Pay the DJ

SDSU recently remitted $3000 to a former student who claimed that KCR, the on-campus radio station, damaged his chances to get a job in radio. KCR is a free-form radio station where DJs (unpaid students and alumni) select their format and playlists. KCR can be heard online at KCRlive.com.

“I walked in to hang up a flyer,” says Jefferson Jay about his first visit to KCR in January 2006. “They gave me an application, and before I knew it I was on the air.” The Jefferson Jay Show aired Mondays from midnight to 4 a.m. “Then, the person who was on before me stopped coming in, so they gave me 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. I played an hour of local music during my show. I interviewed King Stahlman and [columnist] Ed Decker. People called in. It was the only show on KCR that got calls or [media] attention.”

Jay says letters were sent to SDSU president Stephen Weber “[that] said I was a disgrace and revolting. The letters accused me of making racist comments about Jews on the air. Come on. I’m Jewish.” He believes they were sent by one person, a DJ with whom he’d admittedly had a tiff.

Then Skot Norton, KCR’s faculty advisor, accused Jay of drinking on the air. “He said somebody went through the trash and allegedly found beer bottles,” says Jay, “[but] the trash can was outside the station in the quad area.”

Jay was released from KCR in September 2006 but says that the KCR general manager and the DJ with whom he had had the falling out continued to bash his character on blogs.

“They wrote that I was gay. After I was fired they continued to ridicule me. They said I was banned from the premises, when in fact I was a student in good standing.”

Last year, Jay retained an attorney, and an SDSU committee reopened the affair by launching an investigation into the matter.

“The judiciary committee apologized to me and said I hadn’t done anything wrong. That’s [when I decided] to sue.”

Norton was asked to comment about the fact that his administrative decision to expel Jay from the all-volunteer station just cost SDSU $3000. “This is the first I’ve heard about it,” he said on June 23. “I don’t have much comment.”

Skot Norton, faculty advisor to KCR, responds: "I made no administrative decision to expel [Jefferson Jay] Gottlieb. I did speak with Gottlieb about the decision on the phone, but this is a student-run organization and the students made the decision." Gottlieb maintains that Norton was involved in the decision. "You can't tell me that a 19-year-old student [Jayson Schmidt, who is no longer KCR general manager] made that decision on his own." At the time the article was written, Norton requested that all questions be submitted via email. Norton declined to answer most written questions regarding this article.

President Weber’s office referred questions to Tyler Sherer, SDSU’s director of government and community relations, who said he was not aware of the settlement but that he would “try to get back to you."

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Why does this feel like such a slanted piece? This sure looks like one of those frivolous lawsuits that was cheaper to pay off than to fight. If there is a bad guy here, it seems to be Jay who took advantage of the system to make a few bucks.

It's hard to have a fair and balanced report when the other side doesn't comment. As a guest on J.J.'s show, I remember this all going down. Even if Jefferson Jay was gay, it seems that blogging about it is not professional in any way.

So what you're saying is that Skot Norton is the only person on the other side of this? There was no one else who could give the other side to any of this story? I find that hard to believe. The reporter didn't mention anyone else refusing to discuss the case. Meanwhile, I don't see how any of this is worth $3000. And speaking of which, don't these cases normally have non-disclosure clauses? How did Ken find out about the settlement?

I completely agree, joshdamigo, but that's not what happened; it's what was reported to have happened. I defy anyone (author included) to show me a blog on which this took place.

OK, two weeks later and still no responses from the author and his "insider." You're not saying there were no examples, are you, Ken? You didn't just make that up, did you?

Five weeks later and still no answer. So you just make up facts and hope nobody notices? Seems to work.

This is completely bogus. I have been an avid listener of the station for many years and here is the real story of what went down.

Guy shows up in a dress, does his best to insult everyone around him to gain publicity and try to make them uncomfortable cause he (as he openly admits) enjoys pissing people off and enjoys trying to hurt people’s feelings. Constantly mean spirited and bizarre to most of the people around him, getting attention like any mean spirited child would. Finally does enough to get himself fired (notice he doesn’t actually deny that he was drinking on the air). It came down to one thing: he was simply too bizarre and unpleasant to be around, for most of the staff (who complained about him) and the listeners (who complained about his show). Shows up after having been fired and been told not to return and talks his way to being a guest on the air (acting like he is just another student), then throws a tantrum on the air, freaking out female DJ who suddenly found herself alone with a crazy person. Then he was banned from the radio station, not from the school itself. Nobody claimed he was kicked out of school, despite his claims to the contrary. There was no “blog” there was a private discussion board for just the DJs that Gottlieb was on and where he ranted and raved about his being fired. Nothing actually his responsibility but a “conspiracy to keep the station mediocre.” Away from the “greatness” he brought. After being kicked off that some people briefly commented on his bizarre antics and how uncomfortable they were around him. The gay thing is a red herring, nobody in shock jock radio wouldn’t hire you cause you were gay, and nobody at the station cared about his sexuality. He wasn’t gay; he just wore a dress to freak people out.

comment from above continued:

After leaving the message “thanks for the free publicity” he got an article in The Reader about the “conspiracy” of his firing, then used the “damaging” publicity he had created to get a show at a real station. No damage from his BS here. Then that show failed (is there another bizarre tale there, I don’t know). Then he, after having publicly insulted everyone during his time at our station (in person, on his show, and in the press) cries like a baby and sues cause he’s been “defamed.” Apparently gets stupid nuisance settlement. Then gets another article in The Reader, slanted because nobody wants to respond to it out of fear of having a stupid lawsuit filed against them as well, or the personal harassment this person is well known for (his own Myspace page brags about how people “fear” him). The only good part of the story, for those who believe in “what goes around comes around”, is that this sad little person’s act of vengeance has just publicly branded himself as a “nuisance lawsuit filer”. If he knew anything about the real world he would understand that filing the lawsuit and spreading publicity about his nuisance “win”, he has accomplished what private messages on a discussion board never would have: he has destroyed his own future chances in radio. Nobody will hire someone who will sue them if fired – any employer reading this article will recognize a crazed problem employee on sight. People commented that he was a lawsuit waiting to happen, but we thought an employee or someone would sue the station for his harassment of them, not him sue the station. Whoever “fired” him from his non-paying “job” did the right thing even with the settlement: KCR got off cheap with the settlement, he could have caused much more damage. Good luck to all past, present, and future employers. He will have his “revenge”.

comment continued:

Fortunately he’ll never have his dream of a forum to publicly insult everyone around him to feed his tiny ego (and then throw tantrums and threaten to sue anyone who defends themselves by commenting on his childish behavior). Thanks to The Reader and the author of this article: you’ve given him the rope to hang himself. When he realizes what he has done watch out: who will he insult then sue next?

Also who is looking into whether or not a non disclosure agreement was broken about the details, etc concerning this case?

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