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Friday, May 14, 2004
On Wednesday morning, Marconi and "Tiny," the hosts of a local Portland radio show made a few meanspirited jokes about Nick Berg's tragic death in Iraq. Over sound bites of his screams, the two laughed and spliced in cheesy musical accompaniment.
After several listeners called 94.7 FM to complain, they were fired on Thursday morning. Apologies from the station's GM have been running during commercial breaks and Marconi posted his own over at suckycentral.com. The question must be begged: is the Marconi Show the latest victim in the ongoing Janet Jackson backlash or did the hosts have it coming? Would they still have been kicked off the air had Janet worn a Timberlake-proof outfit?
Either way, the two deserved some sort of punishment. Kicking them off the air is probably too harsh and comes across as pure, Grade-F pandering. Wouldn't it have been better to subject them to the slings and arrows of the public? From a purely business stand-point, the ensuing controversy would have likely boosted KNRK's ratings.
Or did the station's management make the right move? It's one thing to obsess over boobs and get kicked off the airala Tampa's Bubba the Love Sponge. Making callous remarks about a national tragedy before the body's buried and getting canned for it is quite another. The line has to go somewhere.
Regardless of their thoughtlessness, *I* think Marconi and his "suckies" should still be getting air time. As offensive as the show may have been, at least it was better than the tepid morning drivel pouring out of Rosie and Z100. The go-to answer of censorship critics has always been "just change the channel."
But the Marconi Show is gone and it's never coming back. Where are Gustav and Daria, the once hosts of "Portland's best radio show," these days? Is Jayn still looking for work? Turn those lemons into lemonade, KNRK, and set right the controversial programming changes you made back in October. Daria's Entertainment Report was the only reason why I ever tuned in to your crappy alt-rock station.