The Sit Down goes Live Monday

If  you’re a listener of my broadcast “The Sit Down with Chris Seaton,” we appreciate your support.

If you’re not listening, you can remedy that by going here, or subscribing on iTunes, TunedIn, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever fine podcasts are sold or stolen.

Unfortunately, this week things are going to be different.

I got a message from The Sit Down’s producer, Aaron Campbell, last night. He’s laid up in the hospital with what is most likely a severe case of the flu. He wanted to cancel the show. I said “no thanks.”

So this week we’re going to try an experiment. Monday, March 27, starting at 11 AM, “The Sit Down with Chris Seaton” goes live with its first ever video show. Livestreaming video, 100% uncensored, and completely open to the viewers and listeners.

Want to be a part of the show? There’s several things you can do.

1. If you’ve topics to suggest, leave them in the comments, twit them @clsesq, or email contact@thesitdown.org

2. If you’ve questions you can do likewise or join us on the live Periscope broadcast. We will try to get to as many as possible during the show.

3. If you can’t make it, tell a friend.

Should you happen to miss the broadcast, it’ll be on the Sit Down’s YouTube page for later consumption.

I look forward to joining you in a one vs. the mob style discussion about big ideas, fun topics, and controversial opinions.

See you Monday.

WOZO and the Streisand Effect

Yesterday was a fun exercise in watching the Streisand Effect work its magic. By day’s end more eyes were on my little radio show than ever before, and the lunacy at WOZO’s DJ “team” was exposed for the lying nutjobs they are.

Fault Lines Managing Editor Scott Greenfield contacted me Thursday about The Sit Down’s ban from WOZO. He wrote a post about it at Simple Justice on Friday. That post gave the tiny “People’s Radio” show a lot more attention than it’s seen in recent months. The fact the attention was negative, calling their cowardice for what it was, didn’t help much.

So the station launched its “conflict response team” into action. This “response team’s” acts usually involved posting negative comments to my YouTube channel, trolling producer Aaron Campbell’s Facebook page for “That Midday Show,” and blowing my Twitter feed up with repeated at mentions over how I was a “nobody,” a “toxic person,” and an “amateur.”

If that’s the case, why did WOZO’s DJs take so much time and energy to attempt to shout me down?

Let’s look at what happened.

1. WOZO’s DJ “team” objected to the content of the Sit Down and acted accordingly.

From the beginning, it was clear the leftist DJ staff at WOZO wanted The Sit Down gone. They attempted a number of tactics in an attempt to get rid of the news hour broadcast. The first was attempting a straight ban because my broadcasts contained “racist, sexist, transohomophobic, bigoted, ableist, or other “ist” content. Unfortunately, no such content existed, and the one thing the DJ team could find objectionable was the disclaimer broadcast twice during the show, which one DJ found “offensive.”

The second tactic was to frame the narrative of the ban as me wanting “special treatment” from the community radio station. They couldn’t bear the truth shining on their intellectual dishonesty, that they simply didn’t agree with what I had to say, so they came up with a convoluted story about how I was the only show “host” who wasn’t a DJ, hadn’t gone through the steps of becoming a DJ, and wanted to subvert the station’s “rules,” which seemed to apply differently with every DJ at WOZO.

2. WOZO’s DJ “team” launched an all out attack on me and my producers through social media. 

I am told I was “owned” on Facebook. I have no knowledge of this, as I have no access to any social media showing me how I was “owned.” I also have enough adult sense to understand the Internet isn’t real life, and mean hurty words on a digital screen aren’t enough to hurt me or mine.

I am told there’s plenty of “sick burns” of me on WOZO’s twitter account. I have no knowledge of this, because the official WOZO twitter account blocked me.

My producer has no knowledge of this either, as WOZO’s DJ “team” banned him from their listserv, blocked him from their DJ only Facebook group, and blocked him outright from their personal forums for communication. If I or my producer were getting “owned,” it’s WOZO’s DJ team acting out the film “Mean Girls” in real life.

What I do know is during the day random Twitter accounts associated with WOZO came to attack me. DJs at the station left comments on my YouTube videos about how I would find another platform for my “Breitbart trollathon bullshit.”

I screwed with these people as I chose, because I’m a Southerner who enjoys a good fight, even if it’s an online one. However, at the end of the day, the digital conflict amounted to one final result for WOZO.

WOZO now has negative publicity internationally because of their interactions with me. 

One of my Twitter followers, @MachMinotaur, summed the issue perfectly.

This nothingburger would’ve never been a story were it not for two-bit tyrants…at a local radio.

That radio station will still not matter to people not in that area, but now it’s known for its poor behavior. Win?

People as far as Germany came to ask the Twitter eggs that are allegedly WOZO DJs if the continued replays of butthurt feelz were really worth it. The response was a continued double down on stupid, rather than engage in an honest discussion about what really happened. Now instead of being known for honesty, a commitment to free speech, and inclusivity of all ideas, WOZO is seen as a two-bit station with a “team” of teacup pirates behaving poorly when confronted with speech they don’t like.

Here is the truth of the WOZO “ban.”

Aaron Campbell was a dues paying DJ at WOZO who went through their arbitrary process to become a DJ. He came from commercial radio and several of the DJs at the station hated him for it.

He launched a four hour show on Tuesdays called “That Midday Show” which quickly became one of the most successful and listened to shows on the station. In fact, he pulled off a live broadcast at Scruffy City Hall during the Scruffy City Comedy Festival featuring several of the festival’s headliners.

I was a part of that broadcast, as I was a part of many. One of the first people to pitch an idea to Aaron for that Midday Show, I ran the “news desk” and developed the “Headlines” and “Final Thought” segments. During “Headlines” we would riff off stories that I’d find during the week that were funny or unusual. The “Final Thought” was pulled straight from the Jerry Springer show, and we made great fun of it by playing the Jerry Springer music at the end of the segments.

Early January, Aaron came to me to see about rebranding the fourth hour of That Midday Show with a new name, and have me as the “host.” I was never a DJ, and never had any intentions of paying the station’s “dues.” The name change was well within his rights, and as a DJ he had every right to kick me off the air whenever he chose. If he felt like a line was crossed, all he had to do was cut my mic and excuse me from his home studio.

We started the Sit Down. Our listens doubled within two episodes. By Episode three people were objecting to content they’d never heard. Eventually, the station’s DJs concocted a narrative that I was disrespectful to their DJ staff and the station, that I wasn’t a DJ that had ever contributed a single bit of time, money, or energy to their station, and that I was asking for special treatment on their platform.

Yes. I was disrespectful to the people who allowed a DJ to assault my producer, then banned him for being assaulted for the end of calendar year 2016. The way I see it, they deserved what they got. I never had any intention of paying DJ fees. I actually encouraged my producer to split from the station after the assault and subsequent suspension, but he decided to play nice with WOZO and kept broadcasting once the “conflict response team” lifted his suspension on That Midday Show.

Taking “The Sit Down” and repackaging it as deeply conservative was a move on my part to stick it to the people who wronged a friend. That the content struck a nerve with the “progressive” leftists at WOZO meant we were doing something right. They called for Aaron to censor or force me to tone down my social media posts. He refused to do so, being a sensible adult, and pointed out that if I were to tone down my attacks at WOZO for stifling free speech, then WOZO’s DJ “team” should extend the courtesy of not attacking me.

Three episodes later the station now has negative international attention, lost their biggest show, and gifted That Midday Show and The Sit Down the ability to run ads, make money from the broadcasts, and do whatever we want. We are now uncensored, no holds barred, 100% politically incorrect if we so choose.

Every attack WOZO’s DJs take to “own” me simply gives me more attention. Attempting to “blacklist” me from performing “comedy” is ridiculous move as I don’t even do standup or perform at comedy shows. What it does do is expose the Tolerance Police for what they are: cowards who can’t stand ideas with which they disagree.

And I’ve got more eyes on me than ever before. Suck it, haters.

Cease Fire Between The Sit Down and WOZO

As of last night, the war between WOZO in Knoxville and The Sit Down with Chris Seaton is over. WOZO’s top brass indicated they support free speech and the open exchange of ideas. They are to be commended for their support.

The Sit Down’s genesis came from the “Headlines” segment I used to do for producer Aaron Campbell’s flagship show “That Midday Show” on WOZO. It was a four hour long live show dedicated to comedy, geek culture, and entertainment. They had an “open door” policy when the show began and were looking for new ideas.

I picked about four or five stories from the news I thought were interesting and we would riff off them for an hour or so making bad jokes. It was a fun endeavor, and the highlight of my time with the show was getting to do a live broadcast from Scruffy City Hall during the Scruffy City Comedy Festival.

The show was a drain on my business ventures, though, so eventually I had to scale back what I was doing and concentrate on other areas of my work. I would still pop in occasionally for the odd bit, plug a project like “Silenced,” and then pop out in a heartbeat. Still fun, but not as much of a time commitment.

Something happened to TMS at the end of 2016. A comedian on the show made a joke that was admittedly off color and might have run afoul of FCC standards. The funny thing is the quip was so quiet it can’t be heard on the recording of the days’s events. What can be heard is another station DJ calling in, objecting to the joke, and saying “What that guy said was offensive and inappropriate. I’m coming down to settle this.”

Any reasonable person would think “I’m coming down to settle this” meant “I’m coming down to talk over what was just said.” This “DJ’s” interpretation of “settling” a problem over some words involved an assault and potential multiple FCC violations with live mics.
When I learned of the incident, I encouraged my producer to file a police report and have the two individuals responsible arrested for assault. The vitality of his show depended on it. Certain individuals begged Aaron to not file a police report and instead handle the matter through the station’s “conflict response team” in a “mediation.”

During the “mediation” Aaron Campbell, my producer and friend, got an apology from the two jackasses who assaulted him in the studio. The “conflict response team” also penalized Aaron and That Show Productions by pulling them from the air for the rest of 2016.

To this day That Show Productions hasn’t done a live broadcast at WOZO Radio’s studios.

“The Sit Down” found a home at WOZO when Aaron Campbell agreed to give the fourth hour of That Midday Show to a project I’d been working on, a highly conservative talk show featuring news, entertainment, lifestyle subjects, and in a one hour format. The best part of getting to use Aaron’s home studio for the broadcasts is the beer in the fridge, and the setup is light years better than what WOZO had. In fact, That Show’s production facilities rival those of most major radio stations.

It didn’t take two episodes of an ultra-conservative talk show airing on an incredibly leftist leaning community access network until the station’s “DJs” started calling for the show to get axed. One person at the station said since I was a “host,” that automatically made me a DJ subject to the fees the station’s DJs paid each month. I argued I was talent, not the DJ, and the DJ granting me that slot had the right and privilege to axe the program as he saw fit.

Others objected to content they’d never listened to. At the beginning of each show and during the break a “disclaimer” runs to the effect of “Warning. The following program may contain language or subject matter the listener finds racist, sexist, transohomophobic, bigoted, ableist, or any other “ist” or “ism” you can find. If the listener finds the program offensive, the management would respectfully request you suck it up, snowflake, and find something else to listen to.” It was a poke at the notion words used to silence others in the past didn’t work anymore, and a light hearted reminder that no matter what we said someone was going to get outraged.

The outrage poured in as quickly as Episode 2. “Station DJs” were combing through both hours of the program trying to find something, anything they could label with an “ist” or an “ism.” so they could say the program was in violation of their “station rules.” The DJs were moving to have the program banned from WOZO, my producer banned from the station, and me from ever appearing on WOZO content again.

Outrage poured over to Twitter, where an egg I assume was a station DJ claimed I wanted special treatment and attempted to circumvent the rules. Another got upset that I “disrespected” the DJs calling for the stifling of conservative viewpoints on the station. Another egg started the discussion off the bat by calling me racist and sexist and demanding WOZO pull That Midday Show and The Sit Down immediately. From Canada, allegedly.

The tension came to a head last night when Aaron Campbell met with senior WOZO staff who acknowledged no one at That Show Productions violated any rules. I’m told Margo referred to me as an excellent “shock jock,” which baffles me as I don’t mean to “shock,” but I’ll take what I can get, especially if it’s a compliment from someone who has as much clout as Margo at WOZO.

The conflict brought eyes to the show, and for every new listener we greatly appreciate your support. To Margo and all the DJs at WOZO who supported “The Sit Down,” we appreciate your commitment to free speech, an open exchange in the marketplace of ideas, and tolerance of really bad jokes.

“The Sit Down with Chris Seaton” airs every Tuesday at 4 PM on 103.9 WOZO LPFM in Knoxville. I’m reliably informed that if you can use Winamp you can hear the station broadcast live. Replays go up on the podcast networks like iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and TuneIn on Wednesdays at 8 AM EST.

You can also go to the show website and listen.

If you like what you hear, consider becoming one of our Patreon sponsors.

Cumulus and the Slow Burn of Terrestrial Radio

Last night I got word Cumulus Media, a Knoxville based terrestrial radio conglomerate, fired half the staff in a “cost-cutting” measure. The losses ranged from ad executives, on-air talent, and more as yet to be determined across the spectrum of their stations.

This isn’t something anyone with an eye on the world of radio couldn’t have seen. A local business incubator/startup meeting saw a legendary radio personality glumly admit “terrestrial radio is on its death bed, and maybe it’s time I started looking for work elsewhere.” That’s a grim statement from someone in the trenches and firmly rooted in the radio business.

Cumulus isn’t to be blamed for the decision to cut costs. Fewer people are listening to talk radio, no matter the personality. With the prevalence of satellite radio and podcasts, people are less interested in what’s available over the airwaves locally. That means ad revenue once plentiful to the radio organizations is getting more and more scarce.

Yet decisions have to be made, especially in the areas of news and talk. Do you work with local talent interested in showing their chops to the world if given the chance? Or do you keep paying out the exorbitant fees and ad percentages to guys like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to keep your conservative cred? It’s a tough choice to make, as the local talent would have to make an immediate impact and show they could bring their chops to the table.

On the other hand, you have the big names like Rush and Sean who would attract listeners at the right times. The problem becomes that these are national shows, not local, and there’s going to be less listener interaction with Rush and Sean than the local talent. And part of the appeal for the local “call-in” shows is for the listener to have his or her few moments of glory for the day on the radio.

The Cumulus talent let go in the coming days will have some difficult choices to make. Do they go the terrestrial radio outlet and find another station at which to work? The sports guys might be able to land a gig at another station, since their job is to cover mankind’s successes. Someone with a talk show that has an esoteric bent might not fit in the alt rock or country station of choice.

Satellite radio is basically a no-go unless you’ve already got a national platform. The Breitbarts and wellRED types will get a show at the drop of a hat, because the game in town is getting the biggest and best talent at the biggest dog in the yard, SiriusXM. Even there, where the FCC allegedly has no restrictions, the satellite talent still has issues with the “social consequences” of what they say. Just ask Anthony Cumia.

I have a feeling the talent with Cumulus that left will go the podcasting route. It’s an easy barrier for entry, the cost for each would be minimal, and there’s no restrictions on topic, language, or subject matter unless the hosts place it. Monetization of the product would be simple, and those with a dedicated fan base could make a monthly donation or subscription type service work.

Dave Rubin’s done it. He left ORA and went completely fan-funded. It was a big step for him, but now he’s free to talk with whomever he wants about whatever he wants. There’s no reason the highly motivated talent without work now couldn’t do the same. And something tells me un-shackling from the FCC’s restrictions would produce some amazing content you wouldn’t hear from the talent otherwise.

The Internet, podcasting, and YouTube are some of the greatest areas to earn money as an artist, talent, or creator. Guys like Mike Cernovich and Victor Pride will show you how to do it if you just do a bit of research and put in a little bit of effort. Whether the new radio ronin will take their advice is another matter entirely. Sometimes it’s just easier for people to stay in a rut instead of forge a new path and try new outlets.

Cumulus will have some time for reflection in the wake of their cost-cutting. If, as I suspect, it was done to keep the bigger names on the air, was it really worth the measure when local talent would take the spot in a heartbeat and run with the ball in ways the front brass couldn’t expect? There’s no easy answer to this. No one ever said life in any business was easy.

In the meantime, I’ve taken the time to dip my toes into this new world. This is still a formative project, and something I’m really excited about, so stick with us. You can find my newest experiment on iTunes, Stitcher, or TuneIn.

Sit down with me for an hour. I hope you like what you hear.