Cape Times seeks an apology from shock jock Phat Joe

2011-11-11 08:45

The Cape Times has asked for an apology from Heart104.9FM after shock jock Phat Joe called a Cape Times reporter “a cockroach” live on air yesterday.

Phat Joe, whose real name is Majota Kambule, made the remark after the newspaper published a front-page story about the competition for the New Seven Wonders of Nature in which Table Mountain is one of 28 finalists.

In the article headlined “Mountain vote a cash cow”, journalist Zara Nicholson reported that the Swiss-based company behind the competition stood to make millions of dollars from the global voting campaign.

Phat Joe called Nicholson on her cellphone, with no forewarning she would be live on air, just before 8am, the newspaper said.

While dialling Nicholson’s number he said: “When there is a cockroach in your midst, you can just spray them with Doom or you call the cockroach, you call the roach to order, so we’re calling the roach right now.”

Phat Joe was apparently not happy about the story’s “negative” headline.

However, during the interview, Phat Joe congratulated Nicholson on the article, saying that people had the right to be informed.

Cape Times executive editor Alide Dasnois said that although shock jocks had plenty of licence, Phat Joe’s “cockroach” comments were unacceptable.

“We published the article, which was very carefully researched, so as to inform readers about the money being made from this competition.

“Phat Joe is welcome to argue with us about it, but to insult our reporter in that way is unacceptable.

“If he wanted to blame someone for the publication of the article, he should have approached me,” said Dasnois.

Heart 104.9FM programme director Vernon Adams told the Cape Times: “The intention was to probe the headline that created a negative reaction from everyone.

“(Phat Joe) is known for being that type of person. He’ll tease. It’s a different style of live media,” Adams said.

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