This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," Jan. 25, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: A New York station has stirred up some waves of their own. The station, HOT 97 FM several times ran a parody of the song, "We Are the World," by changing the lyrics and using racial slurs to joke about tsunami victims.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (SINGING): So now you're screwed. It's the tsunami. You'd better run, or kiss your ass away. Go find your mommy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (SINGING): I just saw flow by a tree went through a head.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (SINGING): And now your children will be sold, child slavery.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COLMES: That is just poorly done, as well. We offered Hot 97 the opportunity to comment on this parody, but instead they've issued this statement: "Hot 97 regrets the airing of material that made light of a serious and tragic event. We apologize to our listeners and anyone who was offended."
Some New York lawmakers are calling for immediate action from the FCC. Does this poor lapse in judgment deserve a closer look?
Joining us now, a former Hot 97 DJ Lisa G.
LISA G., FORMER HOT 97 DJ: That's right.
COLMES: First of all, it's bad — it was a bad performance. Beside the fact that...
LISA G.: Yes, I don't think an apology is good enough. I used to host that morning show with Ed Lover and Dr. Dre. And there are things in radio — there are smart broadcasters. There are smart and funny broadcasters. Those are the ones who have a long shelf life. Those are the Howard Sterns, the Imuses, who last 20 years, because they're funny and they're smart.
COLMES: And they know where that line is.
LISA G.: Well, something like this — you're scraping the bottom of the barrel. And it sounds like nails on a blackboard.
COLMES: All right. But the big question is — first of all, I don't even know if they should keep their jobs. But the big question is whether the FCC should get involved? I would say that the station should police itself. We don't need the government decided what good or bad parody is.
LISA G.: Well, you know what's happening now, Alan, and also Sean, is that I think the public is policing the airwaves...
LISA G.: ... where if someone's upset, this — what was played four days ago — there's a swell to it now, and the public...
COLMES: People are reacting.
LISA G.: Right. It's a different world in broadcasting since 9/11. And, as a broadcaster, you need to respect and understand that.
COLMES: But there are still those calling for the federal government to get involved, the FCC fine the station.
LISA G.: You know, I don't think it's necessary right now. I think we're really policing ourselves. And Miss Jones and the morning show, they need to get in line. They're not the first.
COLMES: Well, now, apparently, they're going to donate, what, like a week's salary to tsunami victims.
LISA G.: It's not enough.
COLMES: But how can someone get on the air — and you and I. We've all done radio here, as well. How do you even think that this is even acceptable anyway?
LISA G.: I'll tell you what happens. And I think many people don't understand the mindset a morning D.J. You are in your own little world. You're in a little booth with four people in the morning show. It's a little group.
You get into the zone, almost like running, where you don't think anyone is listening or that you have responsibility. That's not what happens with the smart broadcasters. The smart broadcasters never forget that.
COLMES: But you hear from listeners via email. You talk to people on the phone. You can't be that out of touch to think that this is even acceptable behavior.
LISA G.: You know, you just get into that zone where you think that no one is listening. I've done that before, talking about old boyfriends, you know, bad things that have happened to me, thinking, oh, no one is going to hear. And then you walk out into the real world. And you go, you know what? I hurt somebody's feelings.
HANNITY: Boy, we're glad we never dated you.
COLMES: What should happen to people — what should happen to people who perform in this manner on the radio?
LISA G.: I think that morning show needs to go overseas and to donate their time and to get a taste of reality. I don't think one week's salary is enough. It's like, "Oh, OK."
HANNITY: There's more to it here, because they referred to victims as screaming chinks and little Chinamen. That was also part of this. There was an exchange with one of the co-hosts, you know, the phrase, "I'm going to start shooting Asians." Are you aware of that?
LISA G.: Yes, I know that they're upset, as well. It's a double whammy, this one. I don't know what they were thinking, but, you know, the competition in radio, as you know, Sean and Alan, is extreme, and in hip-hop even more so. And there's this unsung mantra. Every morning, when you go in that studio, ratings, ratings, ratings. Now even with — look, I'm not saying that's an excuse, but the day that this was aired, the competition started a new radio show, which is very edgy. So I think that they are grabbing at straws. And you can hear it.
HANNITY: Here's the dilemma, where I am really offended by this. If I was the station owner or manager, I'd fire them. And if it meant the ratings would be hit for a while, you get...
LISA G.: And that has been done before.
HANNITY: That's what — but you know what? But I'm not calling for their firing. I'm saying what I would do if I were in charge.
LISA G.: I'm shocked. Did you just say that?
HANNITY: But there's a fine line here, and we got into this with the Bill Maher situation. You know what? We got into it with the Trent Lott situation. We got into it with Rush Limbaugh at one point.
It's like we never create an opportunity for people to revise their remarks, extend their remarks, apologize. I don't know if this is one of those things where you can say you're sorry and that's enough. I don't know. But there is another part of this that concerns me is that people can't make mistakes anymore. And I think people ought to be able to make mistakes on the radio, say they're sorry, apologize, and be forgiven. "Opie and Anthony"...
LISA G.: I agree with you, but this was over the edge. You know what it's like when you're in that radio booth, but you never forget, correct?
HANNITY: I don't forget, ever.
LISA G.: You never forget. But that's being smart. And that's why you're successful. And that's why you have a TV show, because you get it. You can never forget that you're live and you're listening to a million of their families and lives.
HANNITY: There should be lines. I don't want the government to do it. I think this is up to the company to do it. I think this is up to their audience to do it. But I also think there's got to be — and I don't know if this is the case — Opie and Anthony got fired. They'll admit they should have gotten fired, but now — but they have an opportunity to come back.
In the case of Trent Lott, what happened to him shouldn't have happened to him. Rush on ESPN, that never should have happened in that particular case. But there's got to be room for some of these guys, when they screw up, to go before the American people and say, "I'm sorry, I was wrong."
LISA G.: President Clinton.
HANNITY: Well, I meant — they're not exactly the same thing. He lied under oath. That's actually a crime. But do you agree with that?
LISA G.: Yes. I think someone should say they're sorry. If they have a record of being a wonderful...
HANNITY: Like me. Like me. Great host, wonderful...
LISA G.: ... loving, great, smart broadcaster...
COLMES: Did you say loving? I don't...
COLMES: Lisa, thank you very much.
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