Who's to Blame - XM or O&A?
Radio shock jocks Opie & Anthony could have left well enough alone when they apologized for making inappropriate comments about Queen Elizabeth II, First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice on their XM Satellite Radio show last week.
XM, after all, is a satellite radio service that doesn't have to follow the same decency rules as traditional stations that fall under the watchful eye of the Federal Communications Commission. Even though the language in the segment was racy and the topic of conversation was even racier, XM executives in Washington seemed to be satisfied with a simple, two-sentence apology.
But when Opie & Anthony hit the airwaves again on Monday, they went back to the controversial topic, calling for other jocks - including controversial Howard Stern - to join in their cause.
"We do work for a company," one of the jocks said on the air. "They do pay us so you do have to deal with some of their dumb rules."
So did that mean the two jocks -- who have found themselves in trouble with the FCC in the past over their controversial antics -- didn't really mean it when they said they were sorry? Executives at XM apparently felt that way and pulled the two off the air for 30 days.
Now comes the listener revolt -- talk show hosts declaring an end to free speech and outraged Opie & Anthony fans posting blog entries and building Web campaigns for XM subscribers to call in and cancel.
"Obviously, we want to see XM retract the suspension and issue an apology to both Opie and Anthony and their listeners before the 30 days suspension is up," Chris Lewis, who has launched the Cancel XM Web site, wrote in an e-mail.
Lewis and others have accused XM of pandering to the FCC, which will decide later this year whether XM will be allowed to merge with New York rival Sirius.
"I, like many other O&A fans on the forums, have been worried that Opie and Anthony would become victims of the merger between XM and Sirius, and here it is," he wrote.
XM says that's not the case. Opie & Anthony said they were sorry and should have moved on. XM let them back on the air -- and then came the broadcast that called on other radio DJs for support. "Are you with us or against us?" they wanted to know.
Now, they have to wait until June 15 to share the responses to that question. That's the day the two return to the XM airwaves.
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