Beware The Beast Man…

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

1st Amendment Censorship in Georgia

Filed under: News & Politics — Dr. Zaius @ 1:11 pm

The Regular Guys fired in Georgia

From Larry Wach’s website:

As you may have heard, The Regular Guys Show has been terminated once again by Clear Channel Radio. In the past week, my partner, Eric Von Haessler, and I have been silent during a paid suspension while we awaited the results of a company investigation into a minor incident that has since snowballed into something that now demands a public response due to the fact that the principals on the other side are attempting to distort the facts and smear my reputation as a citizen and broadcaster and, in the short term, withhold my income without review or discussion with us.

All of this current mess took root, to my knowledge, in March, when the first national Hispanic illegal alien protests were taking place. We were doing our show in Orlando, from Braves spring training. Listeners started calling us on the air to get our opinion of the boycotts that were going on throughout the metro area and in other major cities across America. As the calls increased in volume, it became the only topic that day as it was on many talk shows across the country.

At one point in the show, we asked a producer to go down the hall and invite Yogi and Panda from Viva 105.7, also owned by Clear Channel, on the air to discuss the issue since some listeners had told us that they were exhorting their audience to boycott and take the day off. They agreed to come on and were ushered into our studio with our board operator, and we had a spirited discussion on the air.

In subsequent days, they complained to local Clear Channel management that they had been “disrespected” and that we should be lectured and punished for being in disagreement and making humorous comments about their point of view, all of which occurred exclusively on the air. Clear Channel management told them on more than one occasion that the opinions we express on the air are fair game, as are theirs, and protected not only by CC company policy, but also the 1st Amendment, and that if they didn’t want to look bad on the air, perhaps they shouldn’t agree to come on our show in the future. Nonetheless, the complaints continued unbeknownst to me through the year.

Fast forward to two weeks ago.

I was in the restroom down the hall from our studios after our broadcast was over on October 9, 2006. I carry a voice recorder on me and had it out to make some notes for a show meeting five minutes hence. Into the restroom walked Mr. Tapia and Mr. Carias who passed me at the urinal and headed for the two stalls in the corner. It’s a small restroom and there is no way they could not have seen me, further evidenced by the recording of them yelling insults at me from behind the stall doors which proves they knew I was there, knew I was recording, blowing up their claims of expectation of privacy, and that they still had an axe to grind about my on air opinions going back 7 months. They refused to talk to me like men. They chose to go into the bathroom stall and shout epithets in Spanish, not knowing I understand enough to know they were insulting me. Never have I engaged them in anymore than a simple wave hello off the air in the entire time we both worked there. In addition, the company has approved similar bits like this in the past.

This sparked another round of complaints to the company, who offered reasonable solutions to satisfy their ongoing and baseless grievances, but, insisting it was about the “honor of their culture,” Mr. Tapia and Mr. Carias went ahead and filed the criminal charge in Fulton County Magistrate Court against me and then filed civil complaints in Superior Court of Fulton County, GA against the company for “negligent hiring” and harassment and invasion of privacy chargess against me personally, omitting in the affidavit the salient fact that all remarks made about them and immigration were on the air, never off the air.

I have been more than willing, at the company’s request, to agree in writing not to even so much as speak of Yogi and Panda on the air going forward, for the sake of company harmony, and clear up any misconceptions they have about my opinion of them personally, which was on the favorable side, since they serve their audience well and deliver good ratings numbers and revenue.

A case of a humorous prank has turned into a culture clash, a suppression of 1st Amendment rights, and a ridiculous smear campaign against me as well as termination of my income without due process.

This outrageous attempt at stomping their 1st Amendment rights needs to be investigated and stopped ! Where are the ACLU on this ? I thought they were supposed to be RIGHT THERE when it comes to “free speech rights” ? Spread the word to everyone you know. The line must be drawn HERE !

Hat tip to Wild Bill at Passionate America
Ms Underestimated has the contact info for 96Rock in Atlanta
Jake at Freedom Folks has a great rant about this. Go read it.

4 Comments »

  1. Regular Guys’ Larry Wachs Speaks Out

    In case nobody ever informed Yogi & Panda (no, I’m not kidding – the team on the Mexican station Viva 105.7 are named “Yogi & Panda”.. and yes, I said “Mexican” and not “Latino”), “shock jock&#8…

    Trackback by Ms Underestimated — Tuesday, October 31, 2006 @ 1:42 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks for getting the word out. I will add your link to my site. Keep blogging and I’ll keep reading.

    Comment by Wild Bill — Tuesday, October 31, 2006 @ 4:03 pm | Reply

  3. Thanks for the link sir! And thanks for covering this story!

    Comment by Jake Jacobsen — Tuesday, October 31, 2006 @ 4:26 pm | Reply

  4. Larry should look up becka@kfab.com in Omaha, Ne. Tom B produced a paradoy of our N. Omaha community that was so offensive our city council voted to ask Clear Channel for an apology, which they said they wouldn’t. Becka did apologize and he’s still on the air. The video should still be on his website. Quite the uproar. Maybe Larry can use this to pursue clear channel for discrimination? good luck. ss

    Comment by Susan Smith — Thursday, November 2, 2006 @ 1:44 pm | Reply


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