Duchess of New York

Free form rants, culture and politics from the heart of New York's Lower East Side. And yes, my name really is Sarah Ferguson.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Victory! Hot 97 Hosts "Suspended"; Sprint & McDonalds Pull Ads

Could the tide be turning against radio shock-jocks? It seems Hot 97's cruel parody of the Tsunami victims was so blatantly racist it provoked a backlash that the station's producers--and advertisers-- could not play down.

As first reported this morning by hiphopmusic.com, Miss Jones and her clueless cohorts on Hot 97's Morning Show have been "suspended."

The news came at 6 am today when a stand-in host named "E-bro" announced that Miss Jones' Morning Show had been "suspended indefinitely due to the content of the Tsunami Song and its bad taste."
[Listen to the clip here: http://209.15.102.92/hot97announcement.mp3 ]

E-bro also played Asian rapper Jin's scathing dis of Miss Jones and the station:
[ http://www.alljin.com/forum/showthread.php?p=12422 ]

Sadly, hiphopmusic.com reports that many of those calling in to respond spoke in support (!) of Jones and bringing back her program. But the repercussions are still rolling in.

Sprint and McDonalds just joined Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in announcing they were pulling their ads from the show.

Here's Sprint's updated statement: "Because the tsunami parody content on the Hot 97 program was in violation of our company standards, Sprint intends to suspend its advertising on the station."

And from McDonalds: "McDonald's does not support programs that discriminate or are insensitive to the plight of people suffering from devastating events. Starting immediately, McDonald's will indefinitely suspend advertising on the Hot 97 morning show."

Apparently, Sprint and Mickey D's realized a halfhearted apology and a week's pay weren't enough to cool public anger.

This isn't the first time Jones' mouth has gotten her in high water. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, last summer Jonesy, aka Tarsha Nicole Jones, was booted from her popular solo slot on Philly's WPHI-FM, The Beat:

"During her 18 months at the Beat, Jones was suspended twice for on-air remarks (for repeating a wild allegation about Whitney Houston's family and for trashing a colleague). She and the Beat still face a lawsuit filed by a woman who alleges Jones defamed her after she complained to the station about the host's foul mouth."
[ http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/entertainment/columnists/michael_klein/10210877.htm ]

An otherwise gushing feature on urbanbeatmovement.com notes:

"Jonesy made major strides in the history of American radio, becoming the first African-American woman to host a hip-hop morning radio show solo. While making her mark on the airwaves, Jonesy stirred up lots of controversy, with her quick wit and sharp tongue. Her language and opinions left her off the air for durations of time on `forced vacations.'"

Specifically, one such "vacation" occurred after Jones made a "lurid remark about Whitney Houston's 10-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina, and a male member of Houston's family."

And here's the Inquirer again about the pending lawsuit against Jones: "Sally Brown, a North Philadelphia nurse, recently filed a $500,000 lawsuit against the jock and Radio One, which owns WPHI. Brown alleges that Jones named her and made defamatory comments on the air after she e-mailed the Beat to complain about Jones' language."
[ http://www.bradenton.com/mld/philly/entertainment/6511348.htm ]

So Jones is renowned for launching "raunchy, expletive-riddled tirades" against listeners and artists who dare complain about her tone and language. Hot 97 and Emmis Communications knew that when they hired her, and banked that her barbed tongue would earn them ratings, which it did. But this time Jones went way out of bounds.

Stay tuned to see whether Jones' latest "vacation" from the air becomes permanent. There's now calls for the FCC to take action and fine the station. [http://www.asianmediawatch.net/missjones/index.html]

Meanwhile, NY Daily News columnist David Hinckley misses the boat with his tepid column about the controversy, when he muses: "The question of the moment about Hot 97's well-circulated "Tsunami Song" might be this: Miscalculation or mission accomplished?" [http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/story/274679p-235203c.html]

Yo, Hinckley, this ain't about Michael Jackson, and yes, there is such a thing as too much negative publicity.

Miss Jones and crew just proved it, and thank goddess for that.

Hopefully critics will go beyond the Tsunami Song to take on what the Yonkers, NY based group Asian Media Watch calls a pattern of "repeated racist attitudes” at Hot 97.

See my previous post for examples, lest Hot 97 be tempted to reinstate Jones once the storm blows over.


-----
Editor's note: Sorry for all the lengthy urls. I haven't yet learned how to hotlink. Shouldn't I have servants for this? And thanks to Jym for this anonymous post. http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/rnr/57104253.html
Who knew Craigslist was such a good media watchdog?

27 Comments:

  • At January 26, 2005 at 2:35 PM, Blogger fergie said…

    Here's a couple of urls for petitions, and a list of the Morning Show's sponsors that someone just emailed me. Yes, Sprint, McDonalds, and Jackson Hewitt have pulled out, but not a peep yet from the others.

    -----
    hello all,

    there are two online petitions that i know about...

    http://www.petitiononline.com/tsunmai7/petition.html
    http://www.petitiononline.com/endhate/petition.html

    also, here are some sponsors of HOT97 that people can write to...

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    james.w.fisher@mail.sprint.com

    Popeye's
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    ask for David Pace (atty) or Paul Fireman (CEO)

    McDonald's
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    Sheila Cort - Director, Communications
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