Patterico's Pontifications

4/5/2013

Radio DJs Suspended, Face Possible Felony Charges for Warning of Possible Dihydrogen Monoxide in Water Supply

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:46 am



Another entry from the legal thuggery department, from Overlawyered. Two radio DJs told their audience on Monday that there was “dihydrogen monoxide” coming out of local residents’ taps. They have now been suspended indefinitely and could be facing felony charges.

“My understanding is it is a felony to call in a false water quality issue,” Diane Holm, a public information officer for Lee County, said, due to the potential of such a false report to affect a large segment of Southwest Florida’s population.

Holm added that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection had been asked to check into the hoax.

The thing is, Monday was April Fool’s Day. And “dihydrogen monoxide” is water.

The headline that they “face possible felony charges” is probably hyperbole. No actual prosecutor would file charges for this, I suspect. (But man it would make for some fun blogging if they did!)

As for the suspension:

Tony Renda, general manager at the Bonita Springs country music station, said he immediately pulled Val St. John and Scott Fish off the air when he heard about the April Fools’ Day joke they had been playing on their 5 to 9 a.m. morning show and then started having the joke recanted and an apology aired during station breaks.

. . . .

Renda, also vice president of Pittsburgh, Pa., based Renda Broadcasting, said the suspension is indefinite for now. “We take this very seriously. We take our FCC license very seriously,” he said.

Ah, yes, the ever present threat of government taking away one’s ability to speak for idiotic reasons. It is always good to keep Big Brother in mind. Well played, Mr. Renda. Truly you stand for America today.

P.S. I should note that the story itself is dated April 1 as well. Please, please let the story about the suspension be an April Fool’s joke as well. That would be kind of meta, huh?

27 Responses to “Radio DJs Suspended, Face Possible Felony Charges for Warning of Possible Dihydrogen Monoxide in Water Supply”

  1. No bureaucrat will ever forgive you for making them look foolish. April Fools’ Day jokes in the radio business are very common. These people will lose more than they gain.

    The first casualty of bureaucracy is a sense of humor.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  2. America is getting dumber by the second

    fascism has multiplier effects

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  3. A few year’s back I made a joke in the workplace when my persistent cough was disparaged, to the effect that it was TB.

    Comedy that assumes too much of the audience.

    OT but connected:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/04/03/RNC-Declares-War-on-Conservative-Grassroots

    Someone’s echo chamber is their en suite shower.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  4. Penn & teller had a segement on their show “Bulls__t” in which they went to an Earth Day in Washington on the Mall and offered a petition presented by a hot girl demanding the banning of “dihydrogen monoxide” as “it kills thousands every year” , which considering drownings is technically true. And tons of the supposed smart people, including the rally’s organizers, readily signed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi3erdgVVTwr

    Bugg (ba4ca9)

  5. It’s funny that we don’t teach a course called “critical thinking” in middle school. But if we did, it would probably be all politically indoctrinating…

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  6. Here’s more in-your-face remedial education:

    http://www.redstate.com/2013/04/04/the-only-gun-infographic-youll-ever-need/?asid=55476181

    Lock me up.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  7. I am I felone? While in high school, back when Andy Jackason was still president, I used give dire warnings about hydrogren hyrdroxide, to wit water.

    David Lentz (39c95f)

  8. I can believe suspended, even fired. The problem, so to speak, is not the joke, or those who don’t get the joke, it’s the stupids in power who don’t get the joke and are embarrassed to have that publicly pointed out.

    htom (412a17)

  9. Look on the bright side: there must exist somewhere a station general manager who would respond to this kerfuffle by saying, “The joke is that it is water. Not our fault if you are too stupid to get it.” It’s just that we don’t hear about the normal and rational people, we only hear about the general manager who goes ducking for cover.

    There are station managers out there who would respond rationally, aren’t there? Please don’t burst my bubble here.

    JVW (4826a9)

  10. “’My understanding is it is a felony to call in a false water quality issue,’ Diane Holm, a public information officer for Lee County, said, ”

    Um, when did they do that? Telling people that water is coming from their taps isn’t “calling in a water quality issue”. I suppose if they said (e.g.) “Your water isn’t safe”, rather than “That sounds unsafe,” there could be a case…


    “My God! There are thousands of steel objects, each weighing thousands of pounds, hurtling along the ground at 60 miles per hour!” (traffic)

    “There’s a cloud of a mixture of flammable and other gasses encircling the Earth!” (air)

    “There’s a giant object in space falling toward the Earth! Luckily it continues to miss us, but you never know!” (The Moon)

    Hired Mind (7f3e0d)

  11. Doesn’t say much about the intelligence of the listeners.

    BTS – Did you know that Mark Kelly’s daughter was investigated by the fed wildlife zealots for her dog breaking away and killing a baby seal? Felony, prison time.

    Of course, like Jon Corzine, she is a member of the nomenklatura and will be forgiven.

    Patricia (be0117)

  12. I haven’t looked it up, but what happened to Orson Wells over that Martian Invasion Hallowe’en broadcast?

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  13. It’s not that bureaucrats, such as Diane Holm, are stupid, it is that they just have a complete lack of intelligence.
    I can just hope that they water her regularly.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  14. I haven’t looked it up, but what happened to Orson Wells over that Martian Invasion Hallowe’en broadcast?

    He made Million$ upon Million$ of Dollar$ in an extended career in entertainment.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  15. Patricia, and it turned out that Mark Kelly failed in the attempt to buy a 1911 pistol and AR 15 rifle in Arizona because he still had Texas state ID and so the 1911 pistol was not eligible for him to buy.

    SPQR (768505)

  16. Wikipedia has a descent description of the Welles hoax — War of the Worlds (radio drama).

    A group of college kids rewrote into a modern attack on a local town and broadcast that. I suspended the lot of them for two weeks. Not for the hoax (which I thought was cute) but for their broadcasting calls for listeners to call 911 to confirm the attack (mostly; there were a bunch of other things, not doing the station ID properly, not properly responding to calls from local law enforcement, not responding to my orders to start announcing it was a hoax, ….)

    htom (412a17)

  17. 18- Grammar Police Alert.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  18. In other Florida water quality news:

    http://carrollwood.wtsp.com/news/news/168299-teco-squirrel-likely-caused-water-treatment-plant-outage

    “TECO: Squirrel likely caused water treatment plant outage”

    Steve57 (be3310)

  19. I was the chief engineer of a radio station where a group of college kids rewrote War of the Worlds into a modern attack on a local town and broadcast it. I suspended them for two weeks (initially, I wanted them fired.) Not for the hoax (which I thought was cute) but for their broadcasting calls for listeners to call 911 to confirm the attack and denying that it was hoax or story when people called the station (mostly; there were a bunch of other things, not doing the station IDs properly, not properly responding to calls from local law enforcement, not responding to my orders to start announcing it was a hoax, blockading the station so that management could not enter, … I put on an overnight tape at the transmitter and we then pulled the station’s power at the pole; that got their attention.)

    It did not help that I learned of this broadcast by a call from the District FCC office threatening my personal FCC licenses, as well as the university’s.

    Better?

    htom (412a17)

  20. Wait. These guys said there is “water” in the “water supply” and that is a felony?

    Thank goodness nobody saw them waving their fun-shapped breakfast pastries around while they were doing it. Otherwise, they’d be up on charges of reporting “water” while brandishing a “deadly weapon.”

    Government “acted stupidly?” No, that doesn’t even come close…

    WarEagle82 (2b7355)

  21. Stupid typos!

    Wait. These guys said there is “water” in the “water supply” and that is a felony?

    Thank goodness nobody saw them waving their gun-shaped breakfast pastries around while they were doing it. Otherwise, they’d be up on charges of reporting “water” while brandishing a “deadly weapon.”

    Government “acted stupidly?” No, that doesn’t even come close…

    WarEagle82 (2b7355)

  22. Nobody got upset besides some listeners, but back in the day on April Fools our local radio station played “Dead Skunk” over and over all day while saying they were playing the usual variety of music.

    I think back then people knew not to call the police because there was a dead skunk on the radio, so no harm done.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  23. That radio joke mist be the oldest one in history. I heard it first (on the radio) when I was fifteen. Now, it took me a minute or two to get it, but I did. I’ve heard it regularly since then.

    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!

    Moriah Jovan (2309cc)

  24. Don’t blame the general manager. It’s his job to protect the license. FCC fines are hefty. See this link to an explanation at one of my favorite blogs. http://www.broadcastlawblog.com/articles/fcc-fines/

    PineBaroness (a1d9be)


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