February 26th, 2004


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12:01 am - on movies I'm going to have to see and things that I hoped I never would...

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on movies I'm going to have to see and things that I hoped I never would... - graffiti.maverick

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Comments:


[User Picture]From: katieboyd Date: February 25th, 2004 - 10:07 pm (Link)
Could you do me a favor and link a story about these FCC mandates? I'm under a rock when it comes to news, and am curious about this story.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 26th, 2004 - 04:52 am (Link)
I'm not sure what you're looking for?

Re: FCC decency rules: there are tons of stories about it right now. here is one. But there are no specific rules. That's kind of the problem. The FCC can simply decide what it wants to fine the stations for. So you don't know the rule until it happens. Granted you can kind of guess in some cases. You know that saying the word "shit" or "fuck" will give you a fine, but, at least until recently, "nigger" and "faggot" were okay. It gets even weirder though, as context matters. "Pussy" is okay, except in reference to a woman's genitalia. The same thing applies to the word "cock" and even "dick" for a males genitalia. Its all very confusing. But basically its undefined. You aren't allowed to be offensive. Although the words nigger and faggot have been deregulated for years, going on the air and saying "all persons of african american ancestry and all persons who engage in homosexual erotic activity are mellonheads" can in fact earn you a fine. Its completely arbitray. Basically, if the PTC hears something it doesn't like, it complains to the FCC and they fine the radio station. Yes, it really is one group. A watchdog group with only 885,000 members. Last week, they heard something they didn't Bubba the Love Sponge they didn't like and complained to the PTC. Clear Channel was issued a $755,000 fine for a single infraction (the largest in broadcast history) and Bubba was fired.

Re: Stern in specific: Stern has been very vocal complaining about the current state of regulations, as late as yesterday morning. He has called it censorship and complained that he was sick of being held hostage to undefined rules. And said just tell me what I have to do to get pulled off the air and I will do it. Then he complained about corruption in the FCC. Officially however, he has been pulled off for discussing the Paris Hilton sex tape with Rick Solomon a couple days ago. The AFA says they are lodging complaints directly at Viacom (who owns the show) until Howard is fired. They claim that discussing the sex tape is offensive to women and african americans (never mind the fact that its been all over the news for the last 6 months). I actually heard the interview, and I guess it could be offensive to women, because it was basically an interview with a guy who likes to sleep with women and film them. I mean, he doesn't do it secretly, the women are aware of it, so I don't really think its offensive. But I guess, if promiscuity is offensive, well whatever. Where they got the offensive to blacks from, I have no idea. (For the record the AFA is a PTC like group... the one who lodged complaints at Disney for the movie Lilo & Stitch "pushing its homosexual agenda on our children"). Clear Channel has taken immediate action and pulled Stern from the air on all of its affiliates nationwide.

Does everyone now understand why I hate the PTC, AFA and Lieberman for backing such groups? *sigh*
[User Picture]From: inmostlight Date: February 26th, 2004 - 06:18 am (Link)
I hate all these groups getting uppity, when it's not like anyone is being FORCED to listen to Howard Stern. One of the great things about free will is that we can make that choice. If it offends you, just DON'T LISTEN TO IT. And I think it's pretty safe to say that if anyone turns on the Howard Stern show, they should know to expect random sex talk or whatever. And if not, they shouldn't be allowed to handle any devices more complex than a crayon.
And of course thanks to other brilliant FCC and congressional decisions, I now can't listen to Stern over internet radio either. Choices are being taken away from me by people incapable of controlling their own lives. Fuckers.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 26th, 2004 - 09:56 am (Link)
yep... pretty much... that's why I've complained about the PTC and such organizations at pretty much any opportunity I've had for like 15 years now.

There's all kinds of garbage I don't like on television and the radio. I solve this problem by turning the fucking channel.
[User Picture]From: danitapgh Date: February 26th, 2004 - 09:50 am (Link)
I would argue that the FCC has more power than it should with less public transparency than it should have. None of the commisioners of the FCC are elected by the public. They are all political appointees. The split of the FCC must be 3 members of one party and 2 members of another. However, what are the other 2 democrat members going to do if the other 3 are republicans? Plus, under this administration many FCC hearings have been private - without congress even getting a chance to hear what is going on. Granted, the FCC has a lot of things it is responsible for - many of the things are highly technical. However, things which affect First Amendment rights should perhaps be broken out of the FCC and placed under a more public body.

Generally, communities are allowed to say what is and isn't indecent in their community. The FCC is taking away the community and state's rights to decide this issue for themselves. Shouldn't the people of New York get to choose whether or not to listen to Howard Stern? Shouldn't the people of Alabama be allowed to decide this issue for themselves? Granted, this is all rolled into the Clear-channel near monopoly problem. However, the FCC should have mechanisms for allowing communities to decide what is and isn't indecent - instead of having one gigantic list for the whole country.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 26th, 2004 - 10:11 am (Link)
addressing several points

make-up of the FCC: its not even fair to say that the parties matter. Its not clear that the democrats are out to help the cause of free speech. For instance, Lieberman (and to a lesser extent Gore) has always been very active in the PTC. That's actually my main reason for not liking him. As you said, if closed hearings are allowed then we have no idea of what is going on. Furthermore, the public has no power to control its own destiny with regard to the airwaves at all.

powers of the FCC: again I agree. The FCC is charged with regulation of the airwaves. In my opinion, the process needs to be revisited to see if its still working since the system is based on a world where the airwaves consisted of a handful of radio stations and now they are mandating TV and Satellite. But the FCC needs to exist. Someone needs to decide who gets what bandwith. When can we stop broadcasting non HDTV-signals? What kinds of licenses do you need in order to use bandwith, etc. But issues of content should be entirely left up to the consumer. If this were print, there wouldn't be any argument. The Supreme Court found that Larry Flint has the right to publish whatever the fuck he wants. If you don't like it, then you don't buy his magazine. Society will self-regulate. If we allow nudity on television for instance, will all shows have Janet Jackson exposing herself? No, they won't. Just like all magazines don't contain Hustler type material. If we leave Howard Stern alone, then his fans will listen to him, and the rest of the world will listen to something else. If we're worried about the children, then we can mandate V-chips be installed in all new radios (like they are in TVs), I have no problem whatsoever with the FCC doing that, and I think it was a good idea when they did it for TV.

Stern's audience: Technically he is still on in NYC. Infinity (a division of Viacomm) owns that station. But the question is for how long. No, actually I don't think the people of NYC and Alabama should be able to control what a station broadcasts... at least not legally. They have the power to turn the channel, or put in a CD, or turn it off altogether. They have a consumer vote. Clear Channel pays money to operate radio stations. So they should be able to simply decide that all 1200 of their stations are all Mormon bible study all the time, if they want to. Of course they'll go out of business really quick. I do have a problem with them being able to own so many of the radio stations (something that the FCC is SUPPOSED to keep from happening, btw). But, that's a completely separate issue.
 

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