A Madison, Wisconsin, radio station facing a Federal Communications Commission fine for playing the unedited version of Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" says it was just an accident.
The FCC notified WZEE-FM's general manager, Jeff Tyler, on Friday that the station may have to pay a $7,000 fine for playing the song, which contains profanity and references to sex acts, at approximately 3:30 p.m. on August 24. Tyler said the DJ cued up the edited version of the song, but that static electricity caused the CD player to skip to the nastier track.
Tyler said the first 50 seconds of both versions are identical, and that after hearing the first 20 seconds or so, the DJ turned his monitor down to answer a phone call. When a traffic reporter in another part of the building heard what was playing, she told the DJ, who immediately shut it off, Tyler said.
"I understand why the FCC is taking the posture that they are, that there are certain songs that shouldn't be played," Tyler said, adding that his station would never play the unedited version of the song intentionally. "We're better broadcasters than that."
WZEE-FM's parent company, Clear Channel Communications, Inc., is appealing the fine, Tyler said.
Representatives for Clear Channel and the FCC could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon. A copy of the FCC's order on the agency's official Web site says the lyrics of "The Real Slim Shady" are "inappropriate for broadcast during times when children may [be] in the audience."
The FCC can regulate broadcasts that may be indecent or offensive between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., the order says.