Catholic League News Release
August 22, 2002
“OPIE AND ANTHONY” IS CANCELLED: CATHOLIC LEAGUE COMMENDS INFINITY BROADCASTING
Catholic League president William Donohue responded today to news reports that Infinity Broadcasting has cancelled the “Opie and Anthony” show:
“This is a refreshing example of corporate responsibility. The Catholic League is satisfied with the results of this decision and will now petition the FCC to cease with its investigation of this incident. There is no reason now to revoke the license of WNEW.”
The reaction we received to our victory ran the gamut from sincere thanks to vicious condemnation. On the positive side, we were congratulated by so many Catholics and non-Catholics that it is hard to describe. In several instances, we heard from those who said they normally are not on the side of the Catholic League, but this time they most assuredly were. Indeed, the most vocal element among this segment were self-identified “progressives” who have children. They readily admitted that they feared for their kids in this culture.
On the other hand, we have not received so many hate-filled screeds in years as were triggered by our defeat of “Opie and Anthony.” We literally have a stack of hate mail that few would believe. In almost every instance (most of the mail was received via the Feedback section on our website), the letters said we should shut up and just start worrying about our molesting priests. They were written in the most vile, obscene and blasphemous language imaginable.
Much of the hate mail also betrayed an incredibly ignorant interpretation of the First Amendment. Our detractors seem not to understand that we have free speech rights, too. Or perhaps it would be accurate to say that they regret that the First Amendment extends to the Catholic League.
But consider the source. Those who supported us are a sample straight out of mainstream America. Those who condemned us are mostly young men who are linguistically and civilly illiterate. Regarding the latter, it was clear from their missives that their lives were shattered when we crushed their favorite foul-mouthed show. So sad, so true and so revealing.