Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Critics Page has been put into sleep mode

On 02 Feb, Matt and Crank targetted women with both barrels and hit gays with the buck shot.  On 03 Feb, many at WZBH discovered The Critics Page.  With the wealth of material the two days gave us to accurately paint the picture of the tone of the overall programming on WZBH, we spent almost a week playing catch up with our critiques and responses.

During that time of playing catch up, we noticed several things.  Promos aired throughout the day for the Matt and Crank program have been nuetral in tone.  Chris Steele as yet to refer to women as "chicks", and, in fact, cost this critic some beer money for failing to talk about "chicks" by today's deadline.  Matt posted on his personal FaceBook page (conveniently linked through the official WZBH website and promoted on air as if it were an official extension of WZBH and the Matt and Crank Show) a request for suggestions from the listeners as they consider a "strategy change" in their programming.  While none of the critics at the Critics Page caught every show, every morning in its entirety, we have caught probably about 90% of the programming and haven't heard one derogatory segment aimed at women, Blacks, Muslims, or gays/lesbians.

We even reviewed Doug McKenzie's show one afternoon, something none of the critics have done before.  One of our critics would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Mr. McKenzie for playing a Primus song, "Jerry was a race car driver."  One of our critics remembered a song from about fifteen years ago or so that would fit perfectly on a CD he was making, "Down on the Farm", but couldn't remember the title of the song or group.  After Mr. McKenzie played the Primus song, our critic knew that was the group that did the song he remembered.  After sampling Primus on Amazon, he not only found his song, "Wynona's big brown beaver", but became a Primus fan with his own compiled CD of his favorite songs he sampled.

JJ, however, doesn't get off the hook.  In the last two or so weeks we continued listening, the only glaring exception to the change in the tone of programming was last Thursday night when JJ railed against the man-purse.  Despite mentioning Beckham, who, as far as we can tell, is as straight as they come, as an example of a man who carries a man-purse, JJ managed to tie in the carrying of a man-purse to "flaky fruit flies".  He then asked for a ban on the man-purse on all of Delmarva, except Rehoboth because one will see plenty of the man-purses there.  His message was implied, but clear - there is no room for gays on Delmarva unless they are in Rehoboth.  It is this sort of stereotyping The Critics Page has always objected to.

That said, last Saturday, those of us associated with The Critics Page had our weekly session at the Round Table and decided The Critics Page needs to go into sleep mode.  We're not so naive as to believe our page has had anything to do with the noticeable change in the tone of programming at WZBH.  For two or three months, we listened to WZBH to see if what one of our critics complained about all the while warranted the effort we undertook.  Saturday night, we decided that there is a definite change that most likely resulted from other sources.  We figure if us drunk rednecks noticed a disturbing trend in the programming, more articulate listeners had probably been complaining all along.  The change was in the making before we even started this page.

We also are not so naive as to believe the change in WZBH's programming tone we have heard over the last little more than two weeks is permanent.  We're of the consensus that the programming tone has been dampened to appease those who have complained and once the staff at WZBH believes no one is paying attention any more, the abuses will start revving up again.  For this reason, The Critics Page will be here so that you, the listener, has a place to document the sexist, racist, Islamaphobic, or homophobic programming that may rear its ugly head sometime in the future.

In the meantime, the five of us at The Critics Page are out of a job and will spend the next couple of Saturday nights drinking beer and deciding what direction, if any, The Critics Page will be heading next.  Perhaps we'll get around to making the You Tube videos based on The Drunk Rednecks of the Round Table.  Expect blurry, red-eyed video if we ever get that bold.

We do one to send out one personal thank you to Crank.  Because of his input on how to make decent audio to go with a You Tube video, we think we've mastered at least the basics of providing good audio.  If you, or anyone else, have any suggestions on making good video, we're listening.

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