Steve Gleason comments get Atlanta radio hosts suspended

AP

The Atlanta broadcasters who made fun of former Saints safety Steve Gleason’s battle with ALS on the air this morning have been suspended.

Sports radio station 790 The Zone confirmed this afternoon that everyone involved in the bit on the “Mayhem in the A.M.” morning show will be off the station indefinitely.

We deeply regret the comments made by Mayhem In The AM this morning on 790 The Zone regarding former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason,” station VP & General Manager Rick Mack said in a statement. “790 The Zone, Lincoln Financial Media, our sponsors and partners in no way endorse or support the unfortunate and offensive commentary concerning Mr. Gleason this morning. The members of the show involved with this incident have been suspended indefinitely pending further management review of their actions.”

The “Mayhem in the A.M.” team thought it would be funny to make jokes at Gleason’s expense through a mock interview that used a robotic voice to represent Gleason, who has lost his ability to speak. The station has been inundated by calls from listeners expressing their displeasure with the segment.

90 responses to “Steve Gleason comments get Atlanta radio hosts suspended

  1. Suspended? Fire him. Fire everyone associated w/the show. That’s not an impulsive decision he made. Someone had to thing about it, get it approved, get the special effects lined up etc. Find out who with the station laughed and fire them too.

  2. This wasn’t comedy. It was hateful pure and simple. If you have any skin, regardless of color, and you found this humorous, then maybe someone should relieve you of that skin!

  3. evskip says:
    Jun 17, 2013 1:56 PM
    People with thin skins shouldn’t listen to comedy
    ***************
    Trumped by the fact that people with (small) rocks for brains shouldn’t be allowed to do talk radio.

  4. Good Lord!! This is tasteless beyond description. These types of employees not only lack any sense of empathy, they exhibit thought processes that should not be associated with ANY business or enterprise. A suspension of ANY length is not appropriate. Anyone involved whatsoever needs to be sent packing. Until then, advertisers MUST pull there products off this show.

  5. Their jobs are to be funny. Take the controversy out of it, and the end result still wasn’t funny. Ergo, they’re not doing their jobs.

    This isn’t difficult to figure out.

  6. Don’t these people know that you can’t make fun of anybody, call a team by a name that is not on the approved by (us) team name list, be wealthy and not be guilty (if you feel guilty about it then it’s alright), a straight male, opinionated, educated, reasonable.

  7. Revskip –
    Are you serious? You shouldn’t make fun of people for things they can’t control. Go ahead and make fun of people for being idiots and bad decisions.

  8. There’s a fine line in comedy. This was a good bit below that line. Anyone that’s seen an ALS patient would understand better but anyone with half a brain would know not to go there.

  9. Gleason is a Stand up guy and in no way deserves that. Make fun of the kardashians or something else.

  10. I live in the “A” now and this station is CRAP! 680 the FAN is way better! They had one show leave 790 and now it’s the #1 show on 680!

    Not the smartest people on this station that’s for sure!

  11. If that’s what passes for comedy these days then no one should listen. They should be fired, not suspended. Really, would you want people who are so obviously stupid working for you?

  12. You know, it’s unbelievable the level that some will stoop to just to get viewers to tune in.

    There is a special place in you know where for people who dare make fun of someone with a disability.

    Gleason is more of a man than any of those punks who did this out of poor taste!

  13. Revskip: You can’t be serious. ALS is an ALWAYS FATAL!! You can’t POSSIBLY think ANYTHING is humorous, clever or topical about these kinds of remarks!!

  14. ColtsWinColtsWin – There are things that you just don’t make fun of – people with disabilities, abused children, first responders who die in the line of duty, soldiers who die on the battlefield. Add your name to the list of people who just don’t get it.

  15. THINK before you act/speak.

    Most of us do it by default, but there will always be a select few whose short-sightedness don’t allow for them to be aware of any long-term ramifications of their actions or words.

    …but it’s just…so…SIMPLE!

  16. I agree with revskip to a certain extent. I personally like offensive comedy, but I like it from offensive comedians not morning sports talk radio.

  17. @ Revskip

    They did a knock knock joke skit where they portrayed Steve saying he would be dead by thursday. Comedy is one thing , I love dark humor … That was over the line . Also, it’s not a comedy show … That was a poor decision that was approved by a sports radio station

  18. I lost my Dad to the horrible disease of ALS. I will not become what they are. I wish them and their families good health, and good luck in their future endeavors…

  19. I think the show subject matter was inappriopriate and not funny. Having said that the fact is I bet it was a highly rated show. If Americas value system where on straight then the market would self correct. I.E. no one should ever again listen to those people responsible or buy their sponsors products. That is the way to censor them. Not by suspension. Everyone involved knew it was inappropriate subject matter. All this is is free publicity. But there is a 1st amendment right to free speech. That especially pertains to comments that are not “mainstream”.

  20. I have a appropriate and completely fair punishment for all involved with the sketch about Steve Gleason.

    They should all be reinstated and allowed to resume their talk show as soon as Steve Gleason can talk.

  21. I assume this is because they are on public radio? 10 years ago no one cared if they heard it. Just went about our day. Oh well just another dbag we won’t listen to. Now we have polls, surveys, web pages, rallies, photo bombs, email mafia, etc. Its insane how the world is today. And no I didn’t listen nor do i care to. All I know is that this crap has been done forever. It’s just words. It is not bullying. It is crap but crap flows everywhere. We are so pathetic as a people now. Tattle tales, whiners, blah blah blah.

  22. ggametoo says: Jun 17, 2013 2:14 PM

    There are things that you just don’t make fun of – people with disabilities, abused children, first responders who die in the line of duty, soldiers who die on the battlefield.

    ———————————————————–

    Done correctly jokes could be made about every one of those groups. Some people may not care for dark comedy, but other people enjoy it.

    The people freaking out over this are probably all guilty of laughing to very similar jokes on Family Guy and South Park.

  23. ggametoo says:
    Jun 17, 2013 2:14 PM
    ColtsWinColtsWin – There are things that you just don’t make fun of – people with disabilities, abused children, first responders who die in the line of duty, soldiers who die on the battlefield. Add your name to the list of people who just don’t get it.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I make fun of a guy with a disability every day. Because he is my friend. I’m not even sure what his disability is and I really don’t care. The guy is my friend and I rip on him.

    No one is totally off limits. No one.

  24. revskip says:
    Jun 17, 2013 1:56 PM
    People with thin skins shouldn’t listen to comedy.
    ____________________________________
    Your parents did not raise you right

  25. Morning disc jockeys usually demonstrate the juvenile sense of humor of an overgrown 13-year-old. In perfect post pubescent style, they usually try to out do each other with their personal demonstrations of immaturity. I lost interest in radio morning shows because of that reason. Just let me listen to music you boneheads. Please do not feel as if you have to be funny because usually you aren’t.

  26. scoobies05 says: Jun 17, 2013 2:20 PM
    thin skin? the man is dying from a terminal disease. when did it become accetable to make fun of that.

    ———————————————————–

    Great comedians who have used horrible diseases in their comedy to great effect:

    Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Gilbert Godfried, Lenny Bruce, Denis Leary, Louis CK, Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor.

  27. To those who inevitably bring out the “PC police are on patrol, we can’t say anything anymore!”, a few thoughts:

    1) This isn’t a “free speech” issue. The radio hosts were free to say what they wanted, and they certainly won’t be jailed for doing so. They will, however, be suspended or fired by their profit maximizing employer. If anything, you should be happy that we live in a country where an employer is also free to decide who is on their payroll.

    2) I understand the desire for offensive or edgy comedy. That’s totally fine. There is a difference between using offensive statements to get people to understand an underlying paradox or comedic element, and using offensive statements to…just be offensive.

    In short, this couldn’t be more clear. Idiots will be idiots, and thankfully sometimes actions have consequences.

  28. Oh boy…as if the Saints needed any more motivation to pound the failcants harder than they normally do…failcants don’t stand a chance now…

  29. They’re only “suspended” until the station management can find replacements.

    They have screwed themselves in the radio business. Time for a career change.

  30. Poor Johnny Football says walk a day in his shoes. Geez! No, I say I wish there was a way those guys could walk in Mr. Gleason’s shoes.

  31. The same people outraged at this will be the first to laugh at a Stephen Hawking joke

  32. unfortunately, talentless hacks pick up on the power of edgy humor, and fail to understand that you have to ALSO be clever. nowadays “entertainers” think that as long as they offend someone, the joke was funny. so when people are like “that wasn’t funny, you just screamed ‘AIDS’ and farted into a microphone for an hour,” they’ll say “oh not PC enough for you?” or “you just don’t get it.”
    we get it, you just aren’t talented.

  33. This is how far our society has fallen. There are a lot of people on this thread who don’t have any problem with walking into the terminal cancer wing of a children’s hospital and making fun of them. And telling them to “Just deal with it. It’s funny.” Some people’s moral compass is completely broken.

  34. Anyone who is listening to show on the radio named “Mayhem on the AM” should have expected the possibility that the hosts would be using off-color humor.

    I remember when Howard Stern was always in hot water on NBC. I always used to wonder why anyone who didn’t like his style of humor would listen to his show and then complain about it. There are other options available to everyone in Atlanta. If you don’t find the Mayhem show funny don’t listen.

    I also think it is pretty entertaining that so many pitchforks are out when I am fairly certain that the audio for this isn’t even available right now. So basically guys are upset at jokes they haven’t even heard yet.

  35. Well that’s a little excessive. It wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but should have not warranted a suspension.

    I am willing to bet that everyone here, at one point or another, has had a good laugh at someone elses expense.

  36. You would think that certain things would be off limits. I think the issue is that certain comedians and shows like South Park are always pushing the boundary…so it desensitizes people to what is acceptable and what is not. All these outlets love pushing the boundary because it attracts listeners or viewers. That is why those associated with the show were suspended and not fired. If nobody spoke against the radio segment, the managerial side would not have blinked…unfortunately this is the society we live in. Morals are good, but money trumps everything…

  37. Almost all comedy makes fun of someone. Where do we draw the line. Fat jokes? So people,maybe not you, think that is a disease that a person has no control over. People with a drinking problem. A lot of people, not me, think that is a “disease”. Low IQ? Or just an airhead? Christians? Or just mindless idiots basis their life on a fairy tale who want to tell you what is “moral”. Democrats? Or just someone who wants you to support them? Republcans, or just someone who thinks they money is more important than people.

  38. On another note, it is obvious that Gleason`s mind is still intact by his written statements. For him to say his life is difficult, but awesome really tells you what kind of guy this is. I think he is at peace knowing that he has made a positive impact on the world.

  39. I didn’t catch the radio show but they did the same thing on TMZ with Stephen Hawking and I laughed.

  40. mackcarrington says: Jun 17, 2013 2:41 PM

    This is how far our society has fallen. There are a lot of people on this thread who don’t have any problem with walking into the terminal cancer wing of a children’s hospital and making fun of them. And telling them to “Just deal with it. It’s funny.” Some people’s moral compass is completely broken.

    ————————————————————-

    No one went to the ALS wing of a hospital here. That analogy is beyond flawed.

    What really happened was some people went to a place where they knew people would say outrageous things for shocks and laughs and then got offended when they heard something off color. It is like me getting angry at a musical because there is too much singing. I don’t like musicals so I don’t go to see them. If you don’t like shock jocks don’t listen.

    Haven’t heard the bit, it probably wasn’t that funny. But to get all up in arms about guys doing what was basically their job (saying shocking things to draw in an audience so that the sponsors commercials are listened to) is really silly.

  41. mackcarrington says:
    Jun 17, 2013 2:41 PM
    This is how far our society has fallen. There are a lot of people on this thread who don’t have any problem with walking into the terminal cancer wing of a children’s hospital and making fun of them. And telling them to “Just deal with it. It’s funny.” Some people’s moral compass is completely broken.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Or maybe it is just that some people think that walking into a terminal cancer wing of children’s hospital and poke fun because getting someone laughing and making the feel normal is exactly what someone needs. Is it your opinion that everyone should be solemn and taciturn around anyone different? Is it somehow more moral to walk into a cancer ward and weep for an hour because the majority of them are going to die than it is to bring laughter into the remainder of their lives?

    I understand that these morning show d-bags failed at their attempt at humor by being too overt. I also understand that making fun of someone with a disease or disability is different than making fun of someone for having a disease or disability. But at some point you have to be able to step back and realize people are people regardless of their shape, size, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, or disease. No one is above a good ribbing (regardless of the fact that this was a poorly executed one).

    Lighten up.

  42. unfortunately when they do come back their ratings will go up considerably, at least for a while. Like Madonna said, there is no such thing as bad publicity in show biz. Sad but true

  43. The name of the show was what, MAYHEM IN THE MORNING? And what did the hosts deliver? MAYHEM IN THE MORNING

    It isn’t “Tasteful Mayhem”, just “mayhem”.

    Promises made, promises kept.

  44. One of the hosts started the station years ago and sold out when another station he purchased went close to bust in St. Louis. They will spend this week off air and apologize next Monday.

    680 the Fan, the other station in Atlanta, has done the Stephen Hawking bit for a couple of years (and yes it is the show that left 790 that is doing it).

    It was indeed classless and stupid and I do not agree with the bit, but some of the comments on here are hilarious as to how over-reactive some of our society is.

  45. There is too much competition today in the entertainment industry (there has always been some, but not like the times we are in now). In order to be “noticed” and advance careers, TV and radio personalities are pushing the envelope as far as they feel they have to. Good taste be damned, I’ve gotta make a score, seems to be the motto of the “personalities”. Ridiculing those with illnesses and diseases is nothing new. I heard Helen Keller jokes when I was a kid. But it should never be condoned or allowed to go unpunished.

    For those with their panties in a twist over Stephen Hawking, you have to consider one thing. The man has made statements over the years that many have found offensive. He can’t expect to be treated otherwise when he himself has established himself as a lightning rod for the controversial.

    Mr. Gleason is conducting his own life the best that he can. Him, I would do anything that I could to help. Mr. Hawking shouldn’t look to me, someone he has insulted (within a group), for any assistance.

  46. Good!!! It’ll be a travesty if they ever work there again. FIRE the SOBs!!!

    They should be relegated to entertaining at klan rallies and neo-Nazi gatherings, whatever they’re called. I’m sure some of you know.

  47. I have not heard this particular show, but these “sport analysts” seem to be the same, no matter which market they are in.

    They don’t analyze anything. They just complain when things aren’t going well, and go for shock value. 99% of the fans I meet know far more about the game than these radio hosts.

    Sirius XM is the only place I know to get some actual thoughtful analysis and discussion.

  48. so we’re offended cause something was said about a sick white man huh? would we still be offended if they replaced any reference to him with the word redskin? freaking hypocrites…. either we can say anything or nothing @ all!

  49. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis…
    Losing muscle capability first in voluntary muscles, so you can’t walk or talk, and then eventually losing the ability to eat, swallow, breathe. Yeah, that’s some HILARIOUS stuff right there…

    Just downright knee-slapping funny to think about…

  50. @Steelerben: Getting a terminally ill person to laugh is one thing. Laughing AT them because of their illness is, to me, quite different. Like I said, you obviously don’t have any problem making fun of terminally ill people. Says more about you than it does about me. Why would you rib someone who is about to lose their life?
    @ revskip: same goes for you. You merely prove my main point, which is, you think it is fine to make fun of people who are dying.

  51. It was a bad idea on their part, that’s for sure. I think the reaction has been a bit too much though. I’ve seen countless cartoons do similar jokes with Stephen Hawking yet nobody gets fired in that situation, seems a bit unfair to me.

  52. The joke was distasteful but I don’t think they should necessarily be fired. While I probably wouldn’t listen to these guys again if I lived in Atlanta, I would exercise freedom of choice by listening to another channel instead of calling for their heads.

    Perhaps I’ve been hardened as a 20 year Howard Stern fan…. Baba Booey to ya’ll!

  53. mackcarrington says: Jun 17, 2013 3:24 PM

    @ revskip: same goes for you. You merely prove my main point, which is, you think it is fine to make fun of people who are dying.

    ————————————————————

    Yep. I think it is perfectly fine to make fun of just about anything. Taking oneself too seriously seems like a far worse affliction than any fatal disease. War, death, disease and sadness are conditions that affect us and we can either laugh about them or let them break us. I’ll take a good chuckle over a good cry any day, especially if it is at your expense.

  54. You people are sad. In this day and age everybody is overly sensitive. This is why our kids can’t wear a marines shirt to school with a gun on the logo, take the stick out of your rears and if you don’t like it change the channel its very simple. It’s called dark humor, it’s been around forever and only weak minded fools that take everything too serious complain about it. The marine tshirt is only 1 of many examples of too much censorship in America.

  55. There’s a time and a place for everything. If I’m going to see a comedy show, sure you may see material even worse than what these guys did. But if you a on the air hosting a sports show, you have sponsors, ratings and BOSSES to remind you not to cross the line. The whole station now has a black eye.

  56. spedman24 says: Jun 17, 2013 3:34 PM

    It was a radio BIT, they didn’t mean it…suspension is fine, but they shouldn’t be fired. This country is way too PC
    *********************************************

    This isn’t about POLITICAL” correctness. “PC” refers to issues related to what is currently considered OK in terms of Race, Religion, Politics, Sexuality.

    This is about human decency. A man dying of an incurable disease, and a couple of idiots thinking it would be funny to imitate him. Perhaps these idiot DJs were watching too much Big Bang Theory.. where they imitate the speech of Stephen Hawking….

  57. yes, there is freedom of speech, but this crosses the line big time. I lived in the ATL, hate that station, at least they got rid of worst sports talk show ever, the 2 live stews…beyond awful. now get rid of these clowns…how did anyone with a clue think that making fun of Steve Gleason would possibly be funny ???? What is wrong with people ???????

  58. What I don’t understand is this, why is the lawn drawn in the sand for radio SO much thinner than it is for TV? I’m SURE the number of people who listen to radio/talk radio are GREATLY outnumbered by people who watch TV. Family Guy busts on Stephen Hawking at least once a season and there’s no outrage. Shouldn’t the hook be shorter for TV than radio?

    That said, I’m not a fan of censorship. These guys didn’t kill or physically harm anyone. People can always change the channel.

  59. @revskip

    You think it is fine to make fun of just about anything? So you do make a distinction that sometimes humor goes to far?

  60. seriously bob. what does a marine tshirt have to do with a radio bit making fun of a man dying from a terminal ilness. while i totally agree the country is way to concerened about being pc, the marine t shirt has nothing to do with this issue. if steve gleason was a member of the onmycob family would you appreciate it if he was being made fun of as his body wastes away

  61. actually, PC doesn’t mean anything at all. it’s what people say to protect themselves from realizing their own ignorance.

  62. A couple of morons who managed to steal radio jobs from a couple of normal, intelligent human beings currently searching for jobs.

  63. mackcarrington says:
    Jun 17, 2013 3:24 PM
    @Steelerben: Getting a terminally ill person to laugh is one thing. Laughing AT them because of their illness is, to me, quite different. Like I said, you obviously don’t have any problem making fun of terminally ill people. Says more about you than it does about me. Why would you rib someone who is about to lose their life?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I did explicitly state in my response to you that I saw the distinction between making fun of someone that is terminally ill and making fun of someone for being terminally ill. And I have to say, if I am laying on my deathbed, I’d like for someone to do anything to give me a laugh. You rib them because it reminds you that you are still human, not a victim of a disease.

    My opposition was to the statement that whole sections of the population are off limits to humor, not in an effort to show support of the disc jockeys failed bit.

    The high horse being climbed on by a lot of people who will turn around and laugh at Titus Young in jail, or at Stephen Hawking bits on Big Bang or Futurama, or gay jokes, or women in the kitchen jokes, or anything else off color is what really bugs me.

  64. There’s a couple things going on here some of you don’t seem to understand. First off, why is it ok to make fun of Hawking and not Gleason? Hawking’s ALS has someone stabilized and he has managed to fulfill his career and live with the disease for a long time now. Gleason is currently dying. A slow, agonizing death, surrounded by family watching him die. Hawking’s strengths have always been in his mind (no loss there.) Many of Gleason’s came from his athletic ability and sadly no one would give a care in the world about him if he hadn’t been a famous athlete. The other thing you all forget, is his article on MMQB came out today and got many of us emotional and close to tears. Then, as those emotions are simmering, this news drops. IMO, the timing was TERRIBLE. Their loss.

  65. Steve Gleason is dying from an incurable and devastating disease, and through it all has the ability to remain brave and courageous. He also has a wife and young son who are watching him die slowly. He has more class in his little finger than these morons who feel it’s all right to make fun of a dying man, suppose it was one of their family members?

  66. What upsets me is that the radio station gets to act all innocent when they hold most of the blame. The bigwigs at these stations hire these guys to be edgy, they want them to push the envelope because let’s be honest, that’s what attracts listeners, but then they cross some mythical line and find themselves suspended or fired. If the station doesn’t want shock jocks then they shouldn’t hire shock jocks. The fact that they did hire them means that the station bears the brunt of the blame, at least in my opinion…

  67. Because making fun of people with ALS is always funny.
    WTF were you thinking?
    You all deserved to get canned unless the producer approved it.
    Then it was all on him.

  68. I really wouldn’t expect anything different from Atlanta fans/disc jockeys. Have some respect for a dying man who just became a father not to long ago. Disgusting.

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