Monday, April 09, 2007

Radio Free America

By John McMullen
The Phanatic Magazine

Co-hosting a radio show is pretty cool.

(I interrupt this column to insert shameless plug here -- You can listen to 'Johns on Sports' every Saturday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (et) on WTBQ.com.)

But in today's hippie-liberal, politically correct environment, you have to be very careful. I found this out when my co-host, the immensely talented but egomaniacal John Gottlieb, tossed out an innocent question about bumper music.

The tune in question happened to be the Red Hot Chili Pepper's 'Roller Coaster of Love.' Instead of asking John why he wanted to play that song...I decided to overlook the man crush implications and take solace in the fact that Gottlieb has overachieved in life and goes home to the soon to be Mrs. Egomaniac every night.

So -- despite having heard this song about 1,000 times over the years -- I gave the go ahead. Luckily he figured out before air time that Flea yells shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttt to begin the song in the unedited version.

All it would take is one soccer mom to get upset at that and contact the FCC. That would equal massive fine and the end of 'Johns on Sports' -- something that could cause irreparable damage to the world of sports radio.

Now, I have already accepted the fact that someday soon, these alarmists will have the ability to tell me what is right and wrong according to their convoluted values. But, we all know -- or at least should know -- it's ludicrous that anyone could ever think a rock star yelling a curse word is going to adversely affect a listening audience.

Of course, that doesn't stop the FCC from hunting down every last slob that dares utter one of the seven forbidden words on the nation's airways.

I have a novel idea for the FCC -- instead of focusing on meaningless mistakes -- they may want to take a more common sense approach. And you need look no further than the legendary Don Imus for that.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I'll admit I've never liked Imus. Despite being described as edgy, provocative and innovative -- he's anything but. He fell to Howard Stern 20 years ago and never recovered. But, all it takes is one obtuse program director to keep anybody on the air and Imus has found a home with both WFAN and MSNBC.

By now, you have all probably heard what this moron called the Rutgers University women's basketball team. Yet, the last time I looked the words nappy, headed and hos haven't been barred from the airwaves by the thought police.

You string them together, however, and we can all figure out it's a little more dangerous than what Flea mutters in his song.

To be blunt, Imus should have been axed that day. Instead he's still on the air and in full spin mode.

"Here's what I've learned: that you can't make fun of everybody, because some people don't deserve it," Imus said on his nationally syndicated show Monday morning.

Imus went on to say he was "embarrassed" by the remarks and was just trying to be funny. "I'm not a bad person. I'm a good person, but I said a bad thing.But these young women deserve to know it was not said with malice," he added.

Imus then went on to helpfully point out his involvement with the Imus Ranch, a cattle farm for children with cancer and blood disorders. And, get ready for this -- ten percent of the children who come to the ranch are black!

"I'm not a white man who doesn't know any African-Americans," Imus said.

Nope, he's just a white man that doesn't understand them.

Karen Mateo, a spokeswoman for CBS Radio -- Imus' employer and the owner of WFAN -- said the company was "disappointed" in Imus' actions and characterized his comments as "completely inappropriate."

Wow that's great...a slap on the wrist...

Too bad he didn't say shit.
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