I received a note in my inbox this afternoon from Patrick Reilly, Vice President of Communications over at SiriusXM, directing me to a contact at Clear Channel who would have a statement for me about the ugly, transphobic comments on Lex & Terry that I wrote about yesterday.
Here is the statement I received from Clear Channel representative Angel Aristone, who a quick web search would indicate is a VP of Marketing and Communications at the media giant:
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment does not condone the comment independently made by Lex & Terry regarding transgender individuals. United Stations Radio Networks, which produces and syndicates the Lex & Terry Show, has been notified. The comment was thoughtless and unacceptable and we sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by their remarks.
Patrick Reilly also indicated that Clear Channel was dropping Lex & Terry from the satellite radio station they lease from SiriusXM, but Ms. Aristone wouldn't confirm or deny that report.
Let's be honest, this statement is exactly the response most of us were expecting, and the fact it took as long to get it as it did only reinforces just how little this incident matters to people at Clear Channel.
Allow me to break it down for a moment.
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment does not condone...
Well no shit. Had anyone really expected the company to say "sure, murdering trans* people is A-OK" or say that it fits within corporate policy? The reassertion that the comment was "independently made" is likewise a transparent attempt to escape responsibility.
United Stations Radio Networks, which produces and syndicates the Lex & Terry Show, has been notified
I've been working on this after the East Coast headquarters of United Stations Radio Networks was closed, so I'll have a official statement from them in the next day or two, but the person I spoke to out of their West Coast office said that they were under the impression that USRN is involved in the distribution, but not production of the program. Which sounds remarkably like what SiriusXM had to say about Clear Channel's involvement.
...we sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by their remarks
When was the last time you saw a less sincere sounding apology? We all know that "anyone who was offended" is a dog whistle used to mean that although something has been perceived as offensive, the person making the apology does not really see what the big deal was.
And then, as if the vapidness of their statement wasn't insult enough, it wasn't even made publicly. To quote SiriusXM VP Patrick Reilly: "Clear Channel is issuing a statement to those that ask (emphasis mine). It would seem that neither company cares enough to own up to the incident in public.
It is obvious that Clear Channel does not understand why we might see the advocating of violence towards members of our community as more than "unfortunate" or "unacceptable." The film Zardoz was "unfortunate," wearing white after Labor Day is "unacceptable," glorifying the murder of a class of people would seem to warrant firmer language.
Nonetheless, an apology has been issued. Frankly, that may be more than we could have expected even a few short years ago. I did ask Angel Aristone to clarify or explain her company's lackluster internal support for trans* employees, but received no response.
It is now up to us as individuals and as a community to decide whether or not we are satisfied by SiriusXM and Clear Channel's responses to the situation. There are as good arguments for forgiveness as there are for not letting the matter go.
Tell us what you think in the comments below.
Update: Although Clear Channel won't confirm that Lex & Terry have been dropped from their station, comments on the show's Facebook page seem to indicate that it is the case.