Since KCRW is gearing up for their winter pledge drive, they have been running ads reminding listeners how fabulous they are. The listeners, I mean. It seems like a good portion of local NPR coverage is dedicated to reminding listeners how hip they are for turning their dials below 90. Part of their big plug this year is to point out that they still have real people behind the music - KCRW dee-jays "handpick" music rather than letting computers crank out pop picks based on sales. This campaign heightened after a "local" (ha ha) station began playing music with absolutely no dee-jays at all; there isn't even the pretense that a person is pushing the button and earnestly repeating your shout-outs. (The station is called the Jack; "Jack" is referred to by the male pronoun; "he" plays want "he" wants.)
This would all go by unnoticed if not for an article buried in the California section in the LA Times last week. One of KCRW's "real people" was arrested for the drugging and attempted kidnapping of a 14-year-old girl. The station released a statement that would have been well and good if they'd just added a little "PENDING INVESTIGATION" to the all-too-unwavering support. I've never listened to the man's show, but apparently he's had a lot to do with some major soundtracks in addition to his KCRW gig. I'm of the belief that organizations need to support their people (innocent until proven guilty, etc.) but also distance themselves from egregious crimes.
After all, this is the same station that flew off the handle and fired Sandra Tsing Loh for saying a bad word on the radio - even though she had informed the producers that the word was there and needed a beep-over. The decision that was later overturned, but a little late for Ms. Loh to feel keen on returning.
I don't know why this strikes me so much. I prefer my dee-jays to be real people. I'd pick Nic over Jack anyday. But real people do really stupid things. Jack will never make it into the newspaper for an alleged crime, because Jack doesn't exist.