Monday, May 21, 2007

Shock Jocks

I don't know if you have noticed, but there are more and more "shock jocks" popping up. Probably the best known is Howard Stern. These "shock jocks" create shows that often go beyond what many people would think is acceptable. They do it to get ratings. Howard Stern's show got so racy, that he had to move to SIRIUS on satellite radio, so he wouldn't have to be bound by Federal regulations.
Not too long ago Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay lost their jobs, and now they're scrambling for work. The co-hosts of "The Dog House with JV and Elvis" were permanently pulled last weekend from WFNY-FM for an offensive prank phone call, replete with ethnic and sexual slurs, made to a Chinese restaurant. Their dismissal demonstrated how heightened awareness by advertisers and management, coupled with offended listeners no longer content with "slap on the wrist" punishments, has turned the DJ's chair into a hot seat in recent weeks."The Imus episode has launched a new chapter in our questioning of what's acceptable on the radio," said Tom Taylor, publisher of the trade publication "Inside Radio."
Morning radio has become highly competetive, and there seems to be pressure to push the barrier between acceptable, and not acceptable. This often includes stunts that are crazy or dangerous. Eric Logan (no relation), Vice President of programming at XM radio says: "In the process of balancing the ratings with what's right, performers are encouraged to entertain, and along the way, they offend or hurt people's feelings. "It happens all the time," he said. "And I don't see it changing."
But the question is, why won't it change? And I believe it is the listeners' fault. If the listerners of radio (including satellite) didn't approve of what these shock jocks are doing, then they wouldn't have an audience, and there would be no demand for this kind of radio. Have we really fallen so far as a society that we approve of dangerous, hurtful, mean-spirited radio shows? Is free speech really about being able to attack and demean others?
I believe we have completely lost the spirit of what Jesus said, when He said to "love your neighbor as yourself." There is a great lack of sharing love in our world. How can we begin to win back our world? Tell me what you think about all of this by clicking on the "comments" button below.