Archive for February, 2009
I’ve written a few times — here and here and here — about these insane radio or tv personalities who sponsor fake contests with fake prizes but real contestants. Like the radio station that promises to give away “100 Grand,” and the “winner” thinks that means dollars but in fact it means the eponymous candy bar. Or the one that said it was giving away a “Toyota” but in fact is giving away a toy Yoda doll.
Uniformly, these “hilarious” stunts go bad. Uniformly, the pranksters say they were just kidding, and that the victim should have known this. Uniformly, the victim is some ultra-sympathetic puppy-rescuer who just lost his job and was listening to the radio on the way to church. To feed the homeless. And the radio or tv station has to make up for the douchey dj’s idea of a good time.
Well, it happened again. I ran across this story from Pittsburgh about a bright idea some dj at legendary radio station KDKA had: announcing that the station had $1 million in a briefcase chained to a man’s arm, and that the thirteenth caller would win it. Of course, people called in droves. Of course, there was no money, no briefcase, no handcuffs. (Well, maybe handcuffs.)
The FCC ended up fining the station $6,000, which seems grossly inadequate. Not for doing the stunt itself, but because it was so lacking in nuance. I mean, at least the 100 Grand and Toyota giveaways had a comparatively clever twist. KDKA could have at least used a briefcase full of Monopoly money or something. Six thousand bucks seems cheap for such a lame gag.
Anyway, it would please me no end if actions like the FCC fine helped usher this foolishness into oblivion.
I was going to joke that we should see if we can get Rush Limbaugh to say he’ll give away the 2012 Republican presidential nomination on his show, but I think he might actually have that prize to bestow, so never mind.