XM Shock Jocks Apologize for Sex Comment

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The Associated Press
Friday, May 11, 2007; 5:05 PM

WASHINGTON -- XM Satellite Radio shock jocks Opie and Anthony apologized Friday for airing a homeless man's crude comments that he'd like to have sex with Condoleezza Rice, Laura Bush and Queen Elizabeth.

The remarks were made on their show Wednesday by a guest the duo call Homeless Charlie. As the name of each woman came up, the guest said he would like to have sex with her _ using language not fit for print.

Opie and Anthony laughed as they imagined Rice's "horror" while describing a violent sexual encounter in which Rice is punched in the face.

Washington-based XM condemned the remarks.

"We deplore the comments made on Wednesday's 'Opie & Anthony Show,'" XM spokesman Nathaniel Brown told The Associated Press on Friday. He would not say whether XM planned to take disciplinary action.

Opie and Anthony, whose full names are Anthony Cumia and Greg "Opie" Hughes, apologized to listeners on Friday's show.

"We apologize to the public officials for comments that we made on our XM show on May 9th. We take very seriously the responsibility that comes with our creative freedom and regret any offense that this segment has caused," they said.

Because the show airs on satellite radio, there are no federal restrictions on its content. According to XM's Web site, the radio service has parental controls that allow users to block access to channels that frequently contain explicit language. Those channels are designated with an "XL" notation.

The same radio duo was dumped by CBS Radio in August 2002 for running a contest in which they said two listeners had sex in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral. They were hired by XM in 2004.

The remarks could become an issue as XM seeks approval from the Federal Communications Commission to merge with New York-based Sirius Satellite Radio, said Tom Taylor, editor of the trade magazine Inside Radio.

"XM and Sirius don't want any regulation," he said in Friday's New York Daily News. "But it's come up in four congressional hearings _ and at this point, the merger is such a close call, any issue could become important."

The FCC did not return phone calls Friday seeking comment.


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© 2007 The Associated Press

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