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January 25, 2005
Truly Tasteless Tsunami Tackiness

The FCC should investigate the use of public airwaves to air racist and just plain tasteless material by New York City's HOT 97, which repeatedly aired a disgusting parody of tsunami victims to outraged audiences (via Drudge):

A New York radio station apologized on Monday for repeatedly airing a joke song that ridiculed victims of the recent tsunami in South Asia and used racial slurs, saying the piece was in poor taste. New York FM radio station WQHT, or HOT 97, ran the segment on its "Miss Jones in the Morning" show. The piece used racial slurs to describe people swept away in the disaster, made jokes about child slavery and people watching their mothers die.

"You can hear God laughing, 'Swim you bitches swim,'" was one line in the song.

Or maybe we should just cut them a break. After all, it isn't like a quarter of a million people died ... oh, wait, yes it is. Apparently the soulless mouthbreathers at HOT 97 find that incredibly funny, including the morning-show jock that played the song repeatedly, Tarsha Jones. Inexplicably, however, station owner Emmis Communications kept the staff at HOT 97 employed, issuing a statement that all seven people associated with Miss Jones' show would donate one week's salary to tsunami-relief efforts. I have a better idea: tell them to keep the money. As severance pay.

New Yorkers have demanded that the FCC fine Ennis, including prominent state Democrats such as Assemblyman Jimmy Meng from Queens, apparently not a fan of Miss Jones' antics. Perhaps that would be the only way Emmis Communications will comprehend just how disgusting their broadcast was.

UPDATE: As CQ commenter Thomas Pfau notes, the story doesn't get better on further examination:

Before one airing of the song, the station's news reader, Miss Info, who is of Asian descent, objected to the song, only to be attacked by Jones and her cohorts.

"That song is really offensive to me, and I opted not to involve myself," Miss Info said.

Jones replied, "I know you feel you're superior because you're Asian, but you're not." Later, co-host Todd Lyn, incensed at Miss Info's criticism, said, "I'm going to start shooting Asians."

Councilman John Liu (D-Queens) said it was outrageous that the station, owned by Emmis Communications Corp., aired the song for four days [emphasis mine -- CE].

Four days of race hatred at HOT 97! Is that what the FCC considers a public service to the community in exchange for Emmis Communications' broadcast license?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 25, 2005 6:41 AM

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