Shakedown and confessions in talk radio

Shakedown and confessions in talk radio

That would be a good title for a book. Anyway, the big announcement today in politics and talk radio is that Rush Limbaugh announced that he does indeed have a dependency on prescription painkillers and that as of today he is entering a 30-day treatment facility. He did not admit to any criminal behavior, nor did he talk about the investigation or any charges made in the press. He also did not say what medication that was, so we don’t know if he was taking Oxycontin. There’s not much more to say than that I will pray for his recovery and I will miss his informative show over the next month.

Locally, the talk radio scandal has been about two sports radio hosts who made unfortunate comments comparing an escaped gorilla with students in Metco, a Boston program that send mostly minority kids to the suburbs for schools. The two hosts were suspended for two weeks, they have apologized and that should be that… but it isn’t.

According to Boston Herald columnist Cosmo Macero, Metco officials are taking a page from Jesse Jackson’s playbook and using the incident to shakedown the radio station and its corporate owners. What do they want?

Among the demands that Metco has placed on WEEI: finance college scholarships for Metco graduates; fund the hiring of more Metco employees; conduct on-air campaigns to restore state Metco funding; become the corporate sponsor for various Metco events; and help them raise money partly by using some proceeds from WEEI charity events.

I especially like the part where they want the sports radio station to become a lobbying arm of Metco with regard to state funding. And those aren’t the only demands.

The question arises, then, of when a company’s employees make a gaffe, a non-criminal, but insensitive or stupid action, is it okay for the offended party to then demand concessions way in excess of the actual offense? Especially if the offended party is a government-funded institution?

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli