View Full Version : Radio station crew suspended over tsunami 'parody'

01-27-2005, 07:00 AM
NY radio station suspends morning crew over tsunami `parody'

LARRY McSHANE, Associated Press Writer

(01-26) 13:04 PST NEW YORK (AP) --

The host of a New York morning radio show and the rest of her on-air crew were suspended indefinitely Wednesday for airing a tasteless song parody that mocked victims of the catastrophic south Asia tsunami.

"What happened is morally and socially indefensible," said Rick Cummings, president of Emmis Radio, in announcing the disciplinary action. "All involved, myself included, are ashamed and deeply sorry. I know the members of the morning team are contrite. They know their actions here are inexcusable."

The song, a parody of the charity single "We Are the World," aired last Friday on Emmis station WQHT-FM, known locally as Hot 97. The station was subsequently flooded with thousands of angry phone calls demanding the firing of morning show host Tarsha Jones, known on air as Miss Jones.

The disc jockey offered an on-air apology, and the station initially announced that she and a half-dozen other members of the morning team would donate a week's salary to tsunami relief. The station, in a statement posted on its Web site, said management later decided "stronger action was necessary to demonstrate the severity of the situation."

The decision to suspend the DJ and her crew was immediately hailed by groups upset over the song.

"I think this is definitely a step in the right direction," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. "The egregious nature of this offense mandated something beyond a week's pay."

Others had called for advertisers to boycott the station and for Emmis to fire its staffers -- a call reiterated by City Councilman John Liu, whose Queens district includes a large Asian population.

"It's clearly not sufficient," Liu said. "Miss Jones and (sidekick) Todd Lynn need to be terminated, taken off the air permanently."

The death toll in the tsunami is estimated at anywhere from 144,000 and 178,000, with upward of 140,000 more people still missing.

Hot 97 has been criticized for poor taste before. In 2001, two different morning hosts were suspended after an on-air mocking of the plane crash death of R&B singer Aaliyah.

Statement from WQHT-FM, HOT 97

New York City - Miss Jones and the HOT 97 Morning team have been indefinitely suspended for the airing of a song that made light of a catastrophic event, as well as comments made at the time the song was aired.

Earlier this week, Miss Jones said on the air "I apologize to all who have been offended by my poor decision to go along with playing that insulting (to say the least) Tsunami song. I should have known better and I didn't. So I'm sorry and hopefully we can move forward from this, or I can move forward from this being a better hostess, because I am better than that, and I know better than that -- and you deserve better radio than that."

While Miss Jones has apologized on the air, in the media and on the HOT 97 website, station management felt that stronger action was necessary to demonstrate the severity of the situation.

Emmis Radio and HOT 97 will not tolerate such derogatory and racially insensitive content. This incident in no way reflects the spirit of HOT 97. The station has a long-time and well-known reputation for community involvement and support.

Emmis Radio President Rick Cummings said, "What happened is morally and socially indefensible. All involved, myself included, are ashamed and deeply sorry. I know the members of the morning show are truly contrite. They know their actions here are inexcusable."

We would like to clarify that no company advertising on our station had any connection to the Tsunami Song and no company advertising on our station endorsed or sponsored the offensive material aired on the "Miss Jones in the Morning" show. We apologize for any misunderstanding that may have caused listeners to believe that anyone, other than the morning show staff, was responsible for the material that should not have been aired.

Audio of the radio station transcript and 'Tsunami Song' can be downloaded here (http://students.washington.edu/jeesuk/longer_hot97_tsunami.mp3)

Warning! This is pretty sick stuff.

Here are some choice lyrics:

"..All at once you could hear the screaming chinks and no one was safe from the wave there were africans drowning, little chinamen swept away you could hear god laughing, "swim you bitches swim" So now you're screwed, it's the Tsunami you better run or kiss your ass away, go find your mommy I just saw her float by, a tree went through her head and now the children will be sold to child slavery..."

9 Ball Girl
01-27-2005, 07:58 AM

01-27-2005, 08:03 AM
auful, they should be fired. what jerks! /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Rich R.
01-27-2005, 08:09 AM
I usually believe you can find a little humor in the worst of situations, but this went way past that. It was not humorous and definitely in extremely bad taste.

01-27-2005, 08:47 AM
There was a similar incident in Atlanta, Ga. some years ago. It was during the serial killings of children going on at that time. Supposedly, the DJs were trying to get out of their contract. They dedicated a song to the missing children. They played "Another one bites the dust" by Queen. They were fired immediately.

01-27-2005, 12:32 PM
The people responsible for this tasteless and disgusting parody should be fired. I can't believe they actually thought anyone with a smidgen of decency would consider this funny.


01-27-2005, 05:05 PM
So was the lady that kept talking over the other lady Tarsha Jones? If so it seemed Tarsha was angry at another cohost because she separated herself from the rest of them.

01-27-2005, 05:17 PM
So was the lady that kept talking over the other lady Tarsha Jones? If so it seemed Tarsha was angry at another cohost because she separated herself from the rest of them. <hr /></blockquote>

"One recording showcases an argument between two of the “Miss Jones in the Morning” deejay hosts, Miss Jones and Miss Info. During the altercation, Miss Info, who is Asian American, says that she did not endorse the song. Miss Jones replied, “You feel superior, probably because you're Asian.” Co-host Todd Lynn retorts, “I'm gonna start shooting Asians.”"

Link (http://www.amsterdamnews.com/News/article/article.asp?NewsID=53048&amp;sID=4)

01-28-2005, 09:31 AM
Parodies of that song just keep getting folks in trouble. Seems like about 10 or 15 years ago Billy Bob or Joe Bob Somebody got his newspaper column dropped all across the country for publishing lyrics of a "We are the World" parody. I think it was "We are the Wierd" or something like that. "We are the wierd, we are the starving, etc, mocking Ethiopia.