Thursday, February 07, 2013


In 2004 WXZZ's Morning Crew including Twitch, Mary Jane and Kyle Kincaid played a little prank on Lexington Kentucky. It seemed on the face of it a small prank... but there is a place and time for everything. Smoking is at sort of a cultural nadir in the U.S. But in some southern enclaves tobacco is still a cash crop and restrictions on it's use are about as popular as speed traps.

Twitch and crew announced on air that the Lexington Urban County Council had passed an ordinance banning residents from smoking cigarettes in their vehicles. Other cities had considered similar legislation, including conservative strongholds like salt Lake City. Lexington had also just begun enforcing its controversial indoor smoking ban the previous April. So the claim was more credible than you might think. The result was that people went ape.  The Urban County Council, the police and even 911 was deluged with calls from irate smokers. More here.

The three disc jockeys were suspended.  The city of Lexington threatened to file a complaint with the FCC. That may sound like an over reaction but FCC rules do prohibit hoaxes that can cause "public harm."  their threat was not without merit. In the end, Cumulus had to make a formal apology to the Urban County Council and made some civic donations to cool things out.