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XM Radio Suspends Opie & Anthony

CapeFish

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WASHINGTON and NEW YORK, May 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- XM Radio announced today that the company has suspended Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia, hosts of "The Opie & Anthony Show" and ceased broadcast of the show for 30 days, effective immediately.

XM Radio deplored the comments aired on "The Opie & Anthony Show" last week. At the time, the company strongly expressed its views to Opie and Anthony, and they issued an immediate apology.

Comments made by Opie and Anthony on yesterday's broadcast put into question whether they appreciate the seriousness of the matter. The management of XM Radio decided to suspend Opie and Anthony to make clear that our on-air talent must take seriously the responsibility that creative freedom requires of them.

As a company, XM provides customers with tools to control what they listen to on XM. "The Opie & Anthony Show" appears on one of XM's explicit language channels (XL). Whenever a radio is tuned to an explicit language channel, the letters "XL" continuously appear on the screen. XM frequently mentions on its explicit language channels that the content may be inappropriate for certain listeners and tells how to "block" channels that feature this type of content. Channel blocking is available through xmradio.com or by calling 1-800-XMRADIO.

About XM Satellite Radio

XM (NASDAQ: XMSR) is America's number one satellite radio company with more than 8 million subscribers. Broadcasting live daily from studios in Washington, DC, New York City, Chicago, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Toronto and Montreal, XM's 2007 lineup includes more than 170 digital channels of choice from coast to coast: commercial-free music, premier sports, news, talk radio, comedy, children's and entertainment programming; and the most advanced traffic and weather information.

XM, the leader in satellite-delivered entertainment and data services for the automobile market through partnerships with General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota, is available in 140 different vehicle models for 2007. XM's industry-leading products are available at consumer electronics retailers nationwide. For more information about XM hardware, programming and partnerships, please visit http://www.xmradio.com/.

SOURCE: XM Satellite Radio

Web site: http://www.xmradio.com/
 

JetsMania

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This is retarded. Why is everyone getting suspended for their comments? If you dont like what they say, then dont listen to their show. How hard is it to change the station?
 

Passion

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Its up to XM if they don't want their on-air talent saying something they have every right and can do whatever the hell they want with them. This isn't an issue of changing the station.

Anyways, Opie & Anthony suck.
 

CapeFish

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Its up to XM if they don't want their on-air talent saying something they have every right and can do whatever the hell they want with them. This isn't an issue of changing the station.

Anyways, Opie & Anthony suck.
agreed
 

The_Godfather

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Its up to XM if they don't want their on-air talent saying something they have every right and can do whatever the hell they want with them. This isn't an issue of changing the station.

Anyways, Opie & Anthony suck.


Agreed, and it is not just a simple matter of free speech when you say something like you want to rape the first lady and Condoleeza Rice. :thumbdown
 

knglover

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I am a fan of the O&A Show and I am a subscriber of XM Radio. I understand the severity of what was said on the show and

to be honest, at the time, I thought that it was a little harsh. However, as a subscriber of XM Radio I pay a premium to enjoy

the opportunity to hear things that the Moral Majority briefcase toting conservatives in this country have deemed inappropriate

for me to hear on FM radio. By doing that, I feel as though if I am responsible enough to make my payments on time, I am

responsible to change the channel if I deem something to be inappropriate or even more block the channel altogether. For

those who don't have XM, compare this situation with a scenario of HBO deciding that they aren't going to show any R rated

movies because it offends a group of people or for that matter compare a Pay-per-view movie that the provider bleeps all the

curse words or blurs out all the nudity and violence. This suspension/firing(mark my words: they will be fired!) is a step in the

wrong direction regardless of whether you agree with what was said or not. For those who would like more information on

the topic go to www.Wackback.com
 

SoFlaFish

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I am a fan of the O&A Show and I am a subscriber of XM Radio. I understand the severity of what was said on the show and to be honest, at the time, I thought that it was a little harsh. However, as a subscriber of XM Radio I pay a premium to enjoy the opportunity to hear things that the Moral Majority briefcase toting conservatives in this country have deemed inappropriate for me to hear on FM radio. By doing that, I feel as though if I am responsible enough to make my payments on time, I am responsible to change the channel if I deem something to be inappropriate or even more block the channel altogether. For those who don't have XM, compare this situation with a scenario of HBO deciding that they aren't going to show any R rated movies because it offends a group of people or for that matter compare a Pay-per-view movie that the provider bleeps all the curse words or blurs out all the nudity and violence. This suspension/firing(mark my words: they will be fired!) is a step in the wrong direction regardless of whether you agree with what was said or not. For those who would like more information on the topic go to www.Wackback.com

I don't think this is a "free speech" issue but an "employment" issue. I'm sure Opie & Anthony signed an agreement to have a show on XM, and I'm sure that agreement had certain terms regarding the content of such a show. Since XM isn't subject to FCC regulations because of the subscription nature of the service, and the fact that they aren't using the public airwaves for their signal, it simply becomes an issue between "employer" and "employee." If the content of their speech violated the terms of their employment, then XM has every right to suspend them. Further, if the content of the speech can be interpreted to incite violent action or other illegal conduct, there is enough precedent out there to then deem their utterance as not being "speech" (if in fact they called for the First Lady and Secretary of State to be raped) Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568, 62 S.Ct. 766, 86 L.Ed. 1031 (1942). However, is it satire? I'm not so sure.

Your HBO analogy is a bit weak on this part. Yes, you may pay for HBO service and for the right to see "R" rated movies on HBO (or as Julia Louis-Dreyfus said on Curb Your Enthusiasm as to why she wanted her show on HBO, "Because you can say f*ck."), if a film somehow "snuck" into the HBO rotation hard-core pornography, HBO has every right to remove that film from the rotation because it may have violated any terms of service between the filmmaker and HBO, regardless of how many subscribers protest or don't protest. You don't watch "Naughty Nurses VI" on HBO, that's why you pay for "Spice."

Got it?
 

knglover

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I am a fan of the O&A Show and I am a subscriber of XM Radio. I understand the severity of what was said on the show and

to be honest, at the time, I thought that it was a little harsh. However, as a subscriber of XM Radio I pay a premium to enjoy

the opportunity to hear things that the Moral Majority briefcase toting conservatives in this country have deemed inappropriate

for me to hear on FM radio. By doing that, I feel as though if I am responsible enough to make my payments on time, I am

responsible to change the channel if I deem something to be inappropriate or even more block the channel altogether. For

those who don't have XM, compare this situation with a scenario of HBO deciding that they aren't going to show any R rated

movies because it offends a group of people or for that matter compare a Pay-per-view movie that the provider bleeps all the

curse words or blurs out all the nudity and violence. This suspension/firing(mark my words: they will be fired!) is a step in the

wrong direction regardless of whether you agree with what was said or not. For those who would like more information on

the topic go to www.Wackback.com
sorry the correct site is wackbag.com
 

MRMarlin93

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It's an XL channel on XM, which is a uncensored channel. Obviously offensive things will be said. I'm sure worse things have been said on that show.
 

Flying_Mollusk

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I am a fan of the O&A Show and I am a subscriber of XM Radio. I understand the severity of what was said on the show and to be honest, at the time, I thought that it was a little harsh. However, as a subscriber of XM Radio I pay a premium to enjoy the opportunity to hear things that the Moral Majority briefcase toting conservatives in this country have deemed inappropriate for me to hear on FM radio. By doing that, I feel as though if I am responsible enough to make my payments on time, I am responsible to change the channel if I deem something to be inappropriate or even more block the channel altogether. For those who don't have XM, compare this situation with a scenario of HBO deciding that they aren't going to show any R rated movies because it offends a group of people or for that matter compare a Pay-per-view movie that the provider bleeps all the curse words or blurs out all the nudity and violence. This suspension/firing(mark my words: they will be fired!) is a step in the wrong direction regardless of whether you agree with what was said or not. For those who would like more information on the topic go to www.Wackback.com

I don't think this is a "free speech" issue but an "employment" issue. I'm sure Opie & Anthony signed an agreement to have a show on XM, and I'm sure that agreement had certain terms regarding the content of such a show. Since XM isn't subject to FCC regulations because of the subscription nature of the service, and the fact that they aren't using the public airwaves for their signal, it simply becomes an issue between "employer" and "employee." If the content of their speech violated the terms of their employment, then XM has every right to suspend them. Further, if the content of the speech can be interpreted to incite violent action or other illegal conduct, there is enough precedent out there to then deem their utterance as not being "speech" (if in fact they called for the First Lady and Secretary of State to be raped) Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568, 62 S.Ct. 766, 86 L.Ed. 1031 (1942). However, is it satire? I'm not so sure.

Your HBO analogy is a bit weak on this part. Yes, you may pay for HBO service and for the right to see "R" rated movies on HBO (or as Julia Louis-Dreyfus said on Curb Your Enthusiasm as to why she wanted her show on HBO, "Because you can say f*ck."), if a film somehow "snuck" into the HBO rotation hard-core pornography, HBO has every right to remove that film from the rotation because it may have violated any terms of service between the filmmaker and HBO, regardless of how many subscribers protest or don't protest. You don't watch "Naughty Nurses VI" on HBO, that's why you pay for "Spice."

Got it?


Fighting words under Chaplinsky require much more immediacy of the response. I wouldn't say such words are not speech in the sense of being protected speech.

And I also don't think anyone is saying HBO or XM can't do this. I think what people are saying is that they shouldn't do this.

On the other hand, it is well within the right of others to protest these stations for allowing such offensive conduct on the air. The negativity that arises around the speakers might not be what the stations want. Therefore they may feel it is best to cut them. This is the equivilant of turning the radio off. Protest something so severely as to make it bad.

I'm torn on the issue. I didn't like it when ABC pull Bill Maher for saying the 9-11 highjackers were not cowards..evil people..but not cowards. But at the same time, I think if someone gets on the air and starts spewing venemous hate(and the racist jokes that have been made lately are akin to that), they shouldn't be kept on the air and given free reign.

Would those of you who want Opie and Anthony kept on the air be ok with a "Hitler Radio Channel"? And with others who want them off the air be ok with a someone being fired because they are critical of the president, who happens to be buddies with a radio exec?
 

CTMarlinsfan

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I agree that XM is doing this to say its employees have to have a limit and not to censure thier broadcast. AS a subscription service, your issue isn't about people changing the channel, but people dropping the subscription altogether. While I disagree with the suspension, it is a good business practice and unlike commercial stations, XM and Sirius rely on subscriptions to earn money. They want the quality of their product to be as good as possible to gain more subscriptions, and they want thier employees to know that. So, to sum it up, I disagree with the suspensions, but I understand XM's basis for the suspension.
 

CapeFish

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Remember, XM is selling O&A cleaned up to stations to air in the mornings....so this move cost them some bucks.

XM wanted to slap O&A on the wrist...and I agree it needed to happen. The incident, which you can find audio of on the web, was not "speech"...it was disgusting.
 

knglover

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Remember, XM is selling O&A cleaned up to stations to air in the mornings....so this move cost them some bucks.

XM wanted to slap O&A on the wrist...and I agree it needed to happen. The incident, which you can find audio of on the web, was not "speech"...it was disgusting.


While I understand your arguments and I can't say that you did not enlighten me a little, my argument was never the content of what they said. It was as a consumer, I should not be censored for something that I am paying for and ultimatley taking a risk of possibly being offended over by turning on. I choose to turn to channel 202 and take the risk of not liking what I hear. Going into the subscription, I knew there were "Explicit Lyric" channels. Everyone should know and if there is even a chance that there would be an instance that something being over the top, I have the ability to call XM or go online and block those channels. That is my right as a consumer of the product. However, on the subject of what was said, whether it was disgusting or not was irrelevant, it was satire and nothing else. The gentleman who made the comment is a homeless drunkard that was spouting off at the mouth and happened to say something that struck a nerve. I highly doubt that he will ever, ever, ever be in a position to committ the acts that he was saying. With that said, this whole thing is ridiculous. Lets take a second to think about our societies reaction to the comments had he replaced Condy, Ms. Bush, and her Majesty with Britney, Lindsay, and Paris. My hunch tells me that no one would have said a word. However you look at it, there are so many issues that should be addressed here that will be just overlooked because of an overzealous conservative Witchhunt.
 

CapeFish

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They are not being censored, the broadcast aired. They are being reprimanded by XM. Big difference. Had they been censored, you wouldn't have clips of the incident floating online.

XM suspended them, but the FM show continues as do the online parts of the show. XM removed them from their service for 30 days as punishment.
 

Passion

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Well put Cape.

Freedom of Speech doesn't mean you are free from reperucussions for what you've said.
 

knglover

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I agree with what you guys are saying but when the public has to pay to hear what O&A have to say, the XM brass should have more respect for their audience than they have shown.
 

Passion

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I agree with what you guys are saying but when the public has to pay to hear what O&A have to say, the XM brass should have more respect for their audience than they have shown.
...and they did get to hear what they had to say. No one censored them from saying it or you from hearing it.
 

CapeFish

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XM suspended O&A not for the bit, but the way they treated the incident. They did not seem serious about their apology and XM management suspended them for not taking the issue seriously.

I am a paying XM subscriber and I support XM's position 100%. O&A need to show responsibility or the FCC/Congress will team up to regulate satellite radio's content just like they can with terrestial radio. Both use the "public" airwaves and Congress can make that a reality.
 

SoFlaFish

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O&A need to show responsibility or the FCC/Congress will team up to regulate satellite radio's content just like they can with terrestial radio. Both use the "public" airwaves and Congress can make that a reality.

XM and Sirius do not "use the public" airwaves. Because you have to pay for your service, and it is not being transmitted via radio frequency over the airwaves, but via direct satellite transmission to you satellite receiver, there is a fair argument that XM and Sirius (and for that matter DirecTV, Dish Network, and CATV) should not be subject to the regulation of the public airwaves.

XM and Sirius do not go to the FCC for authorization to broadcast on a frequency, or to be assigned a frequency. Therefore, both XM and Sirius constitute a private compact between broadcaster and listener, and I would argue that the FCC has no jurisdiction in that matter. If Congress were stupid enough to step in and regulate a private transmission of that nature, then they're opening a slippery slope of content regulation.

Freedom of Speech doesn't mean you are free from reperucussions for what you've said.

Can we please get off the "Freedom of Speech" argument here. A private employer can regulate the content of your speech in any form and you have no "freedom of speech" in a private context. Maybe all of you should take some time to actually read the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The KEY term there is "CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW . . . ABRIDGING THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH . . ." CONGRESS, not "anybody." By extension the First Amendment was carried to apply to the states by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Okay, so now we're done with our little lesson on Constitutional Law. Good day.
 

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