An open letter to shock jocks: Please stop apologising
This one goes out to all the people whose employment is entirely based on the fact that they say gratuitously offensive crap into a microphone on a daily basis.
Stop apologising for doing your job.
This isn’t an expression of support, I hasten to add; I’m not one of those “woo yeah fuck the [insert favourite slur here] freedom of speech fuck yeah” fans who inevitably crowd around you when, yet again, you’ve just done your job.
I’m not in any way in favour of what you do. But I understand that, while there are people equally juvenile and petty and vicious who are willing to tune in to hear your shitty, bigoted utterances, you’re going to have a job. You’re going to be giving a certain type of audience What They Want.
All I’m asking is that you stop trying to have your offensive cake and eat it offensively too.
When you make tweets comparing a talent show contestant to an iconic literary rape victim [
sadly deleted ETA: screenshot courtesy of Daily Blog], I think you know exactly what you’re doing. It’s part of the role, to be the person who publicly cracks the unoriginal-yet-taboo joke when you see particular names or phrases. To get all marketing-wank about it, it’s the core of your personal brand.
All I’m asking is that you grow a pair of the gonads of your choice.
Don’t prevaricate about how the offensive joke is obviously a joke. No one’s taking you literally. They know it was meant to be a joke – and an offensive one. Why sell yourself short by undermining its offensiveness?
Don’t apologise “if” people were offended, or claim you didn’t mean to offend anyone. Your entire existence is dedicated to offending people. Why publicly question your own success?
(And seriously, if you sincerely didn’t think a crack about Once Were Warriors was going to offend people, maybe see a neurologist because significant parts of your cognition appear to be malfunctioning.)
Don’t promise it’ll never happen again. Of course it will. It’s your job.
And don’t whinge when there’s backlash. You live on backlash the way most people live on oxygen. What is it they say about people who can dish it out but can’t take it?
Oh, that’s right. Deep down, all you “shock jocks” are chickenshit douchebags who’ve gotten where you are in life because most of the people who really took your shit to heart either dropped you as a friend, didn’t want to make a scene, and don’t work in radio station senior management.
So you want to stay being paid and famous for telling rape jokes on Twitter … but only as long as no one ever calls you out on it … despite offending them being the entire point.
Stop apologising. It’s just pathetic.