XM Radio Subscribers Are Pretty Darn Ticked Off

Reader Al writes in to appraise us on the satellite radio backlash that is currently going on. Satellite radio is a hot mess! Al writes:

As you probably know, XM has touted their service as uncensored radio with the ability by the user to block specific channels. A method of self censorship that they constantly promote in their advertisements. These channels are tagged with the “XL” moniker showing the subscriber that they can put parental controls.

Recently XM has censored “The Opie and Anthony Show” for some comments that a guest made towards two governmental officials. XM made the hosts apologize and subsequently suspended them for 30 days because they (XM) did not believe they were sincere in their apology. Many believe that XM took these steps in order to look good in front of the congressional committees that are reviewing the unwanted merger between Sirius and themselves.

This has angered many XM subscribers and loyal fans of the Opie and Anthony Show and has caused them and I to cancel our subscriptions to make them understand that we will not stand for censorship and the degradation of Free Speech on a PAID service that markets itself as uncensored. This action has and will cause a hurt in XM’s bottom line and will force shareholders to take notice that XM answers to their paid and future subscribers, not advertisers or organizations with an agenda.

I would like (hope) that you post this on your site and show everyone that the consumer is the one whose voice needs to be heard!

Thank you,
Al

No problem, Al. It seems that lots of people are canceling their XM radio subscriptions lately. What’s going on XM? —MEGHANN MARCO

XM Radio Suspends Opie & Anthony [XM]
***NEW***List of things YOU can do to help O&A [People Against Censorship]
XM subscribers backlash over O&A suspension [Digg]

Comments

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  1. DojiStar says:

    Last I heard, 40,000 people cancelled their subs within the past few days because they got suspended.

    Wonder how accurate that is and how many more cancelled.

  2. timmus says:

    I don’t listen to O&A, but this is really a ridiculous debacle. XM is a privately run radio network that requires proprietary equipment. It’s not like Aunt Etta is going to be frittering around the radio trying to find the Lawrence Welk show and — horrors — hears the “F” word. And the receivers’ parental controls haven’t been a secret either.

  3. rmz says:

    The entire radio industry is so paranoid after Howard Stern was forced off of public airwaves and after the Imus thing. Even at my old college radio station we had to be VERY careful what we said, even during late-night hours, because the FCC was making a point of cracking down very harshly on even the most minor obscenity violations.

    It’s a shame that, despite touting “uncensored” this and “free speech” that (as well as being in a non-public position where they can actually HOLD to these ideals without fear of FCC intervention), XM went against its own principles like that just to butter up key Congressmen/women, but I guess nobody should really be surprised when that much money is on the line.

  4. roche says:

    I cancelled mine yesterday

    F XM

  5. madktdisease says:

    I tried to cancel my subscription last night and gave up after no less than 54 minutes on hold. I talked to a rep at 25 minutes who said she’d cancel but I had to talk to account retention. I hung up after the 54 minute mark. I have heard from others that my account isn’t really cancelled until I talk to account retention. I’ll be calling back.

    This is ridiculous, I pay good money to hear uncensored content. Even though I’m not a huge fan of the show, I’m cancelling my subscription. I have no interest in getting XM ever again, and I liked my service.

  6. quantum-shaman says:

    Dammitall to hell. I got an XM receiver and I haven’t even installed it yet. FU effing mother effers!!!

    http://www.pythonline.com/plugs/idle/

  7. davere says:

    And of course if and when the merger goes through, there won’t be an alternative to go to! Just plain old boring over the air radio.

  8. SonicPhoenix says:

    I’m glad that there’s finally a way that the majority of people who prefer free speech to craven displays of political correctness can voice their opinions. Every time some crap like this happens, such as with Imus, we get people coming out of the woodworks proposing self-imposed censorship because they don’t like what’s being said. Here’s the thing, my right to free speech is NOT trumped by your right to not be offended. In fact, you don’t have a right to not be offended. And if you think that you do, I’ve got news for you: your right to not be offended ends when you fail to exercise your right to piss off and remove yourself from the situation you find distasteful.

  9. sleze69 says:

    Sirius has yet to censor Howard. Why don’t you former XM listeners join Sirius and listen to the source from which O&A derive all their humor?

  10. craigehlo says:

    Will XM refund the remaining money on a pre-paid subscription if I were to cancel?

    I’ve been an XM subscriber since O&A were first on as a premium channel you had to pay extra for. We are setting a very bad precedent in this country as every corporation caves in to the smallest special interest groups that are “outraged” by comedy they don’t even listen to.

  11. jacques says:

    What everyone seems to be missing is the XM didn’t suspend them for the comments. They suspended them for making a half-assed apology and then making fun of it.
    And if all you signed up for sat radio was just for them or Stern on Sirius, you’re probably the same kind of intelligentsia who burned their receivers in protest.

  12. madktdisease says:

    @jacques: so that makes it ok to suspend them?

    i didn’t buy my XM for them, but i cancelled because i didn’t like what XM said by censoring them.

  13. Tallanvor says:

    So, whether or not you’re pissed at XM for censoring a show, quit whining about free speech on a private network!

    Seriously, the first amendment doesn’t apply to private companies and the services they offer. If you’re upset about hosts being censored, that’s fine, but don’t start complaining about “the degradation of Free Speech” unless it’s the government doing the censoring.

    Other than that, if you want to be upset with XM, go right ahead.

  14. JoeyESQ says:

    I also cancelled my 3 subs yesterday. The girl on the phone said they were hemhorraging subscribers over this. What I don’t understand is how anyone at XM thought this could possibly be a good idea. The whole selling point of satellite is that its not censored or regulated. If I wanted to listen to a controlled talk show I’d still be listening to terrestrial radio. Oh well, I have an iPod, I’ll be fine.

  15. 0x12is18 says:

    @sleze69: Switching to Sirius does no good if the merger goes through. There will be one company to rule them all.

    @jacques: They were hired to do what they were punished for, just like Imus. XM can’t bill O&A as uncensored and then censor them. If their comments are not inciting people to break laws, then I don’t see how they can censor them. As for people signing up for just them or Stern, these people likely didn’t sign up just for their shows, but those offerings likely aided in their decision to subscribe to satellite radio. If their favorite programming changes, they have every right to cancel and are justified in doing so.

  16. Juncti says:

    I bought XM way back when it was announced that they were signed to start airing. This is when the channel was still a $2 a month extra add-on. Now that they’re gone, I canceled.

    And if the show from this morning on Free FM is any indicator of how they’ll be leashed after this instance, I won’t renew if they do come back.

    It’s sad how fast companies cave in these days.

  17. oldhat says:

    Well, you guys (and apparently it’s all guys) should cancel your accounts because those jerks are NOT funny.

    Sure, humor can be found in raping women, I suppose, but those punks are clueless.

    Just because you are free to say what you want doesn’t mean anybody cares.

    At the same time, I cringe whenever I hear “poop” on the networks…c’mon, just say shit. You can say “bitch” can’t you?!?

  18. sleze69 says:

    @nwogoldberg99: As much as my stock account would love for them to merge, lobbying groups that supposedly don’t compete with satellite(like the NAB) seem intent on bribing congressmen to prevent it.

    Besides, even if they do merge, Mel(from Sirius) will run the show.

  19. quantum-shaman says:

    @jacques: They suspended them for making a half-assed apology and then making fun of it.

    That’s even more fucked up than O&A being suspended just for mouthing the words in the first place. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Now I’m even angrier.

    First amendment restrictions effectively apply to private and/or public companies when the FCC threatens to fine them into oblivion. Not that XM was under duress, because they took pre-emptive, ass-kissing and inappropriate action.

  20. sleze69 says:

    XM, sirius, HBO, and ALL pay broadcast stations are exempt from FCC scrutiny. The only reason for this is to appease advertisers. Of course the result is that they lost subscription revenue…

  21. simian-fever says:

    So… what is the potential of pirate satellite radio? :)

    PUMP UP THE VOLUME!!!!!!

  22. Foxtrot-Yankee says:

    @Tallanvor:

    The first amendment isn’t a unique source for free speech rights. Free speech is much bigger than that.

    People can talk about free speech all day in relation to this issue and it would make sense. I haven’t seen anyone yet imply that this is a first amendment issue.

    BTW, I’m one of the people who cancelled. I was a five-year subscriber.

    What I really don’t understand is that suspending them doesn’t punish them very much. They’re still getting paid. It punishes the fans who look forward to the show a whole lot.

    XM killed a lot of goodwill yesterday that I doubt they can get back and they lose more every day they continue this silliness. Is that what it takes to make a merger happen?

  23. BII says:

    @Tallanvor:

    Thank you, yes this isn’t really about free speech at all. I think its disingenuous to market satellite radio the way XM and Sirius have (completely uncensored, our DJs will say what they want!), is it really that shocking that a corporation will mislead potential customers in their marketing?

    If “Opie and Anthony” really want to do the show they want, unencumbered, by you know, a boss who signs the paychecks, then they ought to start a for-pay podcast, last I checked, you can be as “shocking,” purile, and sophomoric as you want on the internet.

    Although I would be concerned about the audience base (consisting mostly of knuckle-dragging mouth -breathers) understanding things like “RSS” and “podcasting.”

  24. @sleze69: The key word there is “yet.” Setting aside the perennial O&A vs. Howard debate (different shows, broadcasters of different generations, etc.), the precedent set by the suspension of O&A on a paid, subscription-only service says volumes about how broadcasting companies, even those free from federal content guidelines, view the right to free speech. Howard Stern is no more insulated from this now than were Opie and Anthony. For that matter, no one on satellite radio (including political talk, comedy, Oprah, Martha Stewart, news, etc.) is immune from this trend. {Prof. Jonathan}

  25. Art Vandelay says:

    Good to see people have realized that petitions mean nothing and money is everything to a company. I don’t subscribe to either service, but am glad to see disgruntled consumers taking the correct route.

  26. Bye says:

    The few things I’ve heard of Opie and Anthony’s show makes me cringe. Their humor is juvenile, idiotic, and mostly ignorant. It is not my cup of tea.

    However, XM is completely in the wrong on this. How do I know my favorite show or channel is not next on their censoring list?

    Isn’t this the point of satellite radio? To escape from the neopuritan ideals that are forced on the other broadcast media?

    Forget the children. What about the adults? What about the adults who know how to change the channel when their senses are offended, annoyed, or bored?

  27. @Tallanvor: “So, whether or not you’re pissed at XM for censoring a show, quit whining about free speech on a private network!”

    You’re missing the point. Private networks only exist because of the U.S. Constitution’s protection of the right to free speech. How dare a private network spit on that principle by suspending or firing a broadcaster for not only speaking freely without violating federal content violations, but for doing so after being hired to do exactly that!

    If private networks valued free speech, they would suspend hosts for a day, and give the mics over to those holding the opposing views. Give Imus’ slot to the Rutgers women’s basketball time, so the world can get to know the women as people. Heck, give O&A’s slot for a day over to NOW or Laura Bush and Condolezza Rice. But don’t take sponsorship or subscriber dollars and get rid of the people who earned them for you.

  28. mbrutsch says:

    @Tallanvor: “Free Speech” neither begins nor ends with the First Amendment. I subscribe to XM, I despise O&A, and yet I don’t agree with what has happened. I subscribed to XM specifically because they claim to allow uncensored, or “free”, speech. When XM pulls a stunt like this, they obviate their claim of “uncensored radio”, and that is unacceptable. So the “Free Speech” they are suppressing is not “US Govt mandated by the 1st Amendment” Free Speech but “promised in advertising and paid for in cash” Free Speech.

  29. dresden says:

    It’s great that you’re all banding together to support two dimwitted bigots (Opie and Anthony).

    Way to stick it to the man.

    Morons.

  30. brooklynbs says:

    This is the type of “censorship” that spurs people into action? How about boycotting Microsoft, Yahoo and Google? Those companies work with the Chinese government to censor websites and deny freedom of speech to a billion people.

  31. Papercutninja says:

    It really isn’t a matter of whether or not you like Opie and Anthony, or Imus or Howard Stern. It’s literally a matter of corporations bowing down to very vocal special interest groups.

    THe people that are/were offended by what Opie and Anthony or Imus said, did you actually hear it? Do you listen to their shows? I didn’t think so.

    It started with Imus and it’s going to keep going until radio and tv are nothing more than PC dreck.

    Love edgy comedians but hate “shock jock radio”? Well, keep laughing because the comedians are going to get it next. It’s going to come down to
    become Sesame Street humor if no one stands up to these ridiculous special interest groups. They’re just piling on to whatever “media” is out there and claiming responsibility for firings/suspensions/cleaning up the airwaves. Terrorists do that too.

    Pretty soon, blogs and websites are going to get hit harder. They’re flying under the radar right now, but if this continues, no one will be able to mock or poke fun at anything or anyone.

  32. quantum-shaman says:

    @dresden: How about this moron: It’s has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not we like O&A. Personally, I think they are lame and un-funny just based on the 3 minutes that I listened to them. It’s about the principle. Do morons understand principles? Apparently not.

  33. quantum-shaman says:

    @brooklynbs: Do they have a Bill of Rights in China? Oh, that’s their problem.

  34. rbb says:

    F the O&A fans.

    Those of us who could care less about O&A have been forced to pay higher rates just so you could listen to them for free.

    Back when Sirius jacked up their rates to pay (i.e., force all their listeners to pay for stern) for stern, XM followed suit. But, they didn’t have any real reason to jack the rates like Sirius. So, they decided they would give everybody O&A for “free” (big whoop…) and free streaming on the PC (another big whoop considering the number of already free streams…).

    XM should have stuck with the lower rates and a surcharge for O&A. Make their fans support them…

  35. officedrone4 says:

    @Rey

    I agree. Not my cup of tea by any stretch of the imagination, but I think the suspension is ridiculous and I called to say as much. I don’t think I’ll cancel because I like Lucy and Ethel and I don’t like the Sirius alternatives. But I still haven’t decided.

  36. quantum-shaman says:

    @Papercutninja: On a somewhat related note, I don’t know how Dave Chappelle stays on the air. But even he has said that he was under tremendous pressure from certain individuals to “tone it down”. He’s the funniest thing on TV and I would rather watch the same Dave Chappelle episode 3 times than anybody else, once.

  37. dresden says:

    @quantum-shaman: Yeah, the principle that a crappy company that airs a crappy radio program is the only thing to get everyone up in arms over censorship issues? Is that the principle you’re talking about? Stop paying because you’re not getting what you want out of it, but making a censorship issue out of what a private company decides to do is moronic. Apparently you need to re-think your principles, moron.

  38. Tallanvor says:

    @mbrutsch: But XM, not being a government entity, can change their policy if they find that it’s abused.

    Would you be as upset if they got suspended for advocating that every man go and rape a woman instead of just joking about raping one?

    I’d say BII‘s suggestion is best for those people who really don’t want to worry about censorship.

  39. The Walking Eye says:

    Before I returned to school, I had both XM and Sirius either separate or at the same time for 3 years so that I wouldn’t have to listen to commercials anymore and get the CD cuts rather than radio. When XM picked up MLB, I went exclusively with them shortly after due to my noticing Sirius censoring songs on my favorite stations. I tried to complain, but their website is useless as is their phone system. I was livid that I was paying for uncensored music that was being censored. I didn’t notice XM doing that on the stations I listened to, but I do know they used the radio cuts for the Top 20 station.

    Advertisers should shut the fuck up when it comes to this issue, as one poster mentioned above why this could be happening. They signed up with XM, knowing full well that it’s supposed to be an uncensored broadcast. I’m disappointed in XM for giving in to any pressure put on them by outside sources and won’t plan on signing up with them again.

  40. @quantum-shaman: The FCC has no authority over XM content, as it is a paid network.

    The FCC does, however, regulate the spectrum and parcels out sections of it, or rather, they license it and provide oversight to make sure a licensee is using their swath of the spectrum in the public interest. This is the same for terrestrial radio broadcasters, satellite radio broadcasters, cell phone companies, GPS providers, etc. Thus, XM still has a motivation not to piss off Congress or FCC commissioners.

    In this case, though, the point should be repeated that XM did not censor O&A’s content. XM suspended them because they insulted their employer. This isn’t a censorship issue; it’s basic H.R.

  41. Sonnymooks says:

    This is about as much about free speech as it is about sneakers and livestock.

    Now if ya want to talk about fraudulent advertising, or something like that, fine, if ya want to say this is about free speech, then ya might first need to learn what the hell it is you are talking about.

    Personally, the fact is, if my employees said something I didn’t like, I’d fire their asses, and would not think twice about it.

  42. quantum-shaman says:

    @dresden: Look moron, here’s how principles work: It doesn’t matter if the company is crappy. It doesn’t matter if the radio show is crappy. It doesn’t matter whether they’re suspended because of “censorship”, PC double-think, or because the HR department got a wild hair. The subscribers are paying for it, because that’s the kind of humor they enjoy and expect. That’s their perogative. If the show were something that you personally enjoyed, and suddenly it was off the air for some frivolous reason (pick one), would you feel any different about it? Of course you would, because you’re a moron who doesn’t understand principles.

  43. Buran says:

    @Sonnymooks: Better watch it. Depending on the topic that might be a sueable offense and you might be forced to not only rehire but pay back pay.

  44. TexasScout says:

    I don’t give a RFA (Rat’s F**kin’ A** (how’s that for censorship)) about Opie and Anthony. Now Opie and Andy is a different story.

  45. amb1545 says:

    @Tallanvor: Have you ever heard of sarcasm and satire? Surely you don’t believe they are acting advocating things such as rape.

    Also, you can’t possibly believe that thousands of listeners are going to start raping women even if these two guys did advocate it.

  46. Spider Jerusalem says:

    Yeah! Im cancelling too! Oh…wait…I don’t have a subscription. I have better things to spend money on than cable for radio.

    I mean, yay they’re losing customers, and yay its enough for them to notice their bottom line, because I think that sort of thing is funny, but I never really believed that enough people would buy into “special” radio to make it profitable in the first place, which is probably why they’re pandering for the merger in the first place.

  47. dresden says:

    @quantum-shaman: Didn’t I just say that? My point was is that these idiots are calling it censorship, and whining about it, especially considering O&A is flat out retarded. That’s funny to me. Then you whine about principles. And I said if their service provider isn’t providing what they want, then they should go elsewhere. Then you said some more stupid shit and reiterated what I said before. So either continue to agree with me, or shut up.

  48. Falconfire says:

    I knew this would happen. There is only one way your going to stop shit like this. End the FCC and get rid of the “Moral Majority” and anyone Democrat or Republican who panders to it.

  49. yg17 says:

    I’m a Stern fan, Sirius subscriber of 3 years (and loving every minute of it) and can’t stand O&A, so on one hand, I’m glad to see those talentless hacks off the air, but at the same time, I worry that this may set a precedent for censorship on satellite radio.

    I do think they crossed a line. As much as I despise Condi and can’t wait till her and the rest of the administration are out of office, talking about raping a government official (or anybody for that matter…gov’t officials, especially her, don’t deserve special treatment) is just taking it too far IMO

  50. Sonnymooks says:

    @Buran: I don’t have a bunch of lawyers for no reason.

    Bring it on!!!!

    That said, this really isn’t about free speech, and never really was, but its a good way to get naive people to voice uninformed opinions that only have corporate reprecussions either benefitting or harming.

    That said, I’d still fire any employee for saying something I don’t like, and not only not think twice about it, but laugh about it.

  51. The Meathead says:

    @oldhat: This issue has nothing whatsoever to do witn whether or not they are funny.

    It’s all about advertising uncensored content, then censoring said content.

  52. mac-phisto says:

    holy shit!!! you mean xm actually polices the infrastructure it owns? i’m shocked. absolutely shocked.

    oh, & Sonnymooks – i was having dinner with your secretary last nite & she called you an asshat. fire away, cheeky fellow!

  53. DreamWalker81 says:

    @The Meathead: exactly!

  54. GenXCub says:

    This is also a problem potentially for Stern (whom I listen to on Sirius). Even though he brings in a lot of revenue from subscribers, he still supplements it with commercials. If he loses advertisers, he can be forced off. That was the Imus situation… advertising revenue. If Advertisers can be found that will not be affected by this (like he had with his NYC channel 9 show), that will ultimately make Satellite talent “bulletproof.”

    Also keep in mind that the airwaves used by XM/Sirius are “publicly owned” and could be regulated in the future.

  55. oldhat says:

    @The Meathead: OH! You wanted to discuss THE issue!

    (I take it this means you admit they are a bunch of losers?)

    So the company is still correct: They are not censored (by the FCC, which does the censoring), but clearly the company will not give up its rights to editorial control or otherwise.

    So a company run advertising that is technically correct, but you chumps read too much into it.

    That might be like demanding your hamburger look exactly like the picture. Good luck.

    @DreamWalker81: Not Really!

  56. JohnMc says:

    I can’t believe some of you people. As I recall O&A promoted anticapated rape of 3 women. And you are up in arms about ‘censorship’? Don’t you think that promotion of bodily harm should take prescedence over someone saying this, even if it’s a joke? In fact if it was a joke, that makes it even worse.

  57. raindog says:

    Our XM subscriptions (and we have two of them) get billed yearly, so it’ll be 7 or 8 months before we could express our discontent financially.

    But if we do cancel, it’ll be over something other than shock jocks being pulled. We actually chose XM over Sirius because Sirius had Howard Stern.

    I almost cancelled this past year because they took away Music Lab, but I’m more into XMU nowadays anyway. All talk radio makes me want to stab myself in the eardrums. I even tried to get into Air America when I first got XM, only to find that liberals can be just as annoying as Coulter and Hannity and Limbaugh.

    Anyway, for those keeping score, it’s true that private property rights trump First Amendment rights. However, the free market trumps private property rights. XM can do whatever they want with their system but their property loses its value if they hemorrhage customers as a result. So keep on spreading the word, O&A fans. Word of mouth, whether good or bad, is a great example of free speech that doesn’t even need a constitutional lawyer. Show them that sucking up to the FCC will cost them more than it’s worth.

    Unfortunately, I’m expecting there to be one satellite radio company left at this time next year. Their content will be FCC-regulated as a condition of their merger, and it’ll be just like listening to a bland Clear Channel FM station but more expensive and with worse reception. And that’s when our two XM receivers will go into the dumpster.

    Satellite radio may have already failed. Hope they can prove me wrong.

  58. truerJ says:

    I subscribe to XM for the music, not the talk radio. And despite the moral outrage being exhibited on behalf of two irritating, talentless hacks and their right to be obnoxious, I don’t feel in any way compelled to cancel. XM may not be the promised land of total freedom and immunity from social sanction you thought it was. And if that gets your panties in a wad then by all means, unsubscribe. I really think that the venom being spewed is more about the overall climate of censorship in the country (largely due to the Bush admin and its cronies) than about this particular case. If you want to get mad about something, how about the many injustices being perpetrated on completely innocent American citizens. O&A can take care of themselves.

  59. Sonnymooks says:

    @mac-phisto:

    It must have been my last secretary, who, ironically, was fired for making offensive statements.

    Seriously though, I did fire my last secretary for making making statements that were offensive, I doubt she would have had much of a free speech case, or at least no more then this joke of a news story is.

  60. Rahnee says:

    I don’t listen to O&A but I’m thinking of canceling my 2 year standing with XM because what used to be talk free radio is now riddled with annoying commentary between songs. I pay for music. Pure music. Not talk and other peoples opinions of what I have heard or about to listen to.

  61. Syd says:

    @JohnMc: A joke is WORSE than genuinely condoning rape?!?

    Please, rethink that statement.

  62. mac-phisto says:

    @Sonnymooks: lollerz. what are the chances?

  63. yuvu says:

    Violent Acres, whose site I discovered from a few other stories on Consumerist, seems to be one of their pissed off listeners that has cancelled the service.

    http://www.violentacres.com/archives/183/now-that-xm-radio

  64. Cancel XM? Nope. Be pissed off about censorship, sure. But cancel XM? Have I ever listened to “Opie and Anthony”? That’d be a big, fat, unqualified not on your fucking life. But I do love Lucy and Fred, the two alternative stations; the BBC World Service; and the myriad of classical and jazz stations.

    Those of you who want to send a message, go ahead. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Or the Dead Kennedys.

  65. yuvu says:

    @loquaciousmusic:

    I’ll just buy an Ipod for music. Uncensored talk is the only reason I (and many, many others) bought XM.

  66. FromThisSoil says:

    It’s really a shame that our country is ruled by the few who complain – effectively ruining for everyone else who can take a joke, albeit one in poor taste.

  67. Sukhoi says:

    Freedom of speech does not = freedom from repercussions. Just to see that in action walk into a airport and say you have a bomb, you have the right to say it, But I’m sure you will not like what happens next.

    Joking about rape works about as well as me saying, I’m going to cap your SO if they don’t do what I want. Doesn’t sound very funny and could cause me beat down if I said that to someone.

    There are limits to what you can say, the government can’t tell you what they are. But everyone else can.

  68. Gannoc says:

    I’m an O&A fan who canceled his two subscriptions. Some clarifications:

    – They did not “make jokes about rape”. It was a 5 second unscripted response to the comments of a homeless person. That’s 5 seconds out of 25 hours of radio in a week. The reports make it sound like it was the “O&A Rape Variety Hour”, and the clip taken out of context sounds worse than it is.

    – I’m glad that Stern fans enjoy their show. Stern commonly claims that other shows, including O&A rip him off. I don’t agree with that. Even so, I hope you support O&A on principle even if you prefer Howard.

    – Lastly, I watched Family Guy this weekend. There was a 30 second joke about a woman in torn, bloody clothes identifying her rapist in a lineup. The cop told her than unless she agreed to vote for Lois for mayor, she would be put in jail herself, and her rapist would go free.

    Wow, that’s a MUCH MUCH worse joke about rape than O&A made, and that was on the PUBLIC airwaves, (Fox), with no warnings, before, or after about adult content.

    Where are the protests getting Family Guy off the air for advocating rape? There are none, since for some reason, we support comedy in some formats but not in others. It makes no sense.

  69. imajoebob says:

    O&A weren’t “censored.” They were allowed to say whatever they wanted. And now they’ve learned that there ARE consequences that go along with the right of freedom of speech. Lack of censoring does not mean they have no responsibilities. If they attacked XM and attempted to harm the business, would XM not have the right to suspend them? If they fomented overthrow of the government, would you say that XM shouldn’t be able to suspend them? If they incited a race riot, would you say they had no right to suspend them? If they defended the Al Qaeda attacks in the WTC would you say XM couldn’t/shouldn’t suspend them?

    XM’s “non-censorship” is tacitly understood to mean profanity, sexual topics, and politics. It does not mean antisocial behavior will be allowed or tolerated. It does not mean that XM is obliged to broadcast their show, no matter the content or consequence. Just as with your public right of free speech, it does not mean they can say whatever they want, whenever they want, and not have to take responsibility for it. And advocating violence, especially rape, crosses a very bright, bold line and they knew that. It was their choice, and they knew there were likely consequences.

  70. ScottGentzen says:

    I dropped XM months ago because they started to suck. After being a subscriber for a couple of years, I got sick of the really narrow playlist during drive time.

    I wouldn’t have canceled over the O&A thing. It’s stupid but if I had some other reason to want to stick with XM, that wouldn’t have been enough for me to unsub.

  71. RogerPodacter says:

    The people saying that this is not a censorship issue and that a private company can suspend employees if they say something they dont like, YOURE MISSING THE POINT.

    The apology in which raised this entire controversy is the censoring. XM FORCED O&A to read a pre-written apology on air for the original rape comments. They were forced to apologize for being “outrageous”, when thats how they were advertized.

    People are angrier that they had to apologize in the first place, when xm202 is a supposed “uncensored” channel. THAT IS the issue that angers me. Of course O&A mocked XM for forcing them to apologize over something they should not have had to apologize about in the first place. THATS THE ISSUE.

    THE APOLOGY IS THE ISSUE.

  72. plainOldFool says:

    Now I listen to O&A on FreeFM because I am too cheap to pay for a XM subscription. Because of this I did not hear the comments live nor did I hear their comments on Monday (they made no mention of it this morning). However, I did hear a clip of the infamous show. Know what … not ONCE did I hear the word “rape” or the advocacy of rape. The homeless dude said that he would ‘ef Condi Rice and the First Lady. And he did refer to them with the B-word (why am I self-censoring myself?!?). Then he called the queen a horseface B*itch, or something like that.

    So I ask all of you, where was the “rape” business?!? Is there a chunk of the audio that I missed or is this being overblown way out of proportion.

    Regardless of what happens, I will be looking forward to hearing them tomorrow morning.

  73. keanho says:

    Hi, Kevin here – you may remember me as the guy who smashed his Tivo on YouTube back in February.

    I am frustrated and disgusted with the current state of radio in general, and the O&A/XM situation in specific. I’ve canceled my two subscriptions in response and, once I see how things play out, I promise an entertaining sequel to the Tivo smash.

  74. DJMarc says:

    Ok… here’s the thing. As has been stated numerous times before, O&A were not censored. This 5 seconds of content everyone is up in arms about was pretty awful and they had the option to END the bit, and probably could have dumped it via a delay system. In radio, delays are common and are used to prevent more than just obscenity from getting on the air, especially in the case of an unscripted show. O&A made a choice…perhaps under this shared misconception that free speech extends to private business…

    Free speech is not guaranteed in areas not regulated by government influence. Go ahead and check the Constitution, I’ll wait…

    The fact of the matter is this. O&A made a choice to allow an antisocial tirade on the air. It offended people. They apologized. Had they left it at that, the furor would have died out. But alas, they bloviated(http://www.answers.com/bloviate) themselves into a suspension for not taking seriously the fact that free speech comes with responsibility. Plain and simple. They made fun of their company and their apology and THAT is what got the suspension. Prior to this XM was on the record as saying they stood by the hosts and accepted the apology. O&A’s arrogance did the rest. Censorship doesn’t even come into play.

  75. mattbrown says:

    Free FM stream: http://bdcast-infinity-wfny-fm.wm.llnwd.net/bdcast_infinit

    A few people I know canceled their XM already.

  76. bobjr94 says:

    XM has been getting worse for the last 6 months or more. All top 40, pop & rock stations play the same stuff over and over from the same people. Whats the point to having 200 channels if half of them play the same thing. They are just like commercial radio anymore and afraid to play anything different.

    They sold some of there channels to clear channel so they now have commercials like and free radio but we are paying to hear them.

    I think O&A and dumb and never listen anyway. XM advertises them as extreme and they might say something just like they did, but thats what XM is paying them for. They were looking for something shocking to match howard stern and thats why they got so what did they expect.

  77. macinjosh says:

    Thanks, Gannoc. Some very good points. Oddly, I was listening to it “live” (on my iPod thru Audible) and I don’t remember even hearing it. I do recall hearing the part about the Queen, which was not “I want to F the Queen.” It was “F the Queen. You lost the war, go home”. It’s a minor point, but it shows how the media gets things wrong (such as the name of the show).

    Anyway, I’m going to cancel XM and my audible subscription to O&A. Why? Because I want to hear O&A. If they come back, I’ll come back.

  78. Trai_Dep says:

    I’m highly amused that thousands of people are agitating to quit XM because O&A can’t say Carlin’s 5 Words or whatever 13-year-old puerile boytard mouthings-off that they do.

    Yet they don’t quit AT&T or any of the other telecoms that handed over every single bit of consumer data to the NSA, then tried to hide it.

    WAY to keep priorities and perspective, guys. Awesome!!

  79. RonDMC says:

    dresden: It’s great that you’re all banding together to support two dimwitted bigots (Opie and Anthony).

    Way to stick it to the man.

    Morons.

    dresden, you’ve completely missed the point. It has nothing to do with those two particular dimwitted bigots and everything to do with the fact that XM advertised a private, pay service where consumers pay money to listen to uncensored, dimwitted bigots saying whatever they like. Basically, the ringleaders XM have undermined the entire point of the service for a lot of people. Uncensored radio is what landed XM a ton of its followers in the first place.

    At the end of the day, this isn’t about O&A; it’s about a business not delivering what it advertised and sold its consumers. False advertising is false advertising, period.

    Kudos to those who canceled their service because they are no longer receiving what they paid for. That’s being a good consumer, and as good consumerists always say, money is the only language the business speak.

    I’ve passively considered upgrading to satellite for a while now, but considering XM’s shenanigans and the upcoming merger, there went that desire. I can listen to censored, homogenized neutered radio for free, thank you very much.

  80. biscuiteater says:

    Audition? For Free Speech? Well I guess my comments won’t be posted. I’m a HUGE fan of Opie and Anthony. And a PROUD member of http://www.peopleagainstcensorship.org . I HATE censorship. AND more so.. Political Correcetness. I’m not so sure I agree with you on this. I mean ..can’t we all be heard..even those that are stupid..and missinformed? My point.. even the stupid people have an oppionion, Are they silenced here? I want to be consistant. Regards, Karl Bissett

  81. biscuiteater says:

    @trai_dep: HUH? Spell check is yor PAL

  82. biscuiteater says:

    Cancel my XM SUB? Huh?

    Smash my XM…wait what? Sorry Pals. I love Opie and Anthony. I listen twice a day.EVERYDAY. Once in the mornings on XM and PALTALK..then catch the show ,un-distracted on XM while I drive my nightly 532 miles, to catch what I missed in the morning. Sorry.. NOT gonna un-sub!

    I chose to use my time PROTESTING ( being that I live 900 miles from CBS in NYC) writing people that can help the cause. I Write everyday to CBS..MSNBC..FOX, ( Hannity and Colmes),and every newspaper I can.

    Am I gonna smash my 200 dollar INNO? Thats about stupid. NO! I listen to the NEWS..talk radio. and more. Why should I shoot myself in the foot because of all of this?

    Hmmm..I listen to Ron and Fez Replays. Don’t get that on FM down here in the south on FM.

    Point being..Pals.. If someone don’t cancel their Xm SUB over this..don’t think they are not supporting O and A

    Regards…Biscuiteater from Paltalk

  83. 420greg says:

    Don’t cancel your XM. Just switch to channel 152 and listen to the Monsters. They are funnier then O and A.

  84. robbie says:

    DJMarc pretty much summed this one up.

    you don’t diss your employer. period.

  85. Trai_Dep says:

    @biscuiteater: “@trai_dep: HUH? Spell check is yor PAL”

    So is a functional vocabulary. How about trying to get one?

    …just b/c you’re not familiar w/ 3-syllable words doesn’t mean they’re misspelled, friend.

  86. farscape7 says:

    my 2 cents

    Rush, Imus, O&A have targets on their heads and when they show a weakness the lions come out. I find O&A a bit harsh and mean at times so i dont listen. But should they fall i do believe then the show i really love Ron and Fez may be next. I mean Ron jokes about eating babies. That has to be wrong, i think. Right, you cant eat babies?

    I called in to cancel as well, but i was just looking to see what they would offer me to stay. They gave me a free month. Even if your not willing to cancel at least nail them for a free month of service. It all adds up, and then maybe try to cancel next month as well. Thats my plan.

  87. FMulder says:

    O&A fills a vital media need for the people who enjoy hearing sexist and racist humor, enjoy jokes about female political figures being raped — and who are resentful at movements in society that make sexism and racism less socially acceptable as say it was in previous decades (or centuries).

    They want to be able to laugh about Condoleezza Rice being raped, in the free way that perhaps in the 1930s or 1930s no ‘politically correct’ law would have prevented their grandfathers and great-grandfathers from snatching her, raping and killing her.

    Besides while they understand if it was their mother, their wife, their sister, their daughter being talked about in this way, it would also be a big joke that they wouldn’t mind their friends, co-workers, neighbors laughing about, and they’d enjoy the laughter too.

    Free speech right?

    It would be an interesting survey to find out what else motivates such people to outrage in this way. Genocide? Child abuse? Corporate greed? Environmental Pollution sanctioned by our government? Corrupt U.S. foreign policy? Global financial resources diverted away from feeding the and housing the extreme poor? The medical insurance and security system in this country?

    Oh no, it is the right to enjoy rape jokes.

    Long live the American Dream!

    Probabl

  88. PaulMall says:

    If you don’t defend the right to joke about rape, why is what you say any more valid? It’s either the freedom to say what you want (in the context of humor) without fear of backlash for everyone or freedom for none. If you take the rape jokes away, that sets another precedent to take away something next.

    Let’s say the list is rape, sexist, vile, ethnic, government, religious.

    Take out rape, next is sexist. Next is the right to joke about dead babies. Next it’s taking the right to joke about blacks or the irish drinking too much. Then you can be fired for saying jokes about Bush. Then if you mock any religious institution you’ll be blacklisted. Eventually everything on radio is safe. Why do you want to be sanitized and told what is right for you? Why do you crave being sheltered? If you don’t like it, change it, no one’s forcing you to listen. I like my humor black as night and I don’t want that taken from me.

    I give to my society, yet I get demonized and stigmatized for what jokes I think are funny? I may be a social deviant, but last time I checked that wasn’t illegal.

  89. Saboth says:

    @ sonnymooks…you are a fine example that money does not equal intelligence. Reminds me of the owner of the company I work for. Goes around spouting he can fire anyone with ease, and he will, at the drop of a hat. Thing is, he loses a LOT of good talent this way (and harms overall morale), and his production suffers for it. Ah well, you both feel like big men, and that’s all that matters right?

    As for the O&A thing..sure XM can fire them, do what they want. It’s their company. When they lose millions in subscription fees afterwards…you know what? You can’t get those consumers back. Have fun folding.

    I don’t care about O&A one iota. I do care that I am supposedly buying uncensored content, and apparently that is not what I am getting. I don’t care for being taken advantage of.

  90. Sonnymooks says:

    @Saboth:

    Money does not equal intelligence, and being a fool does not proclude one from having an opinion.

    I fired the employee in question because their offensive (and sometimes sexist, and racist) remarks were hurting morale among employees.

    I do not know where you work, but if firing people who are intentionally rude and offensive is considered losing talent, then I feel very sorry for your co-workers.

    And yes I felt like a big man being told its nice to have somebody do something right and stand up for someone then look the other way when offensive behavior occurs.

  91. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    @Sonnymooks:

    Sonny, Sonny… You’re spouting a “red herring” with an apologist’s accent when you justify the O&A suspension with your firing of one of your subordinates.

    Firing a subordinate for sexist and racist remarks may be justified in your occupation, since the norm provides that verbal discriminatory remarks are non protected speech in the workplace.

    However, O&A’s contract gives specific provisions that allow them to use provocative language within the means of their broadcast during broadcast hours. Add to the fact that it is language and behavior that is an expected norm of the show, and the promise to consumers of a product that is uncensored, and you have the justification of several seethed consumers, myself included.

    I had a Pioneer Inno… Had, since I used it for target practice with my .50AE Dessert Eagle. That’s me exercising my 2nd amendment on a product that failed to deliver the goods. I guess you can say I fired it for lack of performance and productivity?

    The point is that unlike your workplace, O&A, and others labeled “shock jocks”, and “social commentators” are hired on for the explicit purpose of entertaining with a sense of differing views and, sometimes, provacative material. I find no need to apologize for XM’s dealings with O&A, since the consumers ultimately gave what they felt was needed for their employed pay radio station in question… Suspension or Termination.

    And I must say that I also applaude the consumers discussions on here, since it further exercises the belief that free speech STILL DOES REIGN, so long as there are those willing to exercise it.

    How you might be able to relate: Call them morons or whatever you will, but at least they are something fundamentally sound, like product promises. It’s like hiring a receptionist that claims they do everything from typing 110WPM to fast summations, only to get a person who just sits their and talks to her friends on the phone all 8 hours of the workday. Would you be angry too?

  92. PLATTWORX says:

    I just called to cancel my XM Service. I found I was only listening to a couple channels and the $13 a month they were charging me just wasn’t worth it. I had to call twice to get through. I then was transferred three times and had to give my account information each time so they could look me up over and over.

    Then, a represenative who was very hard to understand kept reading scripts about “how valued” I was and “how sad” she was I was leaving them as if she was reading from a cue card. She tried to keep me on the line as long as possible suggesting channels I may like (as if I hadn’t already checked the channel line up) and making new price offers down to 50% off but only if I prepaid them for a year. I take it they are hard up for cash and I wasn’t biting.

    At the end of the call she asked me to hold for a “Customer Satisfaction Survey” (where I intended to tell them exactly how poorly that call went) and got disconnected instead! Good work!

    At this rate Sirius XM should be out of business by end of the year! Who’s running that train wreck??