Radio AM to FM: February 4, 2005
Controversy continues in New York, as listeners and advertisers alike condemn Emmis Radio's WHQT (Hot 97) over a song parody aired two weeks ago on the Miss Jones in the Morning show.
Not just any song parody, mind you. One that makes fun of the tsunami tragedy in Southern Asia. To the tune of "We Are the World," The Tsunami Song lyrics include references to washing the country away, with victims referred to as "screaming chinks" and "little chinamen," according to industry newspaper Radio and Records.
Further, in banter between co-host Todd Lyn and Asian-American newswoman Miss Info, Lyn said on the air, "I know you feel you're superior, probably, because you're Asian, but you're not," followed a few moments later by "I'm going to start shooting Asians."
In response, Emmis President Rick Cummings last week told R&R, "All involved and those of us associated with the morning show at Hot 97 are ashamed this happened and are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused. But I also know people make errors in judgment and that this company has always tried to give people a second chance."
Apparently even when one is not called for.
Coming to their senses, one day after the Cummings interview, Hot 97 suspended the morning team indefinitely. The entire seven-member morning team has agreed to donate one week's salary to relief efforts. And now McDonalds has gotten involved by pulling all advertising on the station until further notice.
I say, good for them. It is about time someone stood up for decency on the radio. Not the fake decency forced by outgoing FCC chairman Michael Powell; common decency that helps hold people back when they come up with idiotic ideas such as making fun of a recent tragedy.
I was an intern at Emmis in the mid 1980s, and I know Rick Cummings. I believe him when he says that the event is not a true reflection of Emmis. But anyone involved in such a stunt does not deserve to be on the radio, much less in America's largest radio market. Cummings should bring some class back to radio by firing the morning show outright. There is just no excuse for something like that to happen, and Cummings should not reward such stupidity by letting them back on the air.
And, I might add, this is what can be expected when you place shock-jock wannabe no-talents on the air instead of grooming professionals on smaller market stations as was done in the past.
Calling Dr. Love
Jim "Poorman" Trenton, who created and was the original host of Love Lines on KROQ (106.7 FM) will return to the airwaves with a similar nightly show beginning Valentines Day, February 14th, at 10 PM.
This time it will air on KMPC (1540 AM) and be called Love Calls. According to Trenton, this show will have appeal to both sexes, unlike the original show which is supposedly geared toward males.
Copyright © 2005 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.
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