Thanks for the comment, Ed. I think the main problem with these situations is that you have a very small minority kicking up a fuss about it; why should a small minority be allowed to control content that the majority are not complaining about? These private corporations have a technological control over what goes over their airwaves via timed delay as well as the “dump” button and could have easily hit that button at any time during, for example, Imus’s show when he uttered the phrase “nappy headed ho.” His was an offhanded comment and (in my opinion) a lame attempt at humor. Do you think he would have been suspended and later fired if the corporate media machine didn’t go into overdrive when A small number of people including Al Sharpton decided to take the issue under their wing?
When I was young, I was taught the old “Sticks and Stones” rule. Why allow what someone says to bother me? I have the ability to “tune out” or “ignore” the things I don’t want to hear. I should know, I practiced many times with my parents. Why can’t these special interest groups do the same thing and tune out what they don’t like?
With JV & Elvis, the original occurrence of the restaurant call-in bit apparently resulted in no complaints. It wasn’t until that show was re-broadcast that some people decided to get upset. I find that interesting. I think I know why they were fired, too. About a week and a half after that, their station flipped from an all talk format back to the old K-Rock music station it once was. Why keep a controversial team on the air and possibly muck up the new (old) station image? So they got cut loose.
Yes, radio is a private enterprise but it is regulated by the FCC. My understanding is that none of what has been said by the examples I gave above broke FCC rules. I think it stinks that these radio stations have no back bone and would rather dump a great radio personality(s) rather than defend them and find new sponsors. Maybe it’s wishful thinking…