Opinion: La Comay is Out, but What About Freedom of Expression?

Under pressure from a growing boycott, Kobbo Santarrosa (right) has resigned from the highly-rated show SuperXclusivo in Puerto Rico, hosted by him and his creation, the gossipy puppet La Comay (left). (Photo from La Comay’s My Space site)

For a while rumors that Antulio “Kobbo” Santarrosa, the creator and voice of the controversial gossiping puppet La Comay in Puerto Rico’s WAPA-TV, was leaving the station occupied as much space in the Latino media as whether Hugo Chavez was dead or alive.

It has now been confirmed that Santarrosa has resigned and there’s fresh rumors about La Comay moving to U.S.-based MEGA-TV. Leaders of the successful boycott that saw dozens of sponsors drop out of La Comay’s SuperXclusivo TV program, have vowed to continue its pursue wherever she goes.

The type of humor represented by La Comay and those mental adolescents of Spanish-language radio morning shows are repugnant to me, and worse yet, they don’t make me laugh. But since I have the freedom to move my radio dial, I never listen to them.

DoloresPrida@aol.com

That is the only type of censorship I can tolerate.

As a writer, freedom of expression is the most treasured of all the liberties we enjoy in this country. The right of any citizen to express an opinion, no matter how hateful, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. It’s the holiest of all constitutional holy cows. Mooo!

Coupled with the right to express ideas, opinions, lies, gossip and bad jokes, is the right —and sometimes, the duty— to not listen/read them.

Radio and television are businesses controlled by private corporations whose main objective is to make money at any cost. The price of advertising depends on the ratings of each program, therefore raising ratings is the equivalent of increasing profits.

As long as radio listeners and TV viewers watch and listen and support sleazy, vulgar and lie-peddling shows, programs such as that of La Comay and TV networks such as Fox News and the hundreds of radio talk shows that flood the airwaves with hateful and manipulative speech 24 hours a day will exist.

I have never felt comfortable with protests intent on removing commentators from the air for expressing opinions that this or that group finds offensive. I have always believed in the dictum “I may not agree with what you say, but would die defending your right to say it.”

Well… “dying” is an exaggeration. I assure you I have no intention whatsoever to shed a drop of blood for La Comay nor Glenn Beck nor Sean Hannity. It’s the principle what counts.

If we join in efforts to silence those whose words offend us, on what moral ground can we complain when someone tries to silence our opinion because they disagree with it?

Living in a democracy is not easy. It requires constant participation. It is a give and take, being aware that your rights end where mine begin. To find and keep the balance on that thin line, that tightrope of interaction with fellow citizens, whether in such simple situations as to not litter the neighbor’s sidewalk or play the music too loud, to voting in every election, is the essence of civic duty and conscientious citizenship.

Now’s your turn. Express yourself. Mooo.

7 Comments

  1. First, I fully agree that we shall defend our freedom of expresion. But this is not just a case of freedom of expresion, this became a business issue as well. Unfortunately it was very badly handled by WAPA TV management. Kobo Santarosa did the right thing in resigning. Doing otherwise would have constituted an offense to the free speech rights. On the other hand WAPA had a business P&L serious issue due to the loss of all the advertising companies. It would have. Been tough to save the program anyways.

  2. Minerva Diana says:

    I agree that freedom of speech is to be defend, If we going to stop a person from said their opinion there be a silent world and it would be very sad world, Is just and opinion people dont act base in and opinion specialy becouse we love people. Please learn to respet people opinion even if you dont agree with it.

  3. She said notthing wrong. Plus the news paper had said it first, It’s true what she said about that man that was killed. If he had a nice dicent wife in his house why was he in an area of prostitues and Gay that’s all he said. now they have crime and killing movies at that time. movies showing kids how to rob a bank and they think that is Educational. If it wasn’t for the comay halve of the white collar crime would go un noticed.

  4. As a country living under and in accord with the American Constitution, every citizen is protected and given the right to speak freely. Mr. Santarrosa simply expressed something already published by other means and his attackers used his comments to move their agenda to remove him from WAPA and end his program “La Comay”. His opinions and commentaries were like a rainbow; some colorful, some true and though somewhat controversial others needed to be told to wake up people’s conscience. To those who did not agree with his views, just simply had to turn off the TV or switch to another channel.

  5. gloria goenaga says:

    The media already had the public scared silly about effectuating ATM transactions due to this horrendous crime. No one, including La Comay, in any way defends what was done to this unfortunate publicist. But, La Comay helped to put the situation in its proper perspective —maybe just maybe not everybody in Puerto Rico is at equal risk to meet such a terrible fate by simply going out to an ATM. In what way is WAPA Programming any better without the Super Excluvo spot? It has replaced Super Exclusivo with a bunch of Super Violent Super Mindless trash. Now, the ironic question remains will the publicist’s murderers meet their just fate and punishment, without Super Exclusivo.s relentless spotlight focussed upon the case? Time will tell…. Gloria

  6. Puerto Rico is a country that supposely has FREEDOM OF SPEECH. But it is not true. Puerto Rico is becoming another Venezuela o Cuba where people can not express what they think. Where is the Democracy that you people are always talking about? I believe that the “Comay” was the only program that spoke about many things that other program did not want to talk about because they were and are a bounch of cower.

    No tienen los pantalones bien puesto. The Comay was the only program that brought dark criminal cases to the public eyes and to the light. What is going to happen now with the case of El Nino Lorenzo? These are a bunch of gays that are paranoid and do not have an identity. If they really know who they are, they do not have to be afraid of the “Comay.” When you are sure of youself, you do not worry about what anyone says. I think that this people did not and do not care about the man. They just want to find something to take the Comay out of sight. The Comay has helped lots of people. This was a gossip show. So, what you were worry about? Today you do not want the Comay to express her opinion whether this is bad or good, and tomorrow someone is going to stop you to express yours.

    La Comay es lo mejor que le ha pasado a Puerto Rico. A sacado mucha injusticia a la luz. Ahora, el pueblo esta a la merced de todos esos bandidos mentirosos y cobarde como “Ana Cacho” y este caso del muchacho que murio en ese sitio de protistuta tampoco se vas a descubrir. And anyway, what he was doing in a place like that if he was such a gentleman. If you look for trouble you are going to find trouble. I feel sorry for him and his family but he was not supposed to be there and the “Comay,” was not the only one that said that. So, Why you people are not attacking the other news.
    If you do not like the Comay, so do not listen to her and turn your tv to another channel. You are a bunch of ignorant. You think that you are the only one that have right in this planet. The Comay will come back stronger than ever.

  7. edda c. roman says:

    I think politics had to do with it. We have the right to freedom of speech. He is one of the most brilliant men that Puerto Rico has produced. He discovered people who were misbehaving and those kind of people are vengeful but truth wins. They made him resign but now his reporters don’t care of their own comments and findings and have a program “Lo se todo” which is going to be even more indiscreet. There’s a phrase that says: From Guatemala to Guate peor”. It is going to be more interesting because nobody will dare stop them. They don’t care and they will keep going if some people don’t like it. I wish them luck an I hope My island changes for the better. Bad cannot win the goodness of our people. GOD bless them! Edda from New Jersey but pure Puertorican.

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