Locked Re: Wisconsin Public Radio Ends OTR Broadcast Saying, "It's Racist and Sexist"




I think you raise a legitimate concern.


Anyone who’s listened to any amount of old time radio knows their some content that’s blatantly racist or sexist, and probably not suited for broadcast over the air in 2020, and quite a bit more that is a bit borderline and cringe,  but Wisconsin Public Radio’s statement is stunning for the breadth of its ignorance and its wholesale condemnation of all Old Time Radio.  They could probably decide during these time to play episodes of Destination Freedom or New World A Coming during this time instead.


However, I don’t think, at this point, anyone is coming for our personal collections in the immediate future. Although, one never know when angry mobs get started where they will stop.


I think that any radio station that plays Old Time Radio currently may be tempted, although I think commercial radio stations are at risk of it less than public radio with its own sort of culture. The main people hurt WPIR’s decision are the less technically savvy folks who rely on them.


The question at the end is problematic. I don’t think our speaking out would prevent the decision from occurring. If you live in Wisconsin and you listened to the program, you can certainly drop a letter, and decide not to pledge to the station again.  But a bunch of people who don’t live in Wisconsin opining, not sure what that’s supposed to do.


Like Scott, I don’t really want us to get political on this. I don’t see what good a statement from OTRR or any other old time radio source would do at this point, other than embroiling us in a controversy.


Yet, I think we have to at least among ourselves, acknowledge a problem with Wisconsin Public Radio’s statement in that it frames all old time radio as sexist and racist. That sort of attitude will make preservation of Old Time Radio and promotion of the hobby to future generations harder. Certainly, I’ve never hesitated in sharing my interest in old time radio, but I do have to wonder if at some point in the near future, to some ears, I might as well be expressing an interest in Confederate Flag collecting.


There is a spirit of intolerance in the air. It doesn’t care about what other people think, what historical context is or was, and has no respect for what came before. Its judgment is harsh and without mercy. Currently, old time radio is on the fringe of this spirit’s interest and influence and we can hope it burns itself out soon.


However, while I understand and share the extent too not get into politics with old time radio, I have to wonder what happens when politics decides to take an interest in us.


It’s a chilling thought.




Sent from Mail for Windows 10


From: Pastor Gary
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 5:16 AM
To: main@oldtimeradioresearchers.groups.io
Subject: [OldTimeRadioResearchers] Wisconsin Public Radio Ends OTR Broadcast Saying, "It's Racist and Sexist"


I don't chime in often, but I feel compelled to speak up for this bit of news.


06/20/2020 - Wisconsin Public Radio produced and broadcasted a radio show called "Old Time Radio Drama" for many decades.  It formerly aired on Saturday and Sundays from 8:00-11:00 PM.  Their long-running and popular radio program has now been canceled and the archives removed from the WPR website because it "include[s] racist and sexist materials.".


Here's what they have to say at this link:


"While schedule changes can be difficult, now is the right time to end this program," said Mike Crane, WPR director. "Many of these plays and productions were produced more than 60 years ago and include racist and sexist material.   Despite significant efforts over the years, it has been nearly impossible to find historic programs without offensive and outdated content. And, ultimately, these programs don’t represent the values of WPR and The Ideas Network’s focus on public service through news and information."


It's getting crazy out there and it makes me wonder just how soon they'll be coming for my collection of "racist and sexist" OTR?


Are we next and which OTR resource might succumb to this movement in the future???


Do we just let this happen, or do we somehow speak out?




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