XM Satellite Radio is finding out first hand that Opie & Anthony have quite a few dedicated fans, fans who are now canceling the service en masse in response to the duo’s recent 30-day suspension. XM suspended the pair in response to so-called outrage stemming from a segment that aired on the program last week. (Well, really because, supposedly, there was an agreement in place that they wouldn’t discuss or even hint to the incident while on-air. XM apparently felt they did.) In fact, I was jogging around my idillic neighborhood when I heard the show and segment in question. Annnnndddd….
First, what happened. Last week, the boys invited a homeless guy, Charlie, who is not a recurring character on the show as some other outlets have reported, up to the studio to riff, to talk crazy homeless talk. They’ve had a bunch of homeless guys on their show over the years, asking them questions of what’s it’s like to be homeless in New York, why wouldn’t they rather be homeless in Miami (New York’s winters are awful for everyday Joes, I can’t imagine what’s it’s like for the homeless), what are the rules of the streets, etc. Or, in simple English, they put them on the air because it makes for good radio. Charlie said many things that day, like how only brand new, rookie police officers bother him when they find him doing homeless stuff (yes, that’s the technical term) and how Secretary of State Rice looks like she could use a man, implying that she’s uptight and so forth. The audio for that can be found here (NSFW, blah blah). You can decide whether or not Opie & Anthony or Charlie are openly advocating for the woman to be sexually assaulted. I’m going to take a wild guess and say they weren’t.
Now, the show’s fans are upset (to the point where some of them are destroying their XM units) for several reasons. First and foremost, XM is a subscription service. Fans pay their hard-earned $12.95 each month to hear adult language and humor because that’s what they like. Turn around and retroactively censor what they say and XM won’t be seeing their money anymore since that’s not what they’re paying for. Hell, they’ve even formed a Political Action Committee in response to all these recent radio firings. Some people subscribe to HBO to see Tony Soprano murder people, others subscribe to XM to hear Opie & Anthony make inappropriate jokes. Both are creative outlets and not “real,” so to speak. It is, in fact, a comedy show, so for people to scrutinize it like it’s Meet the Press seems a little silly. And besides, if XM is going to start objecting to “deplorable” language, when are they going to remove the explicit language-heavy comedy channel, or the stations that feature all that hip hop with its fine and morally sound depictions of women and society? You might as well just rock an iPod all day long. At least that doesn’t carry a monthly fee.
What should or shouldn’t be on radio aside, XM now has to deal with untold numbers of pests, as the fans of the show are called, canceling the service and destroying radios left and right in protest. Wonder how this affects the merger, a merger that many pests are against? Could it be that XM suspended O&A just to play politics and help the merger go through?
Fan Message Board (Pretty Much Everything There NSFW)
Yet Another Fan Message Board (NSFW, Too)