Monday, November 24, 2014

Week of 11/24/2014

Hey Morning Radio, Knock Off The Games!
This past week I was reminded of why I hate listening to morning radio.
I have to listen to the radio for two reasons: the weather and traffic.  My early-morning commute to my bill-paying job is hell, and I need all the help I can get to make it there and eventually home.
The afternoon drive isn’t as bad, because I’m going away from the city and I’m not under a clock like I am in the morning.  Plus I have plenty of music choices in the afternoon.
It’s the morning radio that gives me nothing but grief.
My most obvious choice is the local news station.  Or at least one that isn’t regurgitating the crap from their overpaid talk radio whores.  Unfortunately they seem to operate on this fixation that the universe ends just outside of Atlanta’s 285 Perimeter.  You have to have something burning or blown up before they even consider that life exists in the northeast area of the city.  And, of course, they have their own overpaid talk show whores that they need to hype up with snarky thirty-second sound bites.  And let’s not forget their sponsors either.  The same half-dozen commercials that are repeated every hour on the hour and don’t change except maybe every six months.
So I jump on over to one of several music stations… except that in the morning they all have their overpaid morning radio personalities that want to bore us to death with their pop-culture diatribes and their relationships. 
Music?  What music?  Oh, you wanted to listen to music?  Sorry; you must mistake us with a corporate-owned radio station that actually gives a care about what you want!
But every, so often, they do screw up and do play some music on a few stations, so I jump to those when I’m sick of hearing the same regurgitated “news radio” garbage.
So this past week, I’m jumping around and I hear that one of the female morning radio personalities will be posing nude for an art class.
Okay, you now have my attention.
I listen more into this, and apparently the morning personalities had this college football bet going where the loser would be posing nude for an art class.  The male host of the show was sure that he was going to be the loser, but it turned out that the female co-host was the one that ended up losing.  So they use the subject of Kim Kardashian (and her media) as a way for her to explain that she’s looking forward to posing nude herself for a bunch of art students and treat this as a way to empower herself.  And, of course, the guys tease her about the whole thing, saying that it’ll probably be a room full of old guys.
So this goes on for a day or two.  Every so often, I’d catch their little discussions about it in-between talk about music or movies.  A mention here and there that it’s going to happen.  And I’m wondering who this female co-host is and if she’s attractive, and if they will go through with it.
Then… this past Friday… the shoe drops.
Apparently her boyfriend, whom she’s in a long-term relationship with, didn’t know this was going to happen and he’s supposedly not happy about her posing nude for an art class.  And now everyone is apologetic because this could be a relationship-killer, and nobody wants that to happen (even though they’re not married).
Even worse, callers call in to defend her and now I’m made to feel guilty that she even lost the bet!
You know what, guys?  This has all of the signs of a hoax, and it’s one of the reasons why I hate morning radio in the first place!
First of all, I don’t buy the idea that the co-host simply didn’t tell her boyfriend that this could happen.  Especially someone supposedly in a long-term relationship!  Even if she didn’t lose the bet, I can’t see anyone staying silent about that kind of a wager.
Seriously.  You mean to tell me that all during the set-up beforehand she didn’t turn to her long-term significant other and say “Hey, honey, you’ll never guess what we came up with for the show!”  Right!
And then we have the whole matter of being made to feel guilty about her losing the bet.  I have to call B.S. on that!  Funny how the idea never comes up that the only woman in the group could possibly end up losing the bet.  Funny how nobody wondered if the guys had a significant other that might object to it.
Besides, the idea was yours, radio people!  It wasn’t mine.  So why the hell are you trying to get us to feel guilty when it was your wager and your stakes to begin with?
The answer to that, of course, is that it’s just a diversion.  A way to call off the whole game without feeling like the listeners are getting screwed, which I strongly suspect they are.
You know, a good friend of mine who is also a Playboy Playmate once told me about a wall challenge that she was invited to take part in for a local radio station during Spring Break.  The loser would have to run around the “party area” topless.  Of course the Playmates won, but not because they were faster at wall-climbing than the male deejays.  It was because nobody would have to be afraid of going to jail if the guys ran around without tops.  In other words, they knew going into it that it would be just a tease.
Let’s get brutally honest here… there is nothing more infuriating with morning radio than when they play continual games and scams on their listeners.  And I strongly suspect that I’m not the only one that thinks this way.
A few years back, another morning radio show crew played an “April Fool’s Day” prank on their listeners.  Their host was supposedly unceremoniously fired.  The announcement was made in the middle of the Friday show, and some people thought it was simply a weekend stunt and he would be back on Monday morning.  Except he wasn’t.  And people started talking about it.  It even made the station’s news segment, which led people to believe that it wasn’t a hoax.  All week, people talked about it and wondered what the host did that warranted his termination.  The co-hosts continued without him, and every so often they would call their broadcast colleague up to get a comment, only to say that he wouldn’t be able to talk about it yet “on advice of his attorney”.
A whole week of this went by, and then finally he is “allowed” to make his “statement” about the subject.  He calls in, apologizes to everyone, then steps away from the phone and says to the in-studio microphone “April Fool!”
It was a hoax.  The whole thing, the firing, the news reports, the “controversy”, were all an orchestrated hoax on the listeners.
And while it would be “funny” if it really was an “April Fool’s Day” hoax, this happened in mid-May.  It was a time when people did not expect to be taken for the fools that they were for trusting that radio station.
Guess what?  That morning show and their hosts did not last long, because listeners stopped listening to them.  No boycotts.  No petitions.  No protests.  Just enough people turning off their radios for their corporate masters to say “okay, they’re done.”
And that is probably the best revenge for these morning radio people that think they feel entitled to take their listeners for granted with cheap stunts and emotional frauds.  That people stop listening to them.  Don’t call in.  Don’t complain.  Just stop tuning in when their morning show is on.  Big Corporate will do the rest.
This is something that the morning radio people need to comprehend.  They need us.  We do not need them.  Fool us long enough, mess with us too much, and we will stop listening to them.  And there is nothing “cool” about messing with our minds or our emotions.
The truth is that we do have choices when it comes to what we listen to in our own vehicles.  Big Corporate may own and control the radio stations, but they don’t own or control our dials.  If we don’t like what they give us, we can turn it off and put on something we do like.
New ventures in digital radio and the Internet helped end the “shock jock”.  It’s high time that the “morning zoo” personalities follow suit.

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