XM Radio Suspends Opie and Anthony for 30 days: 1 Amendment Down, 26 to Go

"As a company, XM provides customers with tools to control what they listen to on XM." - From XM News Release on Opie and Anthony Suspension

Unless, of course, what you want to listen to is morally objectionable.   Then, you'll just have to go on the internet, where morally objectionable content is pretty much free.  We won't feature that trash no matter how much we're charging you for "premium" radio.

XM just suspended Opie & Anthony (You know those guys who featured people having sex in a church on their show, who told everyone the Mayor of Boston died in a car accident...) for comments made on their show last week by a homeless person who referenced some despicable sexual behavior directed at Condi Rice and the First Lady.

If I was an XM subscriber, I'd cancel my subscription today... not because I find that particular thing funny... I don't... It's wrong and it's awful...    it's the hypocrisy.

The last time I checked, we have Freedom of Speech in this country, right?  Well, sort of.  You're not allowed to scream fire in a crowded theatre, because your speech might cause harm to others.

Well, sort of...  because, it is a fact that when the media portrays high profile murders and suicides, there are identifiable instances of  copycatting that lead to people's deaths...   I mean, we know that the Virginia Tech killer referenced the Columbine kids by name...

But then, we go and cheer on David Blaine when he wants to go jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.  Wanna start making bets on how many kids start jumping off bridges in this country after that gets televised?

So then it becomes more about offending people than causing actual harm to others.  If you are offended by something, and you have a good PR firm working for you, you can basically get anyone else fired or off the air... even if those airwaves aren't public.  Suspending Opie and Anthony from XM is like suspending porn actresses from the Playboy Channel.  Certainly there are lots of people offended by the Playboy Channel... shouldn't we be taking away people's right to smut in that situation, too?

The firings of Imus, JV and Elvis, and now the O&A suspensions are a snowballing witch hunt.  Do I support what those people say?  No...  but I support their right to say whatever I want.  It's the same with flag burning.  I don't support anyone burning the flag in this country, but I wouldn't stand  in the way of anyone's right to burn it.  That's what freedom is.

And really, how in the hell does Howard Stern avoid all this?

This is a really dangerous precedent we're setting here.  We expect all this Web 2.0 user generated content to be successful in the face of this culture of fear?  Who in their right mind would opening share their thoughts with the world in this climate.  We're a bunch of crazy people... we must be, because its only a matter of time before the bandwagon shows up at your door.

I mean, as it is, I can never run for President because of this post and I'm sure there are others like it that people could pull apart out of context and fuel the media machine with.

And the worst part about it...  XM and all these other radio stations totally knew what they were doing when they hired these folks... and what you never see are executive's heads roll.  It's not the fault of the talent.  You want to suspend someone... suspend the people that oversee the talent..  because what they realize is that nice doesn't drive revenues on the radio, and these stations are hiring these shockjocks to generate cold hard cash.  It's a business and they knew exactly what they were getting, so they shouldn't act all surprised and offended when stuff like this happens.

Look...  there will be people in your life you won't agree with.  There will be others you will be offended by.  Others will try to hurt you with words.  The best thing you can do is ignore them.  Ignore them and they'll go away.  If people ignored Opie & Anthony they'd be off the air in a heartbeat...  but that's not happening. People are listening.  People want to hear. 

I don't want to be censored, protected, etc...  Just give me the tools and I'll do it myself, because I don't trust the religious right, special interests, or least of all the government to do it for me.

In other news, the Rev. Jerry Falwell was so happy over today's news that he kicked it.  Also, our soldiers are now banned from participation in the conversation, so sit there in the desert and like it and whatever you do, we don't want to here or watch a peep out of you. 

Open?  Participatory?  Free?  Yeah, right.