Do I take great pleasure at the misfortune of others? When the others in question make up the rapacious filth that is Clear Channel Communications, Inc., I do. Why? They have done all they can to turn radio into NOTHING but a commercial-delivery system. They have created monolithic blandness out of what was once a varied national treasure. They have conspired to drive the Dixie Chicks from country radio in an effort to curry favor with the current administration on regulatory matters. They have helped turn the once noble profession of radio DJ into nothing more than equipment baby-sitting. They suck with a ferocity not rivaled by the combined inhalation power of Oreck, Hoover and the Democratic presidential nominees.
The catalyst of my dollop of glee? All kinds of bad press:
- Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nation’s largest radio group, has apologized to bicyclists to end a controversy caused by disc jockeys at three of its stations who urged listeners to run cyclists off the road and throw bottles at them.
The apology came in a letter from Clear Channel Radio Chief Executive Hohn Hogan to Elissa Margolin, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists that was released by the organization on Thursday.
In his letter, Hogan said that disciplinary action was taken at all three stations involved in the controversy and that one staff member had been fired. He also said Clear Channel would launch a campaign to promote road safety.
“The comments made by Clear Channel Radio Stations in Cleveland, Houston and Raleigh (North Carolina) were inappropriate and intolerable,” Hogan said in the letter. “I do not support and condone the anti-cyclists messages and have taken steps to insure they do not occur again.”
….The League of American Bicyclists told the Federal Communications Commission (news – web sites) at a meeting in October that the comments broadcast by the radio stations amounted to inciting listeners to commit felonious assault.
….Clear Channel revealed in July that it was the target of a Department of Justice investigation into whether it had abused its market position to shut out competitors. [Reuters]there’s more:
- Clear Channel Communications Inc., said in a filing that the U.S. Justice Department asked for information related to gambling advertisements run on some of its stations.
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri issued a subpoena on Sept. 9 for Clear Channel to testify before a grand jury in relation to ads from “offshore and/or online (Internet) gambling businesses, including sports bookmaking and casino-style gambling.” [Reuters]
Excellent! promoting felonious assault on bicyclists and illegal gambling in breathless pursuit of blood money. They may atually piss off enough people that the government will actually DO SOMETHING about this blight on mankind. But that’s probably too much to hope for – for now I’ll just wallow in a bit of schadenfreude.