WOZO In Knoxville

When Chris Seaton told me that a radio producer was interested in his doing a show, I shared his excitement. Aside from being a criminal defense lawyer and contributor at Fault Lines, he’s got a wicked sense of humor.

If those words, “sense of humor,” are unfamiliar to you, it’s something people used to have that made people laugh and think. It was rarely politically correct or deeply sensitive to things that might hurt people’s feelings. It’s no longer allowed in some circles.

Chris’ producer, Aaron Campbell, also had a sense of humor, which brought the tolerance police down on him at Knoxville’s “community radio” station, WOZO, 103.9 FM. The station was born of pirate radio ironically called KFAR, Knoxville’s First Amendment Radio. The FCC shut it down, burned its content and banned its pirates. So, like good pirates, they reestablished themselves under dark of night and cool ‘nyms like DJ Angel.

That same DJ Angel, whose real name is Angel Ibarra, was the guy who, with muscle in tow, punched Campbell and uttered one of the seven words you can’t say on TV during a live broadcast. Campbell brought a comedian on his show who told a joke that offended Ibarra’s very tolerant and progressive sensibilities. So, Campbell got beaten for it. This makes perfect sense if you understand how tolerance works these days.

Chris made it through three segments of his “Sit Down with Chris Seaton” before tolerance came at him with a vengeance.

Her earlier twits called Chris racist and sexist for not adhering to the official language of feelings, and so “left, right or center,” you have to be progressive, or Hitler. Yes, Godwin’s Law, but she and other deeply tolerant folks demanded that WOZO ban Chris.

The initial reaction was what one might hope for from a radio station born of pirates. Aaron Campbell met with Margot Miller, one of the tiny station’s top DJs, and part of its “conflict response team.” Margot told Aaron there was no violation of station rules, that she understood what Aaron was doing with the fourth hour, and not to worry because it appeared as if a very vocal minority was trying to get the shows taken off the air because we did better than every other show on WOZO.

The reaction was, according to Campbell, gratifying.

It was nice to finally have someone at the station understand what we were doing. It was good to see someone realize we were listening to what our audience wanted and give them that in some fashion. I was really happy to know Margot had my back and that we weren’t doing anything against the station’s rules.

Unfortunately, gratifying doesn’t mean it wasn’t short-lived. After a meeting of the more enlightened DJs,  Ibarra, Pan Walker, Chris Irwin, and Jon Stewart, who share a different sensibility about free speech and diversity of ideas, plus apparently hate anybody who has the sense of humor they lack, they arrived at a different decision. Stewart called Campbell to drop the hammer:

You guys are done. It’s better if you take your shows elsewhere, because you are no longer welcome at WOZO. Effective immediately, That Midday Show [Campbell’s show] and The Sit Down with Chris Seaton are suspended from WOZO until the March meeting of the station DJs. I wouldn’t hold my breath, because you’re probably going to get banned. You and Chris Seaton are also banned from WOZO premises until the March meeting.

And so it goes. No, this is not a First Amendment violation, even though this low power local indy station is licensed by the government. They, meaning whatever management structure was put in place when a gang of DJs decided to take the leap, can decide who gets airspace and who doesn’t. And if they don’t like the message Chris or Aaron put out, particularly if they hate it so much as a matter of their love of tolerance that they would punch a DJ on air for it, they can ban him from their air and their premises.

But this reflects the problems faced by those who want to hear ideas outside of their bubble. Or those who want to offer those ideas, especially if they’re delivered with a dose of humor. Before the dopes respond, “but conservatives do this TOO!!!,” perhaps so, but then, your argument is that you, the deeply tolerant and far wiser, more caring, more righteous, are justifying your actions by those you despise.

If your argument in favor of censoring a guy like Chris, of silencing his ideas because they offend your sensibilities, is based upon the concession that you are no different, and certainly no better, than those horrifying people you hate, then at least you get points for not being a hypocrite. The problem is that you lose points for being no different than those you call evil, whom you rely upon to justify the virtue of your beliefs. You can’t have it both ways. If what they’re doing is bad, then it’s bad when you do it as well.

It doesn’t matter whether you, or I, agree with Chris’ commentary. It doesn’t matter if his words stray from the approved progressive lexicon. That’s what makes free speech free.  That’s why makes the progressive DJs who want to scream “aaargh” and wear an eyepatch disgraceful little liars. First Amendment Radio? Don’t defile the virtues embedded in the Constitution, you fragile teacups.

At the WOZO blog, the feelz of the crowd in control were made plain.

At noon on a rainy Friday last week, surrounded by sycophants, weaklings and crooks, Donald Trump assumed the Presidency of the United States of America. Narcissistic reality TV star, business failure, self-confessed sexual predator, boorish ignoramus who can’t even quote “Two Corinthians” to a Bible college correctly. “Rain Wound,” indeed.

Of course women know a thing or two about being lied to and manipulated by men, which is maybe why we saw the biggest one-day nationwide protest in the history of the United States on Saturday: an estimated 2.9 million people marching against Trump, demanding basic respect, dignity, and human rights.

Fair enough. There are many people for whom these highly partisan words strike home. That they can’t bear up to disagreement, to the words Chris Seaton utters, however, reduces them to a sham. If your politics can’t withstand scrutiny, the criticism of those who don’t blindly embrace them, then you’re just fooling yourself. And if that hurts Angel Ibarra’s feelings, he can just bring in a guy to punch some tolerance into the other guy to win his point.

As for Chris, he’s still writing for Fault Lines. It’s not political, but it will be a platform for all perspectives of criminal law. And, hopefully, it will keep its sense of humor.

31 thoughts on “WOZO In Knoxville

  1. David Meyer-Lindenberg

    Chris, you’re going to be a star in radio someday. You’ve got the intelligence, the voice, the natural sense of humor. All you need now is a host who isn’t disgraceful enough to make a promise to your face and break it a day later.

    Don’t let the asinine little pirates get you down.

    1. SHG Post author

      It’s a gift to be able to talk at length, maintain humor and a sense of normalcy, as if you’re having a one on one conversation with every listener. Chris has the gift. Others, even radio wannabes, do not.

  2. B. McLeod

    This is the face of progressive liberalism today. It doesn’t matter if none of the stations “rules” were violated. They aren’t the real “rules” (as conclusively demonstrated in this instance).

  3. Mike

    Too bad those fragile teacups don’t know about that little dial on the right side of the radio that allows one to tune out if they don’t like the product. But that makes too much sense. Just sayin’.

    1. SHG Post author

      It’s not as if they have to actually hear it. It’s too painful to bear just knowing somewhere someone is saying words that they MUST NOT SAY!!!

  4. CLS

    Thank you all, even SHG and David who think my propensity for bad jokes are a “wicked sense of humor.”

    It’s hard to grasp why a station that practically begs for money with monthly fundraisers to keep the lights on and the water running would get rid of the two shows that bring in the most listeners each week. Regardless, we’ll still keep recording.

    The unintended consequence to the ban, at least for the moment, is that more eyes are on That Midday Show and The Sit Down than ever before. And now that both shows are free from FCC regulations, we’re good to go no-holds-barred, 100% uncensored if we so choose.

    One “rule” the station always enforced was a ban on the DJs making money off their shows as well. Now that WOZOs rules no longer apply to That Show Productions, it’s time to start seeing the money come in.

    By attempting to silence the nasty hurtful words they disagreed with, WOZO just made me, Aaron Cambpell, and our respective shows that much louder and more obnoxious than ever before. It’s like the Star Wars scene with Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi come to life.

    They struck us down, and now we will rise more powerful than they could ever imagine.

      1. John Barleycorn

        ♡As an LPFM station, we will never air commercials. More than that, we don’t accept sponsors or underwriters at all. We are 100% financed via monthly DJ dues, occasional fundraisers and individual donations.♧

        What the hell is Chris gonna do with his refunded dues check?

        Ship it over to Facebook to purchase some individually tailored adds targeting Steve Bannon’s pin board promoting himself before Chris mails him his resume?

        Hire a crack team of first amendment comandos to pimp out a pannel van with some low wattage radio broadcast equipment and give Knoxville a little taste of the true potential of “pirate radio”?

        Buy himself a speedo, chalk bag, and some climbing shoes and then set out to summit the radio tower of WOZP on the shores of Lake Loudon so he can snap a few photos of himself for his 2017 Christmas card while getting some free publicity from the local paper?

        Hire the esteemed to shave his knuckles and show up in a full body burka, brief case in hand, to represent him at the March WOZP meeting and present their arguments detailing why Chris should get his slot back and if they don’t prevail  they are gonna go full jew in a burka and sue to get a 17%  interest payment tacked on to the refunded dues check?

        Buy a bus and head to New York to steal to esteemed ones Admiral credentials and   then ransome the document to fund a whistle stop bus tour about evils of WOZP’s bullying?

        Buy a VHS copy of the Star Wars trilogy for the new war room?

          1. John Barleycorn

            You best insure it for travel and get a plane ticket.

            Far too often the importance of projecting original copies of entertainment on obsolete equipment in the war rooms entertainment bunker is overlooked when taking banishment thingies to the “crazy place” where not even the FCC genomes roam.

            P.S. Don’t forget to tell Chris and Aaron that Arm Bands are way cooler than those silly plastic solidarity brackets and cheaper to produce too.

  5. St. Thomas LeDoux

    One of the first rules of comedy: know your audience. If you’re going to book a slot at a radio station run by a bunch of lefties, then proceed to tell bad jokes that lefties don’t find funny, well…

    Also, dude wasn’t even paying dues, so what right does he have to a platform supported solely by due-paying DJ members?

    1. SHG Post author

      If he didn’t pay his dues, then that would be a separate problem. But that doesn’t appear to be the problem at all, and it’s raised here as a subterfuge to conceal the real problem. He wasn’t ask to pay his dues. He was banned.

      Lefties want “first amendment radio” that excludes any opinion but left. And that’s fine, but then concede the point that they don’t want first amendment radio, they want lefty radio.

      His audience is the listeners, not the lefty censors. But if the lefties can’t take a joke, then banning him was the only tool they had. Sadly, it seems the favorite tool of progressives lately, silence anyone who isn’t them.

      1. St. Thomas LeDoux

        The first amendment does not guarantee you a platform. if you want to make bad jokes on the radio I am sure there are plenty of other stations that would gladly host you. It is not the responsibility of WOZO or anyone else to spread your thoughts and opinions to the masses.

        1. SHG Post author

          If you have the capacity for basic English reading, you would have already grasped that point. It was kinda clear in the post. But not only did you fail to grasp that this isn’t a First Amendment issue, but one of rank hypocrisy. Hey, enjoy being full of shit.

          And yes, as an American, it is your constitutional right to be an ignorant, hypocritical, full-of-shit person.

          1. Grock

            It’s my understanding Chris Seaton’s producer, Aaron, was assaulted by another DJ while on WOZO premises.

            I’d like to ask WOZO if that is true, what happened with simply turning off his mic and telling Chris he’s not welcome back? What part made it OK to assault Chris’s producer on company property over words WOZO doesn’t agree with?

        2. John Barleycorn

          St. Thomas LeDoux?

          The St. Thomas LeDoux from WOZO? No shit!?

          I just gotta know something St. Thomas LeDoux.

          You gonna bring a sample from one of your shows to the March banishment meeting and play it?

          You should. I bet you would look kinda sexy getting all technocratic with you prepared remarks if there was some techno playing in the background of the conference room.

          It woukd be worth the risk of adopting the new nick name Tecno-No even if you are a techno-yes-any-techo-more-techno-can’t- get- enough-techno kind of techno guys.

          But I guess that’s your call. I myself am one of those guys that only says yes to good Techno and have never felt ashamed of admiting a lot of techno sucks.

          And one more request since its not evrry day someone gets to have Techno-No’s attention….

          You know those really well orginized raves where they hand out them pulsing braclets that sink with the sound board and flash in all sorts of groovy colors that susposdly help the MDMA experience if the DJ sucks?

          Nobody says no to them things! I find them distracting while enjoying my MDMA experience in the pit especially when I am surrounded by gyrating sweaty women with perma-grins on their faces.

          But someone told me they weren’t about enhancing the MDMA experience for when the DJ sucks at all, and in fact they were designed to complement and enhance the hive effect.

          Is this true?

          P.S. Bummer for Chris! Banishment Dues Refund Checks are the best!!!

          What the hell were you thinking Chris?

      2. Adam

        Actually, that’s exactly what happened. Dude literally wasn’t paying dues, had never been to a meeting, failed to go through the process every single DJ went through, yet was hosting a show. When he was called out on it, he pretended that the rules that apply to everyone were being used to silence him. Pretty clear to me that this was the plan all along.

        1. SHG Post author

          Actually? Well then, how weird that there was nothing whatsoever said about dues until after you had to bail your sorry ass out of this embarrassing situation of being outed as a hypocrite. Also ironic that nobody told the others, who are busy complaining about his content. Protip: If you’re going to lie, get your stories straight ahead of time.

          1. st thomas

            dude this lame show has like no listeners and no one cares about it and this guys an asshole the only person embarrassed is him no one at the station gives a shit about this guy or his problems or his feelings or any of this

            this guy walks into a room full of people who don’t share his point of view pisses everyone off and then complains when they don’t want to put up with his bullshit

            get this whiny baby nonsense out of my face

            be funnier and people might not give you so much shit

            1. Sgt. Schultz

              On the bright side, at least this butthurt bitch admitted that it’s all because he hates Chris’ politics and folded like a cheap suit on the “didn’t pay his dues” scam.

              Best part is where he goes typical lefty and calls Chris “a whiny baby” as his sad tears of hurt ooze out.

            2. Scott Jacobs

              What are the names of the people who taught you how to read and write as a child?

              I feel like I should slap them for their abject failure.

        2. Scott Jacobs

          Also, are you ALLOWED to discuss such things in public? I’d have thought that would be a nono, but I’m not an open-minded guy like y’all are.

  6. Ailetha

    Is this really a representative of their radio station? Do they actually let him out to respond to stuff like this? He sounds like a 16-year-old internet kid who “doesn’t care” or is “doing it for the lulz”. Also I actually laughed aloud at the bingo comment.

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