I’m sure more than a few of you out there have spent some time as entertainers.. musicians, DJ’s, wedding singers, actors, what have you. I have too. So I have a bit of a pet peeve with the state of radio entertainment in the city of Calgary these days.
Now, this is just my opinion, let me say that, not the opinion of the Busted Knuckle, or anyone else I might be associated with, ok? It’s just me. So here’s my beef.
A very well known morning show in this city was recently petitioned by a couple who were looking for a hot babe to join them for an evening of... well, let’s just say dancing, horizontal mambo style.
Now, it’s up to those folks how they run their lives, I believe, but I was shocked when the station actually aired their request, and then fielded a phone call from a woman who was interested in participating... BUT.. she wanted tickets to a concert in return, and to make sure that someone was there to video tape the whole event.
This would be the point at which I was lookin’ at the radio like the old RCA dog, thinking “WTF??? Really? She calls in, gives her first name, says stuff that clearly identifies her, and then asks for payment (in the form of tickets) in exchange for sex? ON THE AIR?”
Sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. And the radio guys promised they’d get her something! A pair of tickets was offered! ON THE AIR. Then they played this up like it was big entertainment, big news!
So, entertainment these days is now reduced to live, on the air solicitation and price negotiation? WOW. I can’t make this stuff up, folks, this is real, and plenty of you probably heard it. Now, I know that some folks in my office were less than amused... even offended.
I personally didn’t feel tremendously entertained.
And I got to thinking.. hey;
The Ride for Dad pays money to advertise on that station (among others). That station likes to use bits and pieces of their shows to advertise the shenanigans of these supposed “morning show entertainers”... but what if they aired one of these supposedly tantalizing tidbits... right before or after a Ride for Dad spot? Or Ride for Sight? Or Big Brothers and Sisters?
Putting paying customers’ spots right next to blatant solicitation doesn’t seem very kind to the advertiser. It might add negative connotations, at the very least. It might prevent someone who was offended by the tidbit from attending the event that was so closely advertised near it.
I mean, I’m FAR from a prudish individual, and I’m pretty free thinking, but one of my first thoughts was “hey, don’t put that crap near any Ride for Dad adverts, ya boneheads”.
And this is why I listen to all news these days. I can’t say that I have enjoyed music radio for a long time... some of the music isn’t bad, but the stunts, and the sensationalism, and the sheer lack of talent in the local pool is just shocking.
They say and do things on the air that would have been absolutely forbidden just a few years back, and that should still be! They make racial slurs, insult members of various communities at will, flirt with reputable damage and / or libel, and resort to cheap, sensationalist tricks to try and cover up the sheer lack of talent. Offensive? At times, most certainly. Entertaining? Rarely. And it’s not just one station.. it’s most of them.
This incident just brought things to a head for me. And before someone says “oh, think you can do any better?”
I will say YES.. dammit I know I can. I have.
I might again. And if I do, I’ll have respect for those who might be listening, and I’ll stick to stuff that’s actually entertaining, and I will not hire a (wannabe) prostitute for my listeners.
I won’t need to stoop to those levels to get people to listen, and if I DID need that much help, I’d stop trying to be entertaining.
Maybe someone’s going to tell me to put my money where my mouth is... and I will. I’ll be on the microphone as part of the Emcee team for the Ride on June 16th. I guaranfreakingTEE you that I will NOT be pulling stunts like that to get people to pay attention.
They say that sex sells. However.. buying it gets you thrown in jail, along with the one providing it. I DARE the on-air talent in this city to try being entertaining for one whole week without making off-color, racial, gender-biased, sexist or intolerant comments. DARE. Not very long ago, DJ’s not only did it, they actually knew how to speak clearly, didn’t curse, and treated their listeners with respect.
I don’t believe they can do it.
End of rant.
R. Jeff LeGrand
Calgary Motorcycle Ride for Dad