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11:26am on Sunday the 22nd of September
Satellite radio giant XM announced Tuesday that it has suspended Long Island shock jocks Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia and ceased broadcast of their show for 30 days, effective immediately.

The duo had issued an apology last week after airing a segment in which a guest expressed desire to have sex with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, as well as First Lady Laura Bush and Queen Elizabeth. [Editor's Note: It's probably a moot point, but Charlie never said he wanted to have sex with Queen Elizabeth. Even he's not that depraved. It may seem like a silly thing to nitpick, but he said "F*** the Queen," not "I want to f*** the Queen." See here for details. And even if he did want to, that kind of unscripted material is why XM hired these guys in the first place. Whether you think it's funny or not.]

According to XM "comments made by Opie and Anthony on yesterday's broadcast put into question whether they appreciate the seriousness of the matter." The decision to suspend the duo was "to make clear that our on-air talent must take seriously the responsibility that creative freedom requires of them."
Newsday digg this
So much for apologizing. It didn't work for Imus, so I'm not sure why these guys thought it would work for them.

Who's next? Who's going to have something they said taken completely out of context and snapped up by one special-interest group or another, and lose their livelihoods over it? Because if you don't think this is just the beginning, you're dreaming.

Oh, and everybody who's been whining that O&A weren't going to suffer any consequences for what you think they did wrong? Don't worry, I won't ask for a retraction. We both know it wouldn't do any good.

P.S. "Why is pay radio being treated differently from pay TV?" Good question. (Sean Collins e-mails: "Answer: Oh, just you wait.")

P.P.S. Right, so they weren't suspended for the bit completely unscripted interview with Charlie (who is an insane homeless person), but for stuff they said at the top of their CBS Radio show yesterday. Orbitcast has the audio. Basically, they were trying to defend themselves, and all of radio, from being taken out of context and being treated differently than any other form of media. And oh no! They used humor, reason, and logic! XM says the remarks "put into question whether they appreciate the seriousness of the matter." Listening to it again, that's exactly that they were doing, appreciating how serious this problem is. XM is making a huge mistake.

P.P.P.S. The Breitbart post with the out-of-context audio clip that started this whole thing, it used to have comments. Now it doesn't. Weird.

P.P.P.P.S. Nor does that post come up when you search the site for "Opie." Double-weird.

Yet another postscript: Comedian Patrice O'Neal talks to John Gibson about the whole mess: "Funny people should just be left to try to be funny." And then he gets into it with some humorless NOW spokeswoman. I never thought I'd hear "the Angry Pirate" described on Fox News, except maybe on Red Eye... And this NOW dummy babbles about how this stuff shouldn't be on the public airwaves, but it wasn't on the public airwaves. It was on XM, a pay service with channel-blocking. See, when you take something out of context like this audio was, everybody tries to add their own context to it, based on their own agendas and grievances. You guys are getting this, right?

And yet another: I've never paid much attention to Glenn Beck, but I agree with him 100% here. "This thing is not being driven by standards, it's being driven by special-interest groups." One thing he points out that was news to me: JV & Elvis originally did their "shlimp flied lice" thing before Imus was fired. Nobody complained about it until a rerun aired, after Imus was fired. But that's probably just a coincidence, huh?

Last one for today, I promise:
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