Down south in the home of the brave and land of the free there are at least 10,000 licenced radio stations compared to just over 700 in Canada. Our broadcast regulator, the CRTC expects us to operate within common sense boundaries of good taste and we have a watchdog, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, to keep an ear and eye on our radio and tv stations in case we cross the line.
Things are a bit looser in the U.S. Take the case of that sports announcer in Boston last week who made such ignorant, low-class remarks on the air after the death of former major league star pitcher Roy Halladay in an airplane crash. Among his stupid ramblings, the announcer, a guy named Michael Felger, called Halladay a “moron” and said he had “no sympathy” for the deceased baseball star and that “he got what he deserved”. If one of our on-air guys had said that, I would have fired him on the spot and I wouldn’t have cared if he sued us for what he might think was unjust dismissal until hell froze over. In Felger’s case, he has now apologized, sort of, saying he feels bad about what he said and how he conducted himself while at the same time saying he did mean part of what he said, it was just the tone and presentation that was low-class. He says he regrets his conduct even though there was stuff he did mean. As far as I know, the guy is still on the air. I’ve said it before, too bad there’s no vaccination for stupidity.