Monday, April 09, 2007

Radio Air Wave Infestation

Perhaps you've heard of the controversy surrounding the shock jocks known as The Jersey Guys. Like any of the other insult hurling, low brow humored, commute time radio DJs, their objective is to gain attention. And, like any other radio station, the objective of WKXW-FM is to gain ratings. This is well understood, for without good ratings you don't attract sponsors who provide the means necessary to exist. There comes a time, however, when one might question the lengths that should be gone to in order to achieve the desired goal.

The most recent flap regarding the The Jersey Guys is their contribution to the anti-immigration frenzy that has engulfed this country. The oh, so cleverly titled "La Cuca - Gotcha" schtick involves enticing listeners to turn in to the Immigration and Naturalization Service anyone that they suspect may be in this country illegally. Of course, the inference of the title being a wordplay on the song, "La Cucaracha", would lead one to assume that this is meant for those pesky Mexican terrorists that have endangered us so. Apparently, if you're name is O'Reilly you have nothing to fear. But singling out certain ethnic groups is nothing new to the Guys.

While the First Amendment of The Constitution still gives us the right to free speech, as it should, one needs to bear in mind the consequences it can bring. "Cucaracha" is the Spanish word for cockroach. During the build up of the Rwanda genocide that took place between the Hutus and the Tutsis in 1994, newspapers and radio stations began a campaign of hatred and fear. Most notably, Radio Milles Collines was engaged in non-stop broadcasts that incited violence and called for the Hutus to rise up and kill all of the Tutsis, whom they referred to as "cockroaches". In fact, the word became a synonym for all of the Tutsi people. The result was anywhere from 500,000 to 1,000,000 men, women, and children murdered. Most were hacked to death with machetes.

I co-host a radio talk show. Most of the topics are politically oriented and the conversation can become a bit heated. One must have the right to speak out, particularly regarding injustice and the government that represents us. One must also be allowed to poke fun at situations in good humor. But I also must ponder if The Jersey Guys know the events and lessons of Rwanda. Perhaps the Guys aren't calling for the killing of anyone, but indeed they are inciting hatred. As we know, it isn't a far reach from hatred to violence.
Jersey Guys, are your incomes so high that you can sink so low? And what about
WKXW-FM and their sponsors? Ignorance, if it can be plead, is no excuse.


amocat said...

It is working to hit Imus's sponsors and the networks that carry him. It is time people start waking up to this crap.

It is not censorship to voice our opinions to "their opinions".

As Barbara Boxer said, "elections have consequences", so does free speech when used in hateful ways.

I am reposting the link you gave for the stations advertising department.

Could everyone please contact them and let them know how you feel? Please try and contact the advertisers that you see listed with the "Jersy Guys".

No to censorship.

YES to responsibility!