A good number of morning radio shows, whether AM or FM, have become something just this side of consistently insulting, infantile and boorish. In the race to grab ratings and make more money, station management all too often allows their talent to bend the rules in being controversial. This, they are convinced, will garner more listeners. This may be the case, but all too often lately it seems these morning teams feel emboldened to cross lines in order to garner publicity.
Here we have one of those cases, featuring when goes down in my book as one of the most foul and insulting morning radio attempts at humor. Ever. It proves yet again how some of these so-called “entertainers” cannot tell the difference between a joke and something the trades on the tragedy of others.
The “Rob, Arnie & Dawn” morning show is heard on KRXQ in Sacramento. It’s a show based, as many of these type of shows are, on crude humor, teenage frat boy jokes, mean spirited comments and alleged humor designed to shock.
The Boston Marathon bombings are nothing to be made light of. In any fashion. In a time of grief, making fun of Boston is also off the table. This is a city and community that is suffering terrible loss, and they will be picking up the remnants of lives for decades. Despite this, the morning crew decided that the week of the bombing was the perfect time to create a list of “Reason to Hate Boston”.
Indeed they did, and guaranteed there are those in the audience who found it funny. Most, however, certainly did not. The station suspended the trio for a week. Personally, I would have fired them and their Producer in a heartbeat for what was an insensitive attempt at trading on the murder of innocents to create ratings points and revenue. Add to this that on their website as of Monday 4/22, there was no public apology.In the statement you’ll read below, there is nothing there saying “we’re sorry”. It’s danced around, but in a case such as this you MUST use those words. Over and over again in seeking forgiveness. Instead, this team decided arrogance was the best way out.
There is no excuse for what they did. Their image will always be one of being “those guys” that traded on terrorism to garner ratings. The fact they failed to immediately apologize is another strike. And the station itself marks a similar fail for being more concerned with dollars than doing the right thing.
You don’t have to be on the radio to learn this one. It will be a part of our live presentation for many years to come.
INTELLIGENCE: MAKING JOKES AND TRYING TO GARNER ATTENTION FOR YOURSELF BY TRADING ON TRAGEDY IS REPREHENSIBLE. APOLOGIZE PROFUSELY IMMEDIATELY WHEN IT HAPPENS AND HOPE YOU ARE FORGIVEN. BE PREPARED THAT TO SOME PEOPLE, YOU WILL NEVER BE GIVEN SUCH A PASS. YOUR IMAGE IS TARNISHED FOREVER.
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, April 18, 2013
NOTE: AN UPDATE ON THIS STORY IS AT THE END OF THIS PAGE
Active Rock KRXQ-FM (98 Rock)/Sacramento has suspended morning hosts Rob, Arnie and Dawn, who are also syndicated, for the rest of the week after airing bit to compose a “Top Five List of Reasons to Hate Boston.” After hearing about it, CBS Radio’s crosstown Sports KHTK-AM morning host Don Geronimo, tore into the trio for the bit on Thursday, airing audio from their show which also joked about a man whose legs were blown off.
Following the suspension, Rob, Arnie and Dawn’s website posted a statement criticizing KRXQ and labeling Geronimo as a “Sacramento radio host who would love to call himself a ‘competitor,’ but who instead is just another bottom-feeder looking and hoping for ways to better himself by disparaging and defaming us, our show and others in the local media market.”
“Outrageously, he came out claiming that we in some way intended or were being insensitive or callous to the victims of the Boston tragedy. We refuse to stoop to this individual’s despicable level, but instead want our listeners to know and understand that we did not, would not, and under no circumstances have intended in any way to have been insensitive, callous, dismissive, disparaging or otherwise to or of the victims of the Boston tragedy,” they continued.
The statement added, “We understand a radio station’s desire and instinct to protect itself for economic and political purposes, but this is absurd. Our Sacramento (KRXQ) carrier has elected a knee-jerk reaction to a fabricated and manufactured smear campaign by a local thug who is more than happy and willing to politicize and sensationalize the Boston tragedy for his own short-term gain. To this, we at the Rob, Arnie and Dawn Show say, you’re a sad, pathetic character, shame on you, and shame on 98 Rock.”
HERE IS THE STATION’S STATEMENT AND ONE FROM THE OPPOSING DJ WHO “REPORTED” THE KRXQ SHOW:
HERE IS A SCREEN CAPTURE OF THE MORNING SHOW‘S WEBSITE AS OF 4/22/13, WHICH FAILS TO ISSUE ANY SORT OF APOLOGY.
UPDATE: ON THE RADIO STATION WEBSITE, APRIL 22, THE MORNING TRIO FINALLY APOLOGIZED, BUT DID SO IN A VERY BACKHANDED MANNER. THEY DECIDED TO APOLOGIZE WHILE STILL BLAMING SOMEONE ELSE FOR THEIR MISTAKE. THE APOLOGY WAS LATE IN COMING, APPEARS VERY FORCED AND MADE TO TO DO LITTLE MORE THAN SAVE THEIR JOBS, AND HAD TO BE QUALIFIED. A SECOND ROUND OF FAIL.
“Last week and again this morning, content from some of our broadcasts and photos from our websites were taken completely out of context and published with innuendo or suggestion that somehow we or RAD Radio have been insensitive to the victims of the BOSTON tragedy. We are sad and disgusted that those two monsters inflicted such extraordinary pain and damage and we stand with BOSTON and everyone else seeking answers and justice. To the degree anything we have done or said, regardless of context, is or has been construed as insensitive or offensive to the victims of the Boston tragedy, we whole-heartedly and sincerely apologize.
“As always, thank you for your continued support.”