Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Death by radio

And then there's the story of a California Entercom station that will probably be sued over a moronic stunt:
As participants in KDND-FM's water-drinking contest chugged bottle after bottle, a listener called in to warn the disc jockeys that the stunt could be fatal.

"Yeah, we're aware of that," one of them responded.

Another DJ said with a laugh: "Yeah, they signed releases, so we're not responsible. We're OK."

Those comments, and others made during the Jan. 12 "Morning Rave" radio show, appeared to give little regard to the risk of water intoxication. But just hours after the contest, a woman who guzzled nearly two gallons was dead.
I guess that's the standard in radio these days. Someone has to actually die.

Of course, nobody will ever likely be held accountable in any meaningful sense of the term. A payment here, a settlement there; just the cost of doing business. The corporate suits at the top, who are ultimately responsible for the pollution and degradation of the public airwaves, probably don't have much to fear.

The radio station fired a bunch of staff, which is appropriate, but we have a real problem in this country with irresponsible shock and talk radio. There's nothing wrong with making a profit. But you do wonder about the character of people who would watch someone unknowingly commit suicide and make jokes about it.

Congressional Democrats have plenty to do, but they really need to start hauling media executives up to the Hill for some chats, live on C-Span. They can start with Entercom and Disney.

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