I was away and missed the outcry over the Whitney Houston remarks made by KFI’s John and Ken .
It wasn’t until I got within the broadcast range of Los Angeles while driving south on lonely 395 last night that I heard the news. I quickly switched to 640 on the AM band and caught the last thirty minutes of Bill Mandel, who was subbing for the suspended jocks.
There was no mention of the incident by Mandel or the host in the next time slot, Tim Conway, Jr. Perhaps Mandel talked about it earlier, or Conway mentioned it later in his program, but I thought it was particularly strange that neither one mentioned it in their conversation during the transition between the shows before 7 PM. Neither host is bashful when it comes to discussing controversy. I can only assume KFI management muzzled them. If so, that’s a disservice to the listeners.
John and Ken have earned their reputation for irreverence. They go beyond politically incorrect many times.
That’s too bad because it takes away from their message about corruption and incompetence in state and local government.
In all fairness, some of their rants are no more provocative than Bill Maher’s, a classic example being the HBO host’s vulgar remarks concerning Tim Tebow’s public expression of his faith (by contrast, SNL’s Tebow skit was clever and did not cross the line).
There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking hard shots at officials, celebrities or other newsmakers. Their actions or words invite just that kind of passion. Wit, sarcasm and displays of outrage are powerful tools against those who feed off the public or allow their egos to get the better of them.
Making bombastic statements concerning personal tragedies are another matter. Houston, along with Michael Jackson, were primarily responsible for their own deaths even though either or both of them had enablers.
John and Ken would have been fine had they discussed the role drugs may have played in Houston’s death. Referring to her as a “crack ho” was despicable.
So what effect will all of this have on the duo’s future broadcasts?
At least one colleague of John and Ken does not accept their apology. It will be interesting to see if KTLA continues with its short simulcast with their show.
No doubt, it will create an uncomfortable atmosphere as they attempt to collect their thoughts before opening their mouths. Their credibility will suffer as the targets of the show’s criticism will point to the unconscionable remarks about Houston as an example of the pair’s character.
I will listen in on Monday to learn how or if they adapt, although a transition to a kinder and gentler style of political incorrectness will not occur overnight.