April 17, 2001
2:15 PM   Subscribe

If only all radio DJ's were as diligent as this one. One radio DJ pushed over the edge of commercial B.S. overkill. Hundreds more to go.
posted by Qambient (27 comments total)
 
What's this have to do with commercialism? I'm sure he was more than happy to play the rest of the playlist and stare at the the Britney CD covers. Looks like a self-righteous moral issue to me.
posted by skallas at 2:23 PM on April 17, 2001


What's this got to do with commercialism? The (hopefully now ex-) DJ is just a self-righteous jerk who thinks he's too good to have to obey his boss. Worse, he's a hypocrite. If he really gave a damn about artists who broke the law (as opposed to only caring about those artists that go against his own pet political pretension), he'd have to cut half his playlist.
posted by aaron at 2:23 PM on April 17, 2001


Hmmmm.... maybe this guy should start dating this gal. although I would like to punch Eminem in the face, you have to admit, that Grammy performance with Elton John was hysterical. My wife said I even giggled in my sleep.
posted by bradth27 at 2:27 PM on April 17, 2001


I would love to say, "Hooray - a DJ with morals!" but most likely, it's another Zoo Crew stunt designed to get ratings and have people talk about it.

It worked.
posted by hijinx at 2:28 PM on April 17, 2001


bradth27:
You thought his performance at the Grammies was hysterical... why's that? I thought it was incredible.

Eminem has a lot to say in his raps, and he is really good at doing it with style. Sure, what he's saying is couched in harsh language and stories of extreme sounding situations. Those words, however, are not what he's trying to convey. I know that I had a rather hard time with his albums until I sat down in front of my computer, and listened to him while following along with his lyrics on a web page. When I really looked, and could see right in front of my face what was there, I realized how much there actually was.

Sorry about being so off topic there... that's the same type of thing I'd like to say to that DJ, too, though. Eminem's music has a lot more value than lots of things out there.
posted by SirNovember at 2:59 PM on April 17, 2001


Just another bland generic DJ on another bland generic local FM station, complaining about an equally bland artist.

(Note that BRMB was the station that ran a competition two years ago for a pair of complete strangers to get married and live in a sponsor-paid house. Quite.)
posted by holgate at 3:03 PM on April 17, 2001


SirNovember-
His music does indeed have value, if you place him in a category with The Debbie Gibson and Menudo.
Kidding. I am not one to criticize anyone for their musical preferences. If it's got a good beat, dance to it. I happen to not care for his style, that's all. And the performance with Elton John.... I know you found it incredible, but even the song lyrics themselves made me spew milk out my nose. and all that cheesy imagery...and the poor guy trying to look so upset, hell, he could be a star. Maybe 90210. Anyways, I am sure you would disagree with my musical tastes also, so we shall say....
To each his own.
Brad
posted by bradth27 at 3:14 PM on April 17, 2001


The article doesn't go into much detail, but it shows how little discretion (zero) dj's have over what gets played on commercial stations. The payoffs and kickbacks that determine what gets airplay are no longer illegal. It's just how business is done. I doubt the program director is a big Eminem fan, he's just making sure that agreements are being carried out and that his next bonus check or free trip comes through.
posted by gimli at 3:43 PM on April 17, 2001


"thinks he's too good to have to obey his boss." Aaron, that's really creepy.
posted by Doug at 3:44 PM on April 17, 2001


If anyone in the US could hear the state of Commercial radio in the UK you'd see why this was such an important story. Finally a DJ who's standing up the playlist . . . see The Guardian for the full story . . .
posted by feelinglistless at 3:45 PM on April 17, 2001


Staged or not, I applaud the DJ. It's good to see SOMEONE in "authority" (which is how many teeny-boppers perceive DJs) draw a line, even if only temporary and for an ulterior motive (which may or not be true). M&M is just a jerk; I have no problem with people trying to make a buck off of his so-called talent, but it's really nauseating that some people actually buy and buy into it.
posted by davidmsc at 3:56 PM on April 17, 2001


Doug: why is that scary? Isn't the whole concept of a boss someone who tells you what to do?
posted by owillis at 3:58 PM on April 17, 2001


A boss can tell you what to do in relation to your job, but we shouldnt have anger toward people who don't absolutely bend to their bosses wishes, especially if that person is driven by his sense of what is right and wrong.
And the quote implies, in fact, that he is not good enough to do anything BUT "obey" his boss. Which is disgusting.
posted by Doug at 4:05 PM on April 17, 2001


If anyone in the US could hear the state of Commercial radio in the UK you'd see why this was such an important story.

On the contrary, it's a completely unimportant story, because you have plenty of choice that doesn't entail listening to commercials, or playlists. Local commercial radio doesn't matter a jot. God bless Auntie.

(Now, when Smashie and Nicey were 'banning' records on Radio 1, that was another story.)
posted by holgate at 4:33 PM on April 17, 2001


(Now, when Smashie and Nicey were 'banning' records on Radio 1, that was another story.)

I remember back in the 80's practically every band from the U.K. that I liked had songs that were banned. It seemed like the Smiths were always having something banned. Were Smashie and Nicey the culprits?
posted by gimli at 4:41 PM on April 17, 2001


I would have more respect for the DJ if he walked out because he had already played that song five times a day for the last two weeks.
Unless your lucky enough to live near a good college radio station, you're screwed when it comes to depending on the radio for new music.
posted by keithl at 5:29 PM on April 17, 2001


Not doing what your boss "tells you" just because he tells you to could be called conscience. People without consciences are sociopaths.
posted by artlung at 8:14 PM on April 17, 2001


I think hijinx had this one nailed properly as a publicity stunt. A dj that really thinks they have a say in what gets played and decides the time to lodge a complaint was while he was on-air? Just doesn't ring true.
posted by GersonK at 8:55 PM on April 17, 2001


Not doing what your boss "tells you" just because he tells you to could be called conscience.

If his boss had told him to dump some children off the side of a slave ship because they were about to be boarded, you might have a point. But it's just a fucking pop record, which is to say it is merely one of many self-absorbed cultural artifacts completely devoid of any meaning beyond what it seems to be about. Now if the guy was bitching about his sensitive DJ soul being crushed by the bland, homogenized music of the corporate media oligarchy, well, I might have some sympathy, even though I'd still think he's an ass, because it's definitely all just a publicity stunt.
posted by kindall at 9:08 PM on April 17, 2001


A dj that really thinks they have a say in what gets played and decides the time to lodge a complaint was while he was on-air? Just doesn't ring true.

Oh, it does with me. Commercial FM radio DJs in the UK (and, actually, in the USA) are generally jobbing nonentities with an inflated sense of their own importance, just because they get fan mail from within their station's small catchment area. Because they have no choice over the music, they consider that their "personalities" make a difference, which is generally untrue. This is generally because they have no personality, beyond the unmistakeably bland "local FM DJ" thing that allows these people to migrate from region to region in search of work. (The bloke in question did a shift at my local MOR station, apparently.)

Eventually, being "South Lincolnshire's breakfast favourite" or whatever brings delusions of grandeur, an on-air outburst of some sort, and yer man is off up the M5 to the next generic station. It happens far too often.
posted by holgate at 9:16 PM on April 17, 2001


kindall: yes. of course it's just a pop record.

but I stand by my statement, conscience can apply to artifacts of culture. It's just very tricky business. I can in fact object to pop music, or books, or pictures. This I do at a personal level. At a governmental level, given the rules of free speech (which I wholeheartedly embrace), the same thing would constitute censorship. But on a personal level, I think having moral opinions about works of art is entirely legit.

Now whether this DJ is just angling for PR, I have no idea. But assuming he's coming from a place of conscience, good for him. If he's not, it's lame.

Always tricky reading the minds of people in the news, though. So who knows?
posted by artlung at 9:31 PM on April 17, 2001


And the quote implies, in fact, that he is not good enough to do anything BUT "obey" his boss. Which is disgusting.

The quote contains no such implication. You obviously have inferred otherwise, but you are mistaken.

Not doing what your boss "tells you" just because he tells you to could be called conscience.

It could be. It isn't in this case. His action required little to no courage (I doubt he was pulling down the sort of salary it will be hard for him to recoup in another job), nor did it really stand for much of anything, especially given - as I have already said - that if he was truly that conscientious about denying the airwaves to criminals, rather than merely having an anti-gun hangup, he'd have to refuse to play huge chunks of every week's pop playlist. This guy doesn't have scruples, he has a fixation.

...they have no personality beyond the unmistakeably bland "local FM DJ" thing that allows these people to migrate from region to region in search of work.

Is this Graham Mack?
posted by aaron at 9:39 PM on April 17, 2001



Aaron, can you name some other artists who had concealed weapons found on them after threating bodily harm on another person? Cause you seem to think this happens a lot.
Also, not mentioned in this article, but in this one , you'll see that he also saw the track as "rubbish" and Eminem as a bigot. Which contributes to the idea that maybe he just believed the world would be better off without hearing Eminem's mean spirited music.
We're really quick to dismiss people as publicity seekers and whatnot when they may actually have more balls than we do.
posted by Doug at 10:01 PM on April 17, 2001


Aaron, can you name some other artists who had concealed weapons found on them after threating bodily harm on another person?

Yes: Puff Daddy, though the circumstances were somewhat different and he eventually got off. (There was no question illegal weapons were found.) And I don't see the relevance of the question, particularly given the lack of severity of the crime compared that those committed by other artists.

Cause you seem to think this happens a lot.

This specific charge? No. Charges of equal or worse severity? Yes.


Also, not mentioned in this article, but in this one , you'll see that he also saw the track as "rubbish" and Eminem as a bigot.

Well, those are (very) slightly better reasons, though still nowhere near enough to justify his actions. If anything, this new information makes his actions even more hypocritical, since there really are tons of pop music stars on probation at any given time for all sorts of offenses.

This man accepted a job which by its very definition requires him to play the songs his employer tells him to play, and then he arbitrarily decided to do otherwise in one specific case while blindly shrugging his shoulders to all other cases. No balls are involved, IMHO.
posted by aaron at 10:32 PM on April 17, 2001



Trust me, I've heard far, far too many "personalities" walk off their shows - sometimes for up to a week at a time - because of alleged problems with management. It could be a playlist, it could be a hiring/firing, but if this DJ leaves his job - if he really is a man of his convictions - then I'll take back what I've said.

They're almost always the same and far too predictable.

a: Incident occurs on air.
b: DJ either quits on air (often with sidekicks who are faux stunned) or calls management (often at home) to bitch.
c: Management lays down the law, setting him/herself up as the bad person.
d: The DJ will usually walk off the show at this point, after a heated argument with management.

It's easily one of the slickest radio stunts I've heard, but it's also one of the most frequently used, which makes it carry less weight if it really does happen.

I'm sorry, this DJ has no guts at this point. Again, if he actually brings about change - either at the station or within himself - then I'll reconsider.
posted by hijinx at 10:32 PM on April 17, 2001


Ugh, missed a tag. Last graf is mine, obviously.
posted by aaron at 10:33 PM on April 17, 2001


"Charges of equal or worse severity"
Such as? Cause I believe you said he would limit his playlist by half...So has Brittany Spears killed a man we don't know about? The backstreet boys selling mexican children into slavery?
And the DJ didn't arbitrarily decide not to play the song, Aaron. You knew that, of course.
posted by Doug at 8:03 AM on April 18, 2001


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