A couple of months ago, a DJ at a rap station in New York City got arrested and fired from his job when, on air, he made threatening statements against the wife and child of a DJ at another radio station. Basically, he said he was going to kill this man’s wife and rape his 4 year old child, and put out a request that someone call him and tell him where the child went to school.

It caused a major outrage, as it should have, and for about a week it was a pretty heavy story, then it died out, as most news does. Today, it’s being reported that the judge in the case agreed to dismiss criminal charges against the DJ if he stays out of further trouble for six months. His reasoning was that it was best to spare the child of any further attention.

Instead of coming out contrite and apologetic, the DJ, named Troi Torain, known as DJ Star, stated that the outcome was a victory for freedom of speech. “I never should have been arrested in the first place,” he said in a telephone interview. “This was not a crime.”

Sometimes, lessons just aren’t learned without strong consequences for negative actions. Though what this guy did was public, he ended up not realizing that what he did was wrong, no matter whether there’s this thing we call the first amendment or not. His job is gone; his reputation is trashed, but, if he’s any good, he’ll end up getting another job, probably in the same market because, after all, New York City is still New York City.

But not everyone gets a second chance, especially when their behavior is so blatantly bad. People get fired all the time for bad behavior. Businesses lose customers all the time because the behavior of someone who works for them, possibly the owners themselves, has done something to irritate the customer. And those people, often enough, decide it’s everyone else’s problem, everyone else’s fault, and don’t see anything wrong in their behavior at all.

In essence, radio DJ’s and television personalities are leaders by default. We hear them and see them, and they become the face of whatever show or channel it is we happen to be partaking of. There’s enough people who listen to what they say and decide to follow it; therefore, they have a great responsibility and need to be more discreet in their actions. This isn’t a free speech thing; it’s a do right and be responsible thing. If you’re going to do the wrong thing, you need to recognize the bad consequences of your actions, and own up to them.

Unfortunately, this guy totally missed the point, and it looks like he’s going to get away with it.