Thursday, April 03, 2008

Hey. Not too much going on today. I went out to dinner last night with Ryan and Jamie at Zen. That place has really been growing on me. (although last night I was a little annoyed that we were having a hard time finding a table that had been cleaned off, even though the place wasn't all that busy- still, the food was good)
I really don't have much today. Randi Rhodes, a liberal talk show host that I used to listen to on Air America, back when Austin had an Air America affiliate, has been suspended from her show, allegedly because of using obscene language during a public appearance. Rhodes appeared in front of what was said to be pretty much an exclusively adult crowd in San Francisco during an event which had been sponsored by an Air America affiliate station, and she used some pretty rough language. To be honest, though, I personally feel it's quite probable that Rhodes got in trouble more because of who she directed her language toward than because of the language itself. During her speech, Rhodes threw out a couple of F bombs and referred to both Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro as whores (as well as attacking some other people, including Dick Cheney and Richard Nixon). Apparently Rhodes took exception to some of Ferraro's comments about the Obama campaign being successful solely because of his race, and she was similarly offended by some of the campaign tactics that Clinton had emplyed during her race ahainst Obama. My feeling is that the sponsors of the event, knowing that Randi Rhodes to be a left wing radio personality, were probably more offended by the fact that she was attacking Clinton and Ferraro at a "progressive" political event than by the harshness of the language that was used. I'm not saying that Rhodes' language didn't include obscenities, but Rhodes' speech wasn't being broadcast on the air (at least as far as I know, it wasn't subject to FCC guidelines), it was being given to what seems to have been a fairly appreciative adult audience (who were free to leave at any time), and she was performing at a venue which had hosted, among other people, Dave Chappelle (a comedian whose performances typically include a medium to high level of profanity in their own right- although the club owner claimed that Rhodes level of profanity at least matched the performance by Chappelle). I guess I'm just surprised that the organizers of this event were shocked by a Rhodes speech that included profanities. Anyone who has heard her radio show has heard her completely go off on rants of seething frustration, and it doesn't surprise me one bit that she threw some cursing into the mix once she was in front of a live audience (you can almost hear her wanting to say these things on the air, but being barely held back by te broadcast restrictions of the FCC). I think that the Air America network, which seems constantly on the vergoe of collapse, is just totally afraid of alienating sponsors and/or affiliate stations, and these particular sponsors were probably Hillary friends and supporters. It would be a shame to find out that Air America is a part to censorship that's occurring on the basis of content (I can deal with it if it's really just a profanity issue, but I just sort of doubt that profanity is what this is really all about).
Note that I have virtually no evidence to support my conclusion, but, nonetheless, it's what I suspect is really going on behind the scenes.
Anyway, I kind of like how fired up and impassioned Randi Rhodes gets. She usually seems to have thoroughly researched the topics that she talks about, and she quotes actual media sources when discussing events (rather than just political rags which match her own agenda- I'm looking in your direction, Rush Limbaugh). I hope this event isn't a major problem for her broadcast career (even though I can't listen to her show in my car these days, anyway).

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