Clear Channel fires Chicago radio host
Last week it was
reported by the Chicago Sun Times, that a popular talk-show host,
Java Joel (Joel Murphy), was fired from Clear Channel’s WKSC-FM (103.5) for
telling a racially charged joke on the air that offended African Americans.
Joel Murphy, known as
Java Joel, was honored for his work by the Illinois Broadcasters
Association’s Silver Dome Award for “Best Local Radio Station Personality of
the Year” a few years ago.
There have been comments made by, mainly liberals, that the need to defend free speech must be preserved and defended at all cost. That speech no matter how wicked and insidious must be allowed to be spewed onto the public. That free speech is one privilege we have that can help us measure and preserve our fundamental liberty and democracy.
Well, I can’t agree with this notion that we must not remove bigotry from our public airwaves. Frankly, the free speech argument is used as a means to stifle public efforts to regulate commercial uses of our public airwaves. The reality is freedom of the press belongs to he or she who owns the presses. As a matter of ethics, morally offensive language should not be tolerated. Removing it from our public airwaves is not attacking freedom of speech. It is defending human rights and dignity.
The issues at hand are: 1) Clear Channel's corporate responsibility to the community to not promote hatred and bigotry, and 2) public control of public airwaves versus the right of Clear Channel to use the public airwaves as a corporate tool to profit from by promoting ethnic bigotry.
Indeed, the truth of the matter is, had Mark Belling uttered this racist language in San Antonio or some other Southwestern city with a large number of Latinos/Mexicans, his filthy and wild language would have been out the door in a heart beat.
To be sure, I’ll
defend Mr. Belling’s constitutional right to say what he wants. In fact,
I’ll get him a wooden box so that he can stand on it so that he can say the
kinds of things he says about Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Blacks, women, gays
and lesbians on the street. But giving Belling a venue on our public
airwaves [used for commercial purposes] to spew this morally offensive
language, is an injustice to the cause of justice and sacredness of