and television shows made them look like the idiotic super sensitive clones they are.

To the OCA rep. who said their are two types of Free Speech.."FREE SPEECH AND SPEECH THAT HURTS."

I think you should study up on where you are from, and why people are so aggresive in labeling your fradualent group as nothing more than censorship advocates, through force, misrepresantation and threats.

The DOGHOUSE WILL BE BACK, and I hope next time the company they work for tell the over sensitive Politically Correct Police to screw.