Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Clean Air Act: Epilogue


XM Satellite Radio, a subscriber-only service which bent over backwards to sign Opie & Anthony, has made the decision to suspend the on-air duo for 30 days.

The punishment is a direct result of crude sex comments made about Condoleezza Rice, Laura Bush and Queen Elizabeth during their radio show.

A statement issued by XM management said that the action was being taken, "to make clear that our on-air talent must take seriously the responsibility that creative freedom requires of them."

I challenge you to read over that last sentence again and attempt to make sense of it.

24 comments:

Paul said...

I don't agree with the suspension at all, but I do agree that just because you can say anything, doesn't mean you should.

Sarah Silverman has a standard joke "I was raped by a doctor, which for a Jewish girl is bittersweet."

Some people love her for comments like that I think she's crude disgusting and not funny. And because she can't think of anything clever to say she just goes to the most outrageous thing she can think of. And people love her, which is fine.

O&A can be much better than this routine which really wasn't funny at all, and if you didn't hate Rice so much you would agree. They weren't making fun of her, they were making fun of rape. Making fun of her would have been a joke about the gap in her teeth. People who can her "Condi the Warrior Princess" are making fun of her. People who say they want to have forced sex with her and don't have anything better to say.

I once heard a routine in which Ed Lover described what he'd like to do to Keisha Knight Pulliam aka Rudy Huxtable. I actually sat in my car for ten minutes listening to his discussion of jello pudding.

That was funny. The dumb drunk homeless man was not.

Chez said...

Yes, but you don't get to decide what's funny and what isn't -- nor do I. Opie & Anthony weren't standing on a street corner next to a school, shouting with a bullhorn; they were broadcasting ONLY to those who paid for the service.

And incidentally, for the record -- at no point was rape ever mentioned during the impromptu bit; Homeless Charlie made his comment about wanting to "fuck that bitch," and Anthony responded by saying that he could only imagine the look of horror on her face as Charlie forced himself on her.

And I'm not even gonna bother responding to your assertion that my opinion of Condi Rice in any way influences the logic here -- it's that fucking stupid.

Anonymous said...

God forbid anyone disagrees with you, Chez.

I agree with Paul - it's lowest-common-denominator humor. And while freedom of speech supposedly gives us the right to say as much stupid shit as possible - we must understand that comments like those made against Condi have an effect on society....it makes it o.k. to objectify women, which in turn makes "forced sex' a.k.a. rape more tolerable to some because "the bitch had it coming"

BTW you don't see those who disagree with Wolfowitz or Bush going there - no one's saying that all Bush needs is "a stiff one" or some pussy and he'd "know his place."

But I wouldn't expect an angry, white male like yourself to get this. You wouldn't get it unless you had some freak on top of you, telling you that you saying no means that you really want it.

Because you had it coming.

Tracey

Sean said...

First off, let me say that I am infuriated about this suspension, and I'm in limbo this morning without O and A (there's no live FM syndication in my city and I can't stream radio at work).

From what I've read, although the suspension was indeed a result of Homeless Charlie, it was not the direct and only cause. The suspension is due to the fact that Op and Ant continued to discuss the incident on-air after they were told not to. Not that it matters. Because really, any way you slice it, this is XM punishing their talent for saying things that someone didn't like. It's certainly within any company's rights to discipline employees for what they feel is misconduct, but when you're talking about employees who are directly responsible for many, many people not just subscribing to your service, but who subscribe for their show and their show alone, I think, perhaps, that flexing your corporate muscle to make a point is a bad decision. Regardless of what they said, they were saying it to paid subscribers ONLY, and their statements after the fact were not detrimental to XM or its business.

Christ, I hate this. I'm sure XM realizes how many subscribers they'll lose if they fail to bring Opie and Anthony back. I just hope they're not prepared to take that kind of loss.

Chez said...

Tracey --

You know something, you're right; I've never had a freak on top of me telling me that I really want it. Therefore, all I've got to go on is my brain.

The idea that I can't somehow empathize with a woman who's been sexually assaulted or demeaned by some vicious asshole is not simply ridiculous (by virtue of the fact that it's absolutely not true) -- it has no real bearing on this conversation one way or the other. It's a fucking cop-out to play the "angry white Neanderthal" card everytime someone who happens to be white and male also happens to disagree with you.

I'm well aware that there are rotten, dangerous men out there who get off on objectifying women -- I'm not one of them. I also think, however, that it's a hell of a reach to say that a really dumb rant from a homeless guy is going to lead to the continued oppression of the female of the species. That's just outright nonsense. In fact, I'm inclined to think that the opposite is true -- and I'll once again use the Don Imus miasma as an example: what proves the a woman (or anyone else for that matter) is powerful and dignified -- getting flustered to the point of tears that an old, irrelevant idiot insulted you, or calling him an idiot, blowing it off and getting the hell on with your life?

What happened on the Opie & Anthony show was nothing more than a really stupid joke. It was in no way an insult or a threat to all womankind.

Incidentally, I think Bush actually could use being held down and sodomized. And as for Wolfowitz -- well, the lengths he to which he had to go to get a woman to fuck him are about to cost him his job at the World Bank.

doesn't play well with others said...

God, I'm so sick of this. Yes, Tracey, it's lowest common denominator humor but, ya know what? some people think base vile humor is incredibly funny. And they have a right to listen to it and laugh. Two morons on XM radio are not going to fundamentally effect what society thinks of Condi Rice. Most people already have their opinions.

And as far as Chez not "getting it", I doubt that's the case. Being white or angry doesn't negate all morals. Considering he has a wife he adores I'm guessing he "gets" the severity or rape.

Jayne said...

I don't like what the comments implied either, Tracey. And of course it's not a good thing to make it OK to objectify women. But the solution here for those it offends? Turn it off. Don't listen to it.

I can be very sensitive to the issue for my own reasons, but I'm more inclined to get upset over things that really matter- like when rape really does happen- than over an idiot making a stupid joke. Chez is very sensitive to my feelings, more so than other men I've known. But he also knows that I'm smart enough to not get offended by bad humor.

I once considered myself an artist, and maybe that's why I shudder at the thought of censoring anybody. I still would rather have the choice of listening or turning it off.

Jerry Fallwell offended me far more often than any "shock jocks" ever could when it comes to oppressing women. HE wasn't joking around.

Thomas said...

"God forbid anyone disagrees with you, Chez."

Lest you forget, this is Chez's little sounding board. Until Commissar Gonzalez says otherwise, this is his home and you're a guest in it.

I don't always agree with him, but he's right — must it always be reduced to that same trite men vs. women argument? It can't be a question of whether or not Opie & Anthony were just being inane & tactless?

I'll say it for the last time — IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT DON'T TUNE IN TO IT — whether it be O&A or Chez.

Fungi said...

"Anonymous said...
God forbid anyone disagrees with you, Chez."

the man is NOT wrong. i acutally heard homeless charlie live and i happen to find what he said very funny. he did not say rape, he said fuck. did you actually hear what was said? becuase if you did, i don't think you'd be so upset. it was a bit. that's all. godforbid we upset another person of color. as a white man, i'm getting really tired of this double standard. a black man can make fun of whitey and use the "n" word to describe his people. but if we do it, we're racist. what does that make them? bottom line, if you don't like what was said and don't find O&A funny, don't listen. while you're at it, you might as well sell your TV, never go to the movies again, never use the internet again and don't read the newspaper. you can spend your time reading that wonderfull book that should be in the fiction section in the library, the bible.
that should make it nice and friendly in your little world.

you do not get to decide what is right for the rest of us.

this is stupid. O&A weren't even they ones who said it. now we're stuck with ron & fez for a month. just great.

Mike said...

They were NOT suspended for the INCIDENT...they were suspended for not taking their Friday apology seriously and talking about the situation when XM specifically told them not to. HUGE DIFFERENCE!!

Manny said...

Awww, "Anonymous".....we missed you.....whomever the hell you are. I haven't had the oppurtunity to hear the bit on O&A, but based on Chez' post, this is simply a knee jerk reaction by a station scared shitless by the Imus scandal, and is jumping the shark before Sharpton can go megaton on their asses with his holy fury.

Wow, how many metaphors can I fit on one sentence? Anyway, Anonymous, I call motherfucking bullshit on your commment that the comments made on O&A are going to cause the collapse of modern society. They have the right to say dumb shit, as does anyone on their show. If you don't like it, DON"T FUCKING LISTEN TO IT. You see that little knob on your radio that says On/Off ? Push it. You see that revolver in your nightstand? Suck it.

RottweilerTOM said...

You know what Chez, I fucking disagree with you, God fordid You!!!

Actually, I do agree - I just wanted to say that.

The Opie issue is no different then any others in the past month, therefore this posting while a good reminder, is redundant. Next?

Chez said...

Mike --

You're right that they made matters worse by talking about the issue on-air. They criticized the lack of backbone among broadcasting companies when it comes to defending free speech. The statement from XM however concentrated only on the initial bit itself -- not anything that's happened since.

TK said...

It's been a long time since I've found O&A funny - to me, they spend waaaay too much time telling the world how cool and cutting edge they are, than actually being cool and cutting edge. I think they're ignorant morons who forgot the joke a long time ago.

That said - if you pay for it, you should get what you pay for. And you shouldn't penalize people for giving out the product you ASK THEM TO GIVE OUT. The whole point of their morning switch to XM is that all bets are off, and they were allowed to do whatever the hell they wanted. That's why XM signed them up. To get outraged over them doing what is essentially the basis of their act and then suspend them is not only idiotic and foolish, it's contradictory and self-righteous. They have every right to be as obnoxious and offensive as they choose.

And no, they were NOT making fun of rape. They were actually making fun of Homeless Charlie (in my understanding). And to be perfectly honest, and I know this is not the popular opinion, but even if they WERE making fun of rape... well... that's ignorant, offensive, immature and derogatory. But that's the price we pay for free speech. You rolls the dice, you takes your chances.

Beleria said...

This whole situation is Bullshit. I've never heard O & A, heard good things about them sure, but never tuned in. It sounds like they attract their audience with lowbrow humor.
So, the bottom line is-if tactless and irreverant humor is what draws their crowd-shouldn't they be allowed to explore their boundaries of how crass they can be without people blowing a fucking fuse?
What happened to personal accountability-where we were once responisible for what we listened to and watched. Driver-this is my stop, I don't like where this bus is headed...

Anonymous said...

It's official: No one can say anything anymore about anyone without getting "reprimanded". Not even you, Chez. Keep on rocking in the "free" world?


Monique

Anonymous said...

You know what? You're right. I can choose NOT to watch or listen or read whatever offends me.

And thanks to the way my comments - well-meaning and not for Chez or anyone to take personally - were so slaughtered, I choose not to read this anymore.

Thanks for bringing the insults to a personal low. You've lost a reader.

Tracey

Chez said...

Tracey --

If by some chance you do happen to wander back this way, I actually would like to apologize if you felt abused in any way (and no, I'm not kidding). I admit that it infuriates me when someone assumes that because I'm not specifically affected by something that I don't have the ability to empathize with those who are. I certainly didn't mean to insult your overall opinion -- and contrary to what you may think, I love healthy debate and I damn well want people to push back, and push back hard.

Once again, sorry.

AAAAAHH AAGH AAAAAHHHH AAAAGH!!! said...

Hey Chez, man, ya know how we're always pining for the good old days and wishing we had our old radio show again?


That could never actually happen; we wouldn't last a month, the way things have become.

Anonymous said...

It all has to do with getting the FCC to approve the upcoming Sirius/XM merger.

ekdikeo said...

Only thing I have to say about this, is that although I neither agree with much of anything that comes out of Opie and Anthony (although I've been trying to find an audio file of "Dragon Ass" for years now .. ), nor suspending them for their comments, they are employed by a private employer, who can do as they would like with their broadcasts.

Robo said...

Imus is gone, O&A is on the outs, Tracey is gone.

What is the world coming to People?

Oh and Votar....I laugh out loud everytime I look at the new pic. +1000 Banter Points to you sir!

Vicodin said...

I think the whole thing is stupid. The people who listen to Opie and Anthony know the show and get a kick out of their off the wall humor. I know I do. Did anyone really think they would apologize and actually mean it? The suspension is bullshit. They are on satellite so they don't have to be censored. It's not like it was said on the evening news. It was said on a satellite radio show, run by 2 guys that say shit like that all the time. What's the difference now?

ps...In my eyes, Chez is never wrong. Lol.

namron said...

I propose the following as the next Amendement to the U.S. Constitution:

"Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me."