"My goal is to goad people into saying something that ruins their life," Don Imus is quoted as having said, leading the way for other shock jocks to follow. Next month a “whistleblower” of a book comes out, writes Howard Zinn, called Shock Jocks: Hate Speech and Talk Radio.
It’s about America's ten worst hate talkers, the huge profits in that hate industry, how the tide may be turning – and what you can do to help. In the “often factually challenged world of talk radio” they include Bill O'Reilly, Don Imus, Laura Ingraham (the only woman mentioned) and Michael Savage.
Savage, actually got positive comments from callers when he made this vile comment on the radio: "Wolf Blitzer, a Jew who was born in Israel, is probably the most despicable man in the media next to Larry King .... The two of them together look like the type that would have pushed Jewish children into the oven to stay alive one more day to entertain the Nazis." Brave New Films launched a campaign for advertisers to drop him.
Last month two other shock jocks here in California, openly tried to taint a jury. Two others, Howard Stern and Tom Leykis have huge audiences and make millions a year according to co-authors, Rory O’Connor and Aaron Cutler. Because of free speech protections, the FCC can do little, yet you can, as this book points out. All ten cross the line into racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic comments. Yet some get hoisted on their own petard. Apparently, so called, “macho radio attracts the listeners that advertisers like--men ages 25 to 44."
Keep free speech and keep boycotting the advertisers that sponsor shock jocks’ “programs” and tell them (and the stations) why. Support stations that draw the line. Charities: know what you may (unwittingly) be supporting. In a civil society that’s our most powerful choice.