Race-baiting for Ratings
Surfing the fallout from the station's decision to yank Miss Jones and her fellow Morning Show hosts off the air, I came across hiphop journalist Davey D's excellent backgrounder on Hot 97's long use of race baiting for ratings.
I confess I don't make it a habit to listen to shock jock morning shows, so I may be naive in how low things can go. Davey D points out Miss Jones and crew may have been one upping the racist antics of the previous morning team, Star and Buckwyld, who are now at rival station Power 105, which is owned by Clear Channel.
Davey D's point is that it is the industry, more than its on-air personalities, which demands and feeds off bigotry and racial strife.
So is this Tsunami Song controversy now being manipulated for ratings, as Davey D's argument suggests? I do my best to avoid conspiracy angles, but it's pretty gross to hear that Hot 97 turned the airing of an official apology and the playing of Asian rapper Jin's scathing response to the Tsunami Song into a Blacks vs. Asians call-in free-for-all.
And these are the stewards of the PUBLIC's airwaves??
No, I'm not denying that these racial tensions exist apart from Hot 97. But it's another thing to egg them on for your own profit.
The obvious response is, don't listen to Hot 97. But considering their reach as the "Number 1 hiphop station," keep the pressure on Emmis Communications and the industry so they don't recycle Miss Jones and her ilk into the next race-baiting lineup.
As J Smooth of hiphopmusic.com writes: "If you agree justice is not yet served, the best thing to do is keep going over Hot 97's head. Keep hitting sponsors, keep hitting Emmis, find out who Emmis' shareholders are. And keep on sharing any new information you get."
His site has a great list of contacts and sponsors in addition to those I've posted here, so ck it out!
P.s. Note that the station's manager, Barray Mayo has not said Jones and her team will be fired. He told the Daily News there is "no timetable" for deciding what happens from here. "There are many factors we will be considering over the next period of time," said Mayo.
And here's this from Billboard:
Meanwhile, rival host Star of Star and Buc Wild at crosstown WPPR (Power 105), offered a cryptic response: "You can do a lot of things to get attention. But when that station starts to fall out, the Hater will rise like never before."
and this from the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"Jonesy slurred Asians at least once before, in October 2003, at 103.9 The Beat."