Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, April 23, 2021

If any “edgy” disc jockeys on America’s airwaves somehow thought that the Don Imus fiasco didn’t apply to them — watch out. CBS Radio today suspended the hosts of WFNY-New York’s “The Dog House With JV and Elvis” after their prank phone calls to a Chinese restaurant — which were predictably rife with ethnic and sexual slurs — brought the beginnings of an advocacy group-led boycott movement.

Now, I’m not blind to the context here. So soon after Imus, CBS wasn’t going to allow a second on-air incident to explode and scare off even more advertisers; the suspensions were a no-brainer. And while the targeted group has a right to be insulted, I’m not crazy about the stifling of expression that this fosters. And I’ll reiterate the raw deal that radio stations typically mete out in such situations: They push their shock jocks to push the envelope, but unceremoniously dump them the second there’s significant negative reaction.

Cynicism abounds! All that said:

If the post-Imus era brings about the demise of all these idiotic morning-zoo crudefests, I won’t shed any tears. I’m sure this current climate will be short-lived, but one can hope.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 04/23/2007 10:36:15 PM
Category: Radio
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color meIf there’s a more condescending advertising campaign than the one for Sundance Channel’s “The Green”, I’d like to see it.

Actually I wouldn’t. Because this one is insulting enough.

At left is an example of one of the more prominent poster-bill installations for this miniseries; about a dozen placements can be found in a Grand Central Terminal passageway. They share the same format: A large headshot, with the person expressing either befuddlement or neutral pleasantness, and a printed quotation along these lines:

“I thought ‘climate change’ meant heading south for the winter.”

“My daughter thinks my checkbook is a ‘renewable resource’.”

“I thought my ‘carbon footprint’ had to do with my shoe size.”

I’m guessing Sundance was shooting for goofy, non-threatening humor to put across an offer to eco-educate people who might not otherwise take in conservation programming.

But here’s how it comes across to me: The general population, as represented by these talking heads, is hopelessly ignorant about even the most basic terms in the environmental debate. So let Robert Redford grant some enlightenment on these naive slobs, because they sure can’t do it themselves!

I mean, are we really supposed to swallow that most people are unfamiliar with things like global warming and greenhouse gases? Maybe these ads would have resonated in the ’70s and ’80s, when environmental issues weren’t yet mainstream issues in the U.S. But now, after a couple of decades of media saturation on the issues? Sure, most people aren’t deeply involved with the ins-and-outs of the green movement. But to suggest that the average person has never gotten wind of the vocabulary is a major disconnect.

Compound that with the Redford-Sundance element. I usually don’t buy the Hollywood-elitism paranoia that some use to interpret every single media item. But I tell ya, I’m hard-pressed to take this any other way. It’s like the entertainment industry, as represented by Redford, thinks no one outside their circles “get” this message, and so dumb it down to the extreme.

Overall, a big miss. It makes Sundance come off like it’s doing the masses a favor by letting them in on this programming. Doesn’t seem like an inviting message for tuning in.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 04/23/2007 09:44:12 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Political, TV
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