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Old 03-17-2004, 10:02 AM   #1
lumberjim
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'F' the FCC

Howard Stern. the FCC. Clearchannel. Censorship. The media Spin. The upcoming Election.

your thoughts?
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:07 AM   #2
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You do not have the right not to be offended. You have the ability.
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:50 AM   #3
ladysycamore
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Howard Stern...I can take him or leave him, quite honestly. I used to listen to him a bit during the 80s, but after a while, it all started to sound like the same old bit (talk about sex, be as gross as you can be, and so on). All that farting noise, etc....ugh. If I find myself listening to him now, and he starts up his old schtick of talking about sex and making rude noises, I just turn it off. To me, he's not all that "shocking" anymore. *shrugs*
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:54 AM   #4
lumberjim
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Quote:
You do not have the right not to be offended. You have the ability.


i agree, but from the things I've heard recently about the censorhsip of music videos, radio and tv programming, books in schools, and the way some of the media is reporting on all of this, as though 'all' americans are fed up with risque content in their entertainment, is mind blowing.

Howard stern played an interview by matt lauer this morning, and it came from the direction that people want uplifting content in their entertainment, and not sex, foul language, or violence. The interview quoted a mike medved??, and he stated the above position as though it were a fact. It makes me ill, i tell you. I know that people wouldnt tune in to these programs if what he says is true. The ratings belie the "trend" he identifies. The thing is that joe schmo might take this as the truth because of the way the information is presented.

I hear " studies say that X may be good for your Y" on the news all the time. what they do not tell you is who the fuck did the study, how long of a study it was, or who PAID for the study to be done. Then they slip that "may" in there to absolve themselves of any future guilt for missinforming the public. It's worse than car adverts.

THIS is the kind of thing I need the FCC to protect me from, not Howard fucking Stern saying "asshole" on the radio. I'm smart enough to change the radio station if I'm offended. BUT, I have no way of knowing whether the "study" that a news story is released about is legit, or unbaised. Our news media too often takes press releases and, in order to be the "first" to break the story, releases the information contained therein, largely unchecked, for our consumption. They don;t seem to care what company owns the company that paid for the study and made the press release.

I'd wait 3 or 4 days for news that i thought was carefully checked for accuracy, was unbaised and carefully presented in a fact only format. I don;t give a shit what Mike Medved thinks. or Matt Lauer. fuck em!

give me the fact, sans spin.

and don't touch my feet!
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:18 AM   #5
Beestie
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I'll tell you what I don't understand. How come radio and TV are "protected" formats while you can print (and post on the internet) any content you like with some obvious limitations.

Stern wasn't censored - Clear Channel just dropped his show. Stern's loving the publicity so don't feel sorry for him. Much fuss over nothing. 6 months from now, it will have blown over.

If I want "Stern-like" content, its freely available in other forms (including TV (HBO for example) and no one is even thinking about changing that.

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Old 03-17-2004, 11:29 AM   #6
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You know... I don't believe by any means that it's the FCC's job to decide what I watch. As is the warcry of many enraged by this, if you don't like it, change the damn channel. But for an alternate perspective on the matter:

There's a radio morning show in my city that makes it worth driving a longer commute to work. These guys just make my morning, every day. I often sit in my car in the parking garage as long as I can before I have to go inside to work. They're borderline "shock jocks," I suppose, but for the most part it's just incredibly clever humor; the three men play off each other very quickly. Most days they have a comedian in the studio as a guest, someone performing in town that night.

Every 2-3 weeks or so, they'd have local strippers as guests instead, or a woman peddling 800 different kinds of dildos, or something. Since the crackdown, those guests are no more, among other cutbacks (and the DJs are very vocal and angry about it.)

But you know what? The show is still freakin' hilarious. They talk in code to a certain degree--there's a annual "holiday" they made up called "Steak and BJ Night," their version of Valentine's Day for men, that they now have to call "Steak and KLBJ (the station's call letters) Night"--and in my opinion nothing has been lost from the quality of the show.

And here's the key... now I can listen to it with the kids in the car. They have no idea that "Steak and KLBJ" means anything, but there was no way I could have listened to it with them before. That's an extra 20 minutes at least every morning that I get to listen to the show. So in this small instance, I appreciate the fact that the show has cleaned up ever-so-slightly. I don't think they should have been forced to do it, but I have to admit I appreciate it.
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:29 AM   #7
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Medved is a Christianity-based moralizer of the highest order, and thus not even remotely an unbiased source of commentary. The problem is that not many in the media are standing up and facing off against the moralists lately, getting in the faces of the Dennis Pragers and the Bill O'Reillys and the Donald Wildmons and telling them that their base rationale ("because it's wrong for ME, it's wrong for EVERYONE") has more gaping holes than a colander.

Stern's been doing the same schtick for decades. The timing of his latest uproar is entertaining -- he sounds off against Bush, and almost instantly he's dropped by Clear Channel and under FCC investigation for "indecency." Clear Channel's decision is their own lookout, sleazy as it was, but are we to believe that the FCC felt that Stern's anal-sex-and-N-words rhetoric was acceptable for the last decade and only NOW, in the wake of Janet Jackson's breast (dirty, FILTHY breast!) is it worthy of reinvestigation?

What conservative Christian groups know is that few (if any) politicians will take a vigorous stand on the side of free speech. Imagine Arlen Specter standing up and saying "Yes, I believe that Americans SHOULD be able to use certain words or talk about Paris Hilton's anal virginity on public radio, and those offended should change the station." BANG -- every religious conservative group in America is now sending money to his primary opponent, every right-wing talk show host is ranting about his anti-American and pro-obscenity stance, and the outcry makes the moralists scream even louder that "SEE? America DOESN'T want filth on the radio or TV."

No, asshole, SOME Americans don't want what THEY consider to be "filth" on the radio or TV. But nobody of importance drills that point home!

This doesn't mean that the religious conservatives always win -- far from it. But in the current climate, in an election year, with a religious conservative in the White House, with the gay marriage (another "Our God says it's wrong, so the law should ban it for everyone" bell-ringer) issue stirring up the religious right, with the Dirty, Filthy Jackson Titty still fresh in America's minds, they have momentum and will press it for all they're worth.

And for partisanship's sake, this is not a Democratic/Republican divide. Four years ago, the Democrats ran Al Gore (whose wife Tipper was the primary mover behind the Christian-themed "clean up the airwaves to SAVE THE CHILDREN" PMRC crusade), coupled with Joe Lieberman, who picked up the Gores' sanitize-America-to-a-church-going-six-year-old's-level banner and waved it even harder. THAT veep choice cost them my vote.

Last edited by vsp; 03-17-2004 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:33 AM   #8
lumberjim
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Quote:
Originally posted by Beestie

Stern wasn't censored - Clear Channel just dropped his show. Stern's loving the publicity so don't feel sorry for him. Much fuss over nothing. 6 months from now, it will have blown over.

actually, his own station and their afiliates censor him regularly by hitting the "dump" button. And I wouldn;t be so sure about this "blowing over" either. It might, but, then again, it might be the beginning of the end of free speech as we know it. If they can trim a video because a 10 yr old says "wine", and they can take "where the wild things are " off of school bookshelves, what's next? It is the squeaky wheel syndrome. The righteous religious wackadoos get together, sign petitions, and the FCC HAS to do something about it. There is no orginization set up to defend censored or pressured entertainers and artists. And, they're not offended by the 'lack' of "immoral" content, so they are not heard from. Freedom of speech should be absolute. I know many of you will want to reply that it is illegal to yell "FIRE!" in a movie theatre, and you're right. That's differnet. That's inciting a riot, or reckless endangerment.

My point of view is that there should be ZERO censorship. If people want to avoid watching things on TV and hearing things on the radio that are offensive to them, they are welcome to tune into a station that caters to this imaginary ground swell of people that are sick and tired of all of the foul language and sex. If there is as high a demand for this squeaky clean entertainment as Mike Medved says, then I'm sure it will be marketable, and they'll have no problem selling their product by espousing those beliefs and assuring their viewers of clean content. the FCC needs to back the fuck up, and worry about potentially dangerous misleading medical reports, and fake studies.
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by lumberjim
THIS is the kind of thing I need the FCC to protect me from, not Howard fucking Stern saying "asshole" on the radio.
It's allll about protecting the children. (It used to be the women and the children, but now it's mostly the children.) "Surely, Senator, you wouldn't vote for legislation that would allow Howard Stern to interview known rap singers about clitoris piercing and vibrators while first graders are listening?" "Well, I, uhh...."

Beestie, the theory is that the frequencies devoted to public broadcasts are owned by the people of the USA, and are apportioned out to licensees (i.e. TV and radio stations) by the government. Since these natural resources (the broadcast spectrum) are a public resource, the government has an interest in making sure that these licensees a) behave themselves and b) serve the public interest. (b) was always a lip services kind of thing, but I don't know if they even give it lip service any more.) Cable TV is different because it does not make exclusive use of a natural resource, and also because people make a decision to pay to receive it, whereas the radio & TV over the air are just polluting your house whether you like it or not. Ditto for print... it's not a limited resource, and you have to buy it. Or at least pick it up.
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:40 AM   #10
vsp
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Quote:
Originally posted by lumberjim
My point of view is that there should be ZERO censorship. If people want to avoid watching things on TV and hearing things on the radio that are offensive to them, they are welcome to tune into a station that caters to this imaginary ground swell of people that are sick and tired of all of the foul language and sex. If there is as high a demand for this squeaky clean entertainment as Mike Medved says, then I'm sure it will be marketable, and they'll have no problem selling their product by espousing those beliefs and assuring their viewers of clean content.
And it's ALREADY OUT THERE. On radio, you have 95% of the AM dial. I can hit half-a-dozen gospel-music stations, some easy-listening stations, some country stations and a horde of right-leaning talk stations on my way to work without even trying hard. On TV, there are lots of stations with no even potentially-objectionable programs, and networks like PAX that specifically cater to an all-Laura-Ingalls-all-the-time audience.

But it's like the gay marriage thing. No one is forcing crusaders (OR their kids) to buy a Ludacris album, listen to Stern or marry someone of the same sex... but knowing that somewhere out there, someone ELSE might be doing exactly that keeps them awake at night. To them, keeping the content that they disapprove of out of their line-of-sight isn't good enough; they refute its right to exist in the first place, because "everybody knows" that it's inherently harmful and wrong.

To which I say "fuck you AND the god you rode in on."

Whether or not Stern gets the boot, I'll be watching this summer to see if Infinity's previous pissing-off-the-religious-right poster children (Opie & Anthony) confirm the rumors and jump to Sirius satellite radio. They're currently waiting for their contracts to expire. Once that's confirmed, I'll buy a Sirius tuner strictly on principle. If Stern follows suit and also makes the jump, that's a helluva morning/drive-time combo for Sirius, and it'll be very interesting to see just how many listeners buy into it. His audience will decrease (after all, not everyone can afford new audio equipment in three figures), but by how much?

Last edited by vsp; 03-17-2004 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 03-17-2004, 12:04 PM   #11
Undertoad
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Quote:
Originally posted by vsp
Medved is a Christianity-based moralizer of the highest order, and thus not even remotely an unbiased source of commentary.
This is true except for that Medved is Jewish.
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Old 03-17-2004, 12:23 PM   #12
vsp
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Originally posted by Undertoad
This is true except for that Medved is Jewish.
True, that. So is Joe Lieberman. Yet both regularly spew out "save the children" and "don't separate church and state" blather that wouldn't sound out of place coming from Jerry Falwell. Replace "Christianity-based" with "Gimme-That-Old-Time-Religion-based" above.

Whether it's the Old Testament or the New Testament, I'd like to keep it out of our laws and our regulatory bodies.
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Old 03-17-2004, 12:27 PM   #13
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That Really Old Time Religion would have saved us a lot of time and effort and made us a whole lot of points with our deities.
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