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Christmas classic faces controversy

Radio stations across the country are questioning whether a traditional Christmas song should stay on the airwaves.

Posted: Dec 6, 2018 8:04 PM
Updated: Dec 7, 2018 10:44 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) Baby Its Cold Outside, originally written by Frank Loesser in 1944, has been a holiday staple ever since. This year, however, some radio stations have decided to pull the holiday tune.

"We’re playing it," Gregg Lynn, Program director at KJO 105.5, said. "We’re playing a couple different versions of it actually,"

Lynn said he left it up to the listeners to decide if the song would continue to play on the station.

"We put a poll up on Facebook," Lynn said. "We asked the listeners if they find it offensive and 87% of them said no." 

Listeners in Cleveland, Ohio felt differently, WDOK 102.1 pulled the song after complaints from outside and inside the station that it no longer sends the right message, listeners in Cleveland referenced societal climate changes such as the Me Too movement.

Local listeners have a different take on the subject.

"I feel like it's not inappropriate," Raychel Baker, listener, said. "It's just flirty."

"It's a nice song," Kat Bosch, listener, said. "I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it."

They said this is the time of year to come together, and not focus on what divides people.

"They're just being too negative on everything," Jerry Bosch, listener, said. "Just leave it alone and enjoy the holidays,"

Lynn said before deciding which way to feel about the song, listeners should take all of the circumstances surrounding it into consideration.

"[Listeners] have to look at it in the context of when it was written in 1944," Lynn said. "Feminism was just getting a leg to stand on."

Lynn adds that those who still don't like the song will just have to turn the dial when it comes on, because in St. Joseph at least, listeners said traditional Christmas music is not up for debate.

"It's one of the only things left that are merry and bright," Baker said. "Everyone can agree that we love Christmas season.

Radio stations in Denver and San Francisco initially pulled the song from their Christmas music playlists. However, after a public outcry, they are conducting polls to determine if their station should bring back the song.

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