Thursday, April 28, 2005

Air America Crosses the Line on Free Speech

This is what truly gets me steamed. Here I am getting screwed over by a number of individuals for making a comment they deemed offensive. Just to be straight with anyone who has visited the site in the past few days, the term ‘wetback’ which I used was neither aimed at anyone directly at Marquette University nor was it meant to offend anyone beside the group it had been directed toward (in which case they have no right to complain for stealing from us). All the while Air America, the so-called liberal radio ‘competitor’ to conservative-icon Rush Limbaugh, and their “comedic stunt gone wrong” has barely received a bit of notice on the weblogs of the university’s left-wing faction. Now there's a surprise!

If you have no idea what I am talking about, please visit The Drudge Report and read the following article about a comedy skit aired during the Randi Rhodes show which caught the attention of the Secret Service and why an investigation into the piece is being conducted …

The red-hot rhetoric over Social Security on liberal talkradio network AIR AMERICA has caught the attention of the Secret Service, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Government officials are reviewing a skit which aired on the network Monday evening -- a skit featuring an apparent gunshot warning to the president!

The announcer: "A spoiled child is telling us our Social Security isn't safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here's your answer, you ungrateful whelp: [audio sound of 4 gunshots being fired.] Just try it, you little bastard. [audio of gun being cocked].

"The audio production at the center of the controversy aired during opening minutes of The Randi Rhodes Show.

"What is with all the killing?" Rhodes said, laughing, after the clip aired.

"Even joking about shooting the president is a crime, let alone doing it on national radio... we are taking this very seriously," a government source explained.

White House Spokesman Scott McClellan called the clip "very inappropriate and over the line."

AIR AMERICA President of Programming and co-COO Jon Sinton said in a release: "We regret that a produced comedy bit that was in bad taste slipped through our normal vetting process. We do acknowledge that it was an internal error and internal discipline will be enforced."

Rhodes apologized for the skit on Wednesday. "It was a bit,” Rhodes said. “It was bad. I apologize a thousand times."