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MacNut
Apr 9, 2004, 03:08 AM
Clear Channel Dumps Howard Stern After Proposed Fine
Federal Regulators Seek $495,000 Penalty for On-Air Indecency
By JONATHAN D. SALANT, AP


WASHINGTON (April 8) - The nation's largest radio chain dropped the country's best-known shock jock Thursday after federal regulators proposed fining it $495,000 for sexually explicit material on the Howard Stern show.
Reuters file

As part of its stepped-up enforcement of indecency regulations, a unanimous Federal Communications Commission fined Clear Channel Communications the maximum $27,500 for each of 18 alleged violations. Regulators departed from their norm by citing Clear Channel for multiple violations in a single broadcast rather than simply issuing a single fine for an entire show.

John Hogan, president of Clear Channel Radio, said the government's crackdown on indecency has gotten his company's attention.

''Mr. Stern's show has created a great liability for us and other broadcasters who air it,'' said Hogan, who suspended Stern in February from the six Clear Channel stations that carried him. ''The Congress and the FCC are even beginning to look at revoking station licenses. That's a risk we're just not willing to take.''

Clear Channel has 30 days to contest the fine. The company last month agreed to pay a record $755,000 indecency fine for broadcasts by the disc jockey known as ''Bubba the Love Sponge,'' who was fired.

In a statement posted on his Web site, Stern characterized the fine as furtherance of a ''witch hunt'' against him by the Bush administration, which he says is punishing him for his criticism of the president.
Talk About It

''It is pretty shocking that governmental interference into our rights and free speech takes place in the U.S.,'' he said. ''It's hard to reconcile this with the 'land of the free' and the 'home of the brave.'''

Stern's nationally syndicated show features graphic sexual discussion and humor. It appears on more than 30 stations - most of them owned by Viacom Inc.'s Infinity Broadcasting unit - and draws millions of die-hard listeners.

Infinity spokesman Dana McClintock said the company has no plans to take any action against Stern.

Last month, the FCC proposed fining Infinity $27,500 for a Stern show broadcast July 26, 2001, on WKRK-FM in Detroit. Infinity paid $1.7 million in 1995 to settle various violations by Stern.

The Center for Public Integrity, a watchdog group, said fines against Stern accounted for almost half of the $4 million in penalties proposed by the FCC since 1990.
"You've got to vote Bush out to send a message as a Howard Stern fan. There's a cultural war going on. The religious right is winning. We're losing."
-Howard Stern

Critics who bemoan a growing coarseness of the public airwaves say the FCC and Congress need to dramatically increase fines and enforcement to ensure major broadcasting companies don't see occasional fines as simply a cost of doing business.

The House has voted to raise the maximum fine to $500,000 and to require the FCC to consider revoking a broadcast license after three indecency violations. Similar legislation is pending in the Senate.

''A $27,500 fine to a company that does $27 billion worth of business is less than a mosquito on a windshield,'' said L. Brent Bozell III, president of the Parents Television Council, a conservative advocacy group. ''It is just so insignificant as to be laughable.''

Federal law bars radio stations and over-the-air television channels from airing references to sexual and excretory functions between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., when children may be tuning in. The rules do not apply to cable and satellite channels or satellite radio.

A listener complained about Stern's April 9, 2003, show on a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., station. The show contained discussions about sex accompanied by flatulence sounds. The FCC action came at the end of the one-year deadline for it to act.

Previously, when the commission has fined broadcasters it has been for the contents of an entire show. And it normally only levied the penalty against stations mentioned in a complaint.

In this case, though the complaint only involved the Fort Lauderdale station, the commission determined there were three indecency violations during the program and fined Clear Channel for all six of its stations that aired the show for a total of 18 citations.

''Today's decision is a step forward toward imposing meaningful fines,'' Commissioner Michael Copps said.

Though the commission received no complaints from listeners to Infinity stations, it is looking into fining that company, too.

AP-NY-04-08-04 2342EDT

rainman::|:|
Apr 9, 2004, 04:07 AM
well, stern predicted that he'd be killed off when the FCC leveled a huge fine on him, and so far it's panning out. I support him and his libertarian views, and hope this doesn't end up ending his career. Personally I find the show to be boring and coarse, so I don't listen to it. But there's absolutely no reason the government should be telling me that i can't.

paul

IndyGopher
Apr 9, 2004, 05:04 AM
well, stern predicted that he'd be killed off when the FCC leveled a huge fine on him, and so far it's panning out. I support him and his libertarian views, and hope this doesn't end up ending his career. Personally I find the show to be boring and coarse, so I don't listen to it. But there's absolutely no reason the government should be telling me that i can't.

paul
The government is not telling you that you can't listen, they are telling radio stations that they can't air it between 6am and 10pm. If Stern's following is as big as he claims it is, and I suspect it probably is, then he could move to an XM station and be done with it.
Howard Stern has toyed with the FCC his entire career. It is, in fact, pretty much his career. He gets offensive, they get incensed, he gets publicity, and it snowballs again. I don't think he's a stupid man, he knows what he is doing, and that in the past it has worked. As the article states, the old maximum for fines was a joke. Each round of national, mainstream coverage of one of his suspensions/fines would bring in more than enough fresh money and fresh ears to make it worth it. Now it won't, and as a business decision, he's being dropped by companies that will have to pay these new fines.

That said, I think the FCC is unreasonable in the way it hands out these fines. Apparently it doesn't give any real guidelines to broadcasters, it makes some vague suggestions and then waits for someone to complain. In effect, this is telling people to use their judgement as to what is offensive, and not air that. Then it tells people they were wrong about what was offensive and fines them. To me, the easy test is would you be comfortable with your 10 year old child tuning into a program on their way to school. If you are, then would you be comfortable with your 90 year old grandmother tuning into the same program on her way to Bingo. I like to think that most people have a good enough grasp on what is objectionable for those two guidelines to work fairly well. Now, if grandma wants to listen to gangster rap, or Howard Stern, or tape recordings of phone sex, that is fine, but if she hits the wrong button on the radio and hears it unintentionally I think we have a problem.

davecuse
Apr 9, 2004, 06:15 AM
What grandmother doesn't love gangster rap? I've always thought that the idea of switching through the "oldies" stations in 20 years and hearing gangster rap is a pretty funny concept.

Back on track... I think the fines against Howard Stern are pretty absurb, if I remember correctly it was Thomas Jefferson who said "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend your right to it to my death." We get enough homogonized content from the mainstream media, I'm very let down by the FCC fines in regards to decency. What comes next? Sorry Chris Matthews, you're a little too left wing, pay me. Al Franken, you disagree with Fox News, eff you, pay me.

If the FCC is going to monitor something in the media why don't they move away from indecency and focus on the facts. Make some rules to prevent media spin, and political character assisination should be a federal offense.

I think that religion plays way too large a role in government, seperation of church and state is supposed to be the fundamental groundwork of this country. I think that our government has gotten so wrapped up in the individual words of our founding fathers that it fails to see the big picture on many issues.

In closing, don't tell me that I can't listen to Howard Stern when you didn't have the foresight to prevent Vietnam II, or the intelligence to realize that the current tax code rewards outsourcing my job. And in the area of tax codes, you want a really simple way to stop tax shelters? Use a flat tax, across the board, and you would never have to have a court case about this issue again. Get a clue!

Chip NoVaMac
Apr 9, 2004, 06:18 AM
The government is not telling you that you can't listen, they are telling radio stations that they can't air it between 6am and 10pm. If Stern's following is as big as he claims it is, and I suspect it probably is, then he could move to an XM station and be done with it.
Howard Stern has toyed with the FCC his entire career. It is, in fact, pretty much his career. He gets offensive, they get incensed, he gets publicity, and it snowballs again. I don't think he's a stupid man, he knows what he is doing, and that in the past it has worked. As the article states, the old maximum for fines was a joke. Each round of national, mainstream coverage of one of his suspensions/fines would bring in more than enough fresh money and fresh ears to make it worth it. Now it won't, and as a business decision, he's being dropped by companies that will have to pay these new fines.

That said, I think the FCC is unreasonable in the way it hands out these fines. Apparently it doesn't give any real guidelines to broadcasters, it makes some vague suggestions and then waits for someone to complain. In effect, this is telling people to use their judgement as to what is offensive, and not air that. Then it tells people they were wrong about what was offensive and fines them. To me, the easy test is would you be comfortable with your 10 year old child tuning into a program on their way to school. If you are, then would you be comfortable with your 90 year old grandmother tuning into the same program on her way to Bingo. I like to think that most people have a good enough grasp on what is objectionable for those two guidelines to work fairly well. Now, if grandma wants to listen to gangster rap, or Howard Stern, or tape recordings of phone sex, that is fine, but if she hits the wrong button on the radio and hears it unintentionally I think we have a problem.

Very good thoughts there.

As liberal as I like to think myself; I am bothered by what is on the airwaves (both radio and TV). I do believe some issues that we have in the society at large is due to the sexual messages that reach us. I am not sure that I would go as far as my Uncle, who almost broke his ankle when Elvis did his Hawaii TV special back in the 60's or 70s'. They opened the show with hula dancers zooming in on their navels. But saw a commercial the other night for a birth control pill that used imagery of a girl on several "loser" dates. I realize that sex outside of marriage is pretty normal, but should not be part of what is placed on the public airwaves.

It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child. And the airwaves are part of that village. And as part of that village they should act responsibly, and not just for profits.

Chip NoVaMac
Apr 9, 2004, 06:31 AM
What grandmother doesn't love gangster rap? I've always thought that the idea of switching through the "oldies" stations in 20 years and hearing gangster rap is a pretty funny concept.

I hope not....


Back on track... I think the fines against Howard Stern are pretty absurb, if I remember correctly it was Thomas Jefferson who said "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend your right to it to my death." We get enough homogonized content from the mainstream media, I'm very let down by the FCC fines in regards to decency. What comes next? Sorry Chris Matthews, you're a little too left wing, pay me. Al Franken, you disagree with Fox News, eff you, pay me.

I doubt that Jefferson ever would approve of Stern's antics. He would defend Matthew's right there since he does not use vulgar language.

You may not agree with his or others views, but there lines of decency and with Stern he crosses those readily.

To follow your logic we should allow hard core porn 24-7 on ABC or NBC.


I think that religion plays way too large a role in government, seperation of church and state is supposed to be the fundamental groundwork of this country. I think that our government has gotten so wrapped up in the individual words of our founding fathers that it fails to see the big picture on many issues.

While some of the feelings on decency are religious based, and some of the complaints from religious organizations, the airwaves are public and are held to a different standard.

I have no problem with Stern saying and doing what he wants as long as he does not use the public airwaves to do it. As someone else said there is XM radio, and I'll add there is web streaming.


In closing, don't tell me that I can't listen to Howard Stern when you didn't have the foresight to prevent Vietnam II, or the intelligence to realize that the current tax code rewards outsourcing my job. And in the area of tax codes, you want a really simple way to stop tax shelters? Use a flat tax, across the board, and you would never have to have a court case about this issue again. Get a clue!

And i would say don't let Stern "pollute" the public airwaves with is tripe. Freedom of speech was meant more for prevent another Vietnam and discussion of outsourcing of your job. Not for the trash that Stern spews forth.

Maybe Stern lovers need to get a clue.

davecuse
Apr 9, 2004, 06:46 AM
I doubt that Jefferson ever would approve of Stern's antics. He would defend Matthew's right there since he does not use vulgar language.

You may not agree with his or others views, but there lines of decency and with Stern he crosses those readily.

To follow your logic we should allow hard core porn 24-7 on ABC or NBC.


I see where you are coming from, XM under current laws would definitely be a suitable medium for Howard Stern. The point I am trying to make is that maybe current laws are not suitable, maybe the people we elect to office are doing no more than winning a popularity contest, and maybe just maybe they don't know best.

I would like to see the FCC take the focus off of censoring what we see and hear for what they believe to be non-offensive. There are obviously people in our country who are not offended by Howard Stern. I personally am offended by the fact that people idolize actors so much. The MTV show, I want a famous face, is like watching a real world version of the twilight zone. Does that mean that MTV should be fined a half a million dollars?

Chip NoVaMac
Apr 9, 2004, 07:14 AM
I see where you are coming from, XM under current laws would definitely be a suitable medium for Howard Stern. The point I am trying to make is that maybe current laws are not suitable, maybe the people we elect to office are doing no more than winning a popularity contest, and maybe just maybe they don't know best.

I would like to see the FCC take the focus off of censoring what we see and hear for what they believe to be non-offensive. There are obviously people in our country who are not offended by Howard Stern. I personally am offended by the fact that people idolize actors so much. The MTV show, I want a famous face, is like watching a real world version of the twilight zone. Does that mean that MTV should be fined a half a million dollars?

Big difference is that MTV is not using the public airwaves...

Thomas Veil
Apr 9, 2004, 09:01 AM
I'm not really crying any crocodile tears for Stern. I too believe that his act belongs to the late night hours or to subscription services. That he got away with it for so many years, in the morning hours on broadcast radio, is not something anyone should be proud of.

I don't have anything against Stern and I'm generally quite liberal in my beliefs, but there's a time and place for everything, and for shock jock radio, broadcast daytime ain't it.

Krizoitz
Apr 9, 2004, 09:31 AM
I'm not really crying any crocodile tears for Stern. I too believe that his act belongs to the late night hours or to subscription services. That he got away with it for so many years, in the morning hours on broadcast radio, is not something anyone should be proud of.

I don't have anything against Stern and I'm generally quite liberal in my beliefs, but there's a time and place for everything, and for shock jock radio, broadcast daytime ain't it.

Here here. No one is stopping him from expressing his views, just not on the public airwaves during the day.

Lyle
Apr 9, 2004, 10:59 AM
In a statement posted on his Web site, Stern characterized the fine as furtherance of a ''witch hunt'' against him by the Bush administration, which he says is punishing him for his criticism of the president.This claim might be a little more believable if Howard Stern didn't have such a long a glorious history of being fined by the FCC. According to this article (http://www.publicintegrity.org/telecom/report.aspx?aid=239&sid=200), half of the fines proposed by the FCC since 1990 have been for Howard Stern's show, and many of those incidents occurred long before the current administration came into office.

MacNut
Apr 9, 2004, 01:05 PM
Big difference is that MTV is not using the public airwaves...

Isnt MTV using public airways? I thought anything that is over the air or has the ability to be reached by anyone with the proper equipment is considered public? MTV certainly isnt broadcasting for private use only.

MacNut
Apr 9, 2004, 01:12 PM
The fact is that MTV caters more to a child audience on purpose with more sexually objective content at 3pm than Stern subjects to an audience not meant for children at 6am.

Thanatoast
Apr 9, 2004, 01:29 PM
there is no right to not be offended. if you don't like what stern says, change the channel. so he's offensive, so what? no one's holding a gun to your head. this is simply a case of people not taking responsibility for their own lives. they want to government to protect them from dirty thoughts. :\

oldschool
Apr 9, 2004, 01:36 PM
To follow your logic we should allow hard core porn 24-7 on ABC or NBC.


stern isn't SHOWING he's telling. It's just words. Hardcore porn is not freedom of speech.

MacNut
Apr 9, 2004, 01:41 PM
stern isn't SHOWING he's telling. It's just words. Hardcore porn is not freedom of speech.

Porn is protected by the first amendment, case in point Larry Flint

Koodauw
Apr 9, 2004, 01:42 PM
The supreme court has ruled on this issue before. In a 5-4 decision in The FCC v. Pacifica, The court ruled that the FCC can "regulate a radio broadcast that is indecent but not obscene." and that material that is " 'Vulgar,' 'Offensive' and 'shocking' ...is not entitled to absolute constitutional protection under all circumstances,"

Not all forms of speech are protected.

oldschool
Apr 9, 2004, 01:52 PM
Porn is protected by the first amendment, case in point Larry Flint

i stand corrected......granted i'm not american


however i don't think that what stern is doing is as bad as showing hardcore porn on the tv. he's speaking about certain topics without ever using the seven dirty words, he's on a 2 minute delay, and the topics he does discuss arent much worse than those discussed by the so called radio "sex therapists".

MacNut
Apr 9, 2004, 01:53 PM
The supreme court has ruled on this issue before. In a 5-4 decision in The FCC v. Pacifica, The court ruled that the FCC can "regulate a radio broadcast that is indecent but not obscene." and that material that is " 'Vulgar,' 'Offensive' and 'shocking' ...is not entitled to absolute constitutional protection under all circumstances,"

Not all forms of speech are protected.

Ok so what counts as indecent vulgar offensive or shocking? I would say Al Frankin is offensive to me so does that mean he should be fined. Others may see Oprah as Shocking so should she be fined. And dont forget Jerry Springer, he is vilgar offensive shocking and indecent.

Backtothemac
Apr 9, 2004, 01:56 PM
Well, I personally think that Stern is pushing the envelope with his own agenda. Hell half of the fines levied by the FCC since 1990 were against him. So, was Clinton waging a war against Stern as well? He is a has been that is over, thank God.

Personally, I am sick of him, and his potty humor. It is just plain stupid to have im on the airwaves. He should be on cable, or XM.

MacNut
Apr 9, 2004, 02:02 PM
Well, I personally think that Stern is pushing the envelope with his own agenda. Hell half of the fines levied by the FCC since 1990 were against him. So, was Clinton waging a war against Stern as well? He is a has been that is over, thank God.

Personally, I am sick of him, and his potty humor. It is just plain stupid to have im on the airwaves. He should be on cable, or XM.

Time out
Just because you don't like Stern that is your right just as much as it is my right to want to listen to him. The stuff that is going on in Iraq is far greater than what stern is talking about yet we are fighting over there and showing the carnage on the news for all of americas children to see. So what is worse Stern talking about sex or seeing our Solders getting killed day after day and having the news propaganda showing that every day.

Koodauw
Apr 9, 2004, 02:17 PM
Ok so what counts as indecent vulgar offensive or shocking? I would say Al Frankin is offensive to me so does that mean he should be fined. Others may see Oprah as Shocking so should she be fined. And dont forget Jerry Springer, he is vilgar offensive shocking and indecent.

The FCC holds to power to determen what is offensive and what is not, and levies the fines accordingly. The high courts have ruled that this is legal. They also ruled that "obsense" material can be limited in its distribution.

Again, not all forms of speech are protected.

FriarTuck
Apr 9, 2004, 02:24 PM
I don't care for Stern. I think he provides a constant stream of material toxic to good character and a noble society.

At the same time, it is patently unfair for the government to punish people for behavior it refuses to adequately define with anything approaching a bright line.

Koodauw
Apr 9, 2004, 02:34 PM
At the same time, it is patently unfair for the government to punish people for behavior it refuses to adequately define with anything approaching a bright line.

Who says that it refuses to define what what approaches that line? I am sure FCC website or trip to the library can provide you with the full rules and regulations of the FCC.

wdlove
Apr 9, 2004, 02:37 PM
Howard Stern isn't the real goal of this process. The end game is to remove conservative talk radio shows from the air. The elites prefer to have no voice but theirs discussed.

Koodauw
Apr 9, 2004, 02:47 PM
Howard Stern isn't the real goal of this process. The end game is to remove conservative talk radio shows from the air. The elites prefer to have no voice but theirs discussed.

I dissagree with you whole heartily.

The reason howard was removed was Clear Channel didn't want to pay the the fines anymore. (Which have gotten alot larger.) OK thats understand able.

The reason he was fined was for indecent material. He was fined for talking to Rick Salomon about the size of his pennis. As Justice Murphy is states " Such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality." ~ Chaplinsky v. N.H.

The governement is not tring to silence any left or right wing ideas. It is about decensy.

MacNut
Apr 9, 2004, 03:33 PM
Lets take this arguement, so are the viagra commercials just as bad?

Backtothemac
Apr 9, 2004, 03:46 PM
Time out
Just because you don't like Stern that is your right just as much as it is my right to want to listen to him. The stuff that is going on in Iraq is far greater than what stern is talking about yet we are fighting over there and showing the carnage on the news for all of americas children to see. So what is worse Stern talking about sex or seeing our Solders getting killed day after day and having the news propaganda showing that every day.

Well, I don't let my daughter listen to either, but when you are scanning on the radio, you don't expect to hear vulgar items that you have to explain to your child. I know what channel the news is on, and how to avoid it but when traveling you don't know.

Koodauw
Apr 9, 2004, 06:20 PM
when you are scanning on the radio, you don't expect to hear vulgar items that you have to explain to your child. I know what channel the news is on, and how to avoid it but when traveling you don't know.

That is exactly what the court said, and is part of the reason why they can limit what is said on air.

MarkCollette
Apr 9, 2004, 07:37 PM
A few points:

To those who claim that the Bush administration is not against him, since he got all those fines during Clinton's time, let's do a little math (numbers are rounded for simplicity): $2 million / 14 years = $140,000 per year. Now he's gotten a $500,000 fine, and we're only a few months into the year. Obviously the situation has changed.

As well, in the day and age where all radios have preset buttons, how much of an excuse does one have to be randomly scanning over all the channels, and hit one that has something they don't like? Furthermore, if you randomly skip to some rude channel, how hard is it to press the scan button one more time?

I think that the reality is that we all have our own tastes, some like rudeness, other don't. Some like country music and others don't. I think that all stations should be allowed to play country music, and rude stuff, and let the market decide who wins out. There is a sufficiently large market for children's programming, that I think we can expect separate channels for them, just as there are separate channels for rock, rap, country, dance, etc. Call me inconsiderate, but I could care less if my grandmother likes or dislikes any rude disk-jockey, since I know she can just choose to listen to her Christian radio station. The idea that the government is needed to regulate things, to keep it decent, is laughable. Radio stations live and die by the advertisers, who are extremely sensitive to how people will respond.

Chip NoVaMac
Apr 10, 2004, 05:48 AM
A few points:

To those who claim that the Bush administration is not against him, since he got all those fines during Clinton's time, let's do a little math (numbers are rounded for simplicity): $2 million / 14 years = $140,000 per year. Now he's gotten a $500,000 fine, and we're only a few months into the year. Obviously the situation has changed.

As well, in the day and age where all radios have preset buttons, how much of an excuse does one have to be randomly scanning over all the channels, and hit one that has something they don't like? Furthermore, if you randomly skip to some rude channel, how hard is it to press the scan button one more time?

I think that the reality is that we all have our own tastes, some like rudeness, other don't. Some like country music and others don't. I think that all stations should be allowed to play country music, and rude stuff, and let the market decide who wins out. There is a sufficiently large market for children's programming, that I think we can expect separate channels for them, just as there are separate channels for rock, rap, country, dance, etc. Call me inconsiderate, but I could care less if my grandmother likes or dislikes any rude disk-jockey, since I know she can just choose to listen to her Christian radio station. The idea that the government is needed to regulate things, to keep it decent, is laughable. Radio stations live and die by the advertisers, who are extremely sensitive to how people will respond.

Probably no different than the current administration's enforcement of travel restrictions of US citizens to Cuba, and the hefty fine there. Where it is budget balancing or a feeling that wrong doers should pay the price.

What I am sensing in some of the posts here is, "I don't care about anyone else but myself". This attitude is not just about the airwaves, but stretches into almost every part of daily life. But the law and court history is that the airwaves belong to the public, and as such need to be held to to a standard of decency that is at the same time open and serves the general population.

Krizoitz
Apr 10, 2004, 10:23 AM
1) No MTV is NOT on the public airwaves, it is a cable channel.

2) Yes you can choose not to listen to Howard Stern by turning off the radio, or changing the dial. But Clear Channel has the right not to broadcast him too. There is nothing that says someones views HAVE to be broadcast on the radio. No one is stopping him from having an opinion or putting it out there, they just don't want him to use their stations to do it. He can try to find other venues to express himself if expression is his true drive (such as the internet) my guess is he's more worried about the money.

3) The truth is this would only be a witchhunt if they were suddenly making laws out of no-where. Instead Howard has been either getting away with things because of weak enforcement of current laws or the stations have been willing to pay the fine because they felt it was outweighed by the financial benefit of having him on the air. Now the rules are being enforced AND people aren't as interested in his crap as they used to be. Higher fines + less income from adverts and such = not profitable for them. Its a buisness move. Plain and simple.

Les Kern
Apr 10, 2004, 10:36 AM
Personally I find the show to be boring and coarse, so I don't listen to it. But there's absolutely no reason the government should be telling me that i can't.
paul

Yes there is, and his name is Mike Powell. Add him together with the ultra-right ClearChannel, and soon you'll be TOLD what you can watch, and when to watch it. I DESPISE those fundamentalist nut-case rat-bastards.

MarkCollette
Apr 11, 2004, 03:05 PM
What I am sensing in some of the posts here is, "I don't care about anyone else but myself". This attitude is not just about the airwaves, but stretches into almost every part of daily life. But the law and court history is that the airwaves belong to the public, and as such need to be held to to a standard of decency that is at the same time open and serves the general population.

The question is: could someone say what he said, in public, standing on a street corner, and it be legally ok? If so, then why should the radio be any different? On the street corner it might be impossible to avoid, but on the radio you have a nifty dial to turn him off, so I think that radio should allow more than in public, but at the very least, exactly what one can say in public.

As for caring about others, I should rephrase that I do care about things that matter, like physical injury, extreme distress, etc... But as for caring about someone hearing a dirty word or two, never. If anything, the slight stresses of life prepare us for the greater challenges ahead. I seriously think that we should not protect people too much, for their own good. Not that we should go out of our way to screw with people :) It's just that a little personal responsibility can go a long way.

<theory>
Plus, on a side note, most people form their opinions when issues are brought to their attention. This entails defining who we are, to a degree, by who we are not, requiring us to come into contact with the idea of who we are not. Hearing someone trash-talking, once in a while, is a gentle reminder that if we want to be taken seriously, and not looked down on, then we need to not talk trash ourselves. So, we actually need the ritual of seeing someone get in trouble for pushing the boundaries, to teach those boundaries to us. So we actually need people like Stern to get in trouble, and not be silenced altogether.
</theory>

Urdam
Apr 11, 2004, 03:07 PM

Koodauw
Apr 11, 2004, 07:16 PM
The question is: could someone say what he said, in public, standing on a street corner, and it be legally ok? If so, then why should the radio be any different? On the street corner it might be impossible to avoid, but on the radio you have a nifty dial to turn him off, so I think that radio should allow more than in public, but at the very least, exactly what one can say in public.



Write your congress representitive then, because the courts dissagree with you.

My question to you is what about when I am riding in the car, with my daughter, who is 8 years old. We are traveling through a large city that we are not familar with. I decide to scan through some radio stations, and happen to stumble across the HS show, where he is talking about the size of a quest's reproductive organs, a subject i do wish for her to hear about. Do I as a radio listener not have to the right to turn on the radio and not be offended?

MacNut
Apr 11, 2004, 09:27 PM
Write your congress representitive then, because the courts dissagree with you.

My question to you is what about when I am riding in the car, with my daughter, who is 8 years old. We are traveling through a large city that we are not familar with. I decide to scan through some radio stations, and happen to stumble across the HS show, where he is talking about the size of a quest's reproductive organs, a subject i do wish for her to hear about. Do I as a radio listener not have to the right to turn on the radio and not be offended?

I hope your not planning on protecting your daughter her whole life because eventually she will hear about the stuff said on Stern wether you like it or not. This is one reason why kids do drugs and drink, its because parents don't talk to their kids enough and you can either explain it to her now or let the kids on the playground do it for you. :mad:

MacNut
Apr 11, 2004, 09:38 PM
I agree that kids should be protected, but why should adults that want to listen be punished because parents never talk to there kids about anything. So everything should be childrens programing in the morning. Fluffy cartoons and barney. Don't talk about the war, my kid might get affended, where do babies come from, sorry cant tell you billy you might be scared for life. :rolleyes:

rainman::|:|
Apr 11, 2004, 09:48 PM
Do I as a radio listener not have to the right to turn on the radio and not be offended?

No, you do not. The way the country was founded on the basis that one does not have the right to not be offended at the expense of another person's civil liberties... and freedom of speech is really the #1 civil liberty. Society and government has never gone to such great lengths to cater to children, believe me 200 years ago children saw things that would stun you today, people being killed constantly, hardship, violence, graphic sex. To say that fart jokes on the radio is going to cause undue harm to your youngster is a bit unrealistic, i think. But it's your place as a parent to put everything in context, instill the values you want, make the rules you want. Children should know that when they hear something like stern, it's just a man being 'shocking' for reaction value, and that, like i said earlier, it's crude. Instead, they see their parents have a panic attack, i'll bet that piques their purient interest.

wdlove, i'm not sure what are you talking about? the government *loves* the conservative commentators right now, the FCC included. So does the general public, always eager to suckle at the teat of a manipulative demagogue (okay, i'm talking about o'reilly here). I seriously doubt there's any conspiracy afoot to have them banned from the airwaves... More like a resolve from liberals to take a fighting stance, ala Al Franken's new radio station.

paul

Koodauw
Apr 12, 2004, 12:18 AM
Macnut,
Its not about sheltering my daughter. The story was made up. It was more about the principle of the matter. (It's the principle man) I do not plan on sheltering my children to the harms of the world, I beleive in quiet the opposite. The point in the government does has the right to fine HS.

As with all posts which include Macnut.... GO Yankees.

Paul,
The wording of my question may have made the point I tried to make unclear. What I am trying to say that is that while traveling in my car and flipping through radio channels, I believe I have the right to NOT come across something sexually explicit. I refer you to Bethel School District v. Fraser. In issuing the opinion of the court Chief Justice Burger states: "The Court's First Amendment jurisprudence has acknowledged limitations on the otherwise absolute interest of the speaker in reaching an unlimited audience where the speech is sexually explict and the audience may include children..."

MarkCollette
Apr 12, 2004, 01:57 AM
Write your congress representitive then, because the courts dissagree with you.

My question to you is what about when I am riding in the car, with my daughter, who is 8 years old. We are traveling through a large city that we are not familar with. I decide to scan through some radio stations, and happen to stumble across the HS show, where he is talking about the size of a quest's reproductive organs, a subject i do wish for her to hear about. Do I as a radio listener not have to the right to turn on the radio and not be offended?

I understand your embarrassment of having to educate your child on these sensitive matters. And I understand that there is a time and a place for all things. Maybe there is an age where she would not be ready, and an age when she would be ready. But, as someone else mentionned, it's more likely that someone else will preemptively (mis)educate your child, and so you have a responsibility to head that off and do a proper job yourself. You might then say that if this wasn't allowed on the radio, then maybe the other children in the playground wouldn't know anything either. Let's pretend that is true. Will you know the right time? When those kids are now boys, and they want to say and do thing with your child, will you have already said to her what you could have before?

I was 12 in junior high (grade 7), and so probably 10 when sexuality became an issue in school, due to obvious physiological changes. Females start even earlier, and recently they've been changing even sooner, so like 8 years old. This is slightly shocking me right now as I type this, because the implications are clear: you have to have fully explained sexual processes to your little girl by the time she is 8 years old. That's insane, they're just children then... The reason is their own bodies.

Ok, so the reality of mass media's obsession with sexuality means that she will ask you before then, since she's probably observant. Whether it's on the radio, TV, movies, posters, music, whatever. Even if you cut all that out, there will be pregnant women walking down the street, babies in baby carriages, her own questions of where she came from. We are living creature - we question life itself. You can treat this as something negative, or something positive. You can project that is is something to be feared or something to cherish. You will communicate these feelings, even if by ommission. But you can choose to instill the positive ones at such an early age, that they are woven into the fabric of her being.

I myself think that my response to the Stern show would be something like: Those words are just names for parts of our bodies. They are the crude versions of the words that you already know for your own body parts. Some people don't like when we use crude words instead of regular words, so we avoid using them, but this guy is trying to be annoying so he's using them. You know when you're brother tries to annoy you, and he thinks it's funny, but you don't like it? Same thing.

rt_brained
Apr 12, 2004, 08:39 AM
Howard Stern isn't the real goal of this process. The end game is to remove conservative talk radio shows from the air. The elites prefer to have no voice but theirs discussed.I think you have it backwards.

I'm a fan of Stern's show and think he has every right to fight for his own cause. On the other hand, for someone who makes the kind of money he makes from radio, film and television, he's got a long way to go before it has any real affect.

Krizoitz
Apr 12, 2004, 10:12 AM
While freedom of speech is important, the Supreme Court has upheld on many occasions that it is not unlimited, at least in the scope of where and when it can be said. Some people may cry that this defeats the purpose, but it is part of the realities of any society.

A free society is a delicate balancing act. On one side you have anarchy the total absence of laws, where things like freedom to say whatever you want exist unchecked. On the other you have totalitarianism, where rules and regulations are put in place to maintain law and order. Unfortunately neither extreme works very well. Anarchy's lawlessness means that freedoms aren't protected and totalitarianisms rigidness ends up being used as an excuse to harm the people it was meant to protect.

My point? Our society has to balance freedoms against order. In order to function as a coherent group there must be some limitations in place. In order to avoid totalitarianism there must also be protections of basic freedoms.

In America it has been determined that while the right to express yourself is certainly important, your right to do so whenever, whereever and however is not without limits.

For example, it is unlawful to shout fire in a crowded theater? Why? Because it presents a danger to people that easily outweighs one persons right to express themself.

What does that have to do with Howard Stern? Well for one thing the radio waves are held in trust by the government on behalf of the public which owns it. In order for our society to function as a society we have decided that there are certain limitations on what can and can not be said on the public airwaves at certain times. This is how society works.

Now if the government were saying that Howard Stern didn't have the right to say what he wanted at all, then yes, that would be a violation of his first ammendmant rights. Instead they are saying that while operating on the public airwaves he has to obey certain standards. When he doesn't he gets fined. He doesn't get arrested by the Gestapo and beaten. They don't send people out to cut his broadcasts off. He gets fined. Well thats not true the companies that have decided of their own free will to carry his show get fined.

Now those companies have decided that it isn't worth their money to continue to carry his show. That is their right. Free speech isn't only saying whatever you want, its the right to not allow yourself or your private service to be used to say things you don't want it to. Just as Stern has a right to his views so does the station.

So now he has a few options. He can try and get the laws changed, just as any citizen can by going to his representative government and going through the process. He can find another outlet for his views, be it the internet, or cable tv, or his own living room. Or he can move on with his life. See? No one is telling him he can't say fire if he wants to, he just can't say it in a crowded movie theater.

davecuse
Apr 12, 2004, 10:23 AM
The way the country was founded on the basis that one does not have the right to not be offended at the expense of another person's civil liberties... and freedom of speech is really the #1 civil liberty. Society and government has never gone to such great lengths to cater to children, believe me 200 years ago children saw things that would stun you today, people being killed constantly, hardship, violence, graphic sex. To say that fart jokes on the radio is going to cause undue harm to your youngster is a bit unrealistic, i think.

You hit the nail on the head with this one. Our founding fathers would kick our asses if they saw the way things are now. If you sit back and look at society, it's got to look so weird from their perspective. Imagine pushing the idea of a treadmill on a George Washington, "yea it's great, you just run in place" I think he would slap you silly. Kind of a funny thought.

MarkCollette
Apr 12, 2004, 03:01 PM
For example, it is unlawful to shout fire in a crowded theater? Why? Because it presents a danger to people that easily outweighs one persons right to express themself.


I agree with your whole post, but just want to add one bit. It's been demonstrated that yelling fire in a crowded theatre can cause harm. I doubt that many of us would challenge this due to the historical record, and our capability to mentally simulate what would happen given the theoretical situation.

But, how has Stern caused harm? I know, I know, somewhere out there someone's feelings are hurt, or a child has been mentally anguished. Or so we're told. Sorry, but I don't buy it.

Apmonia
Apr 12, 2004, 06:10 PM
A couple of points:

1. I feel the problem is not with the Howard Stern show per se, it's with the companies like Clear Channel can censor what we listen to on public airwaves. Huge media congolmerates own what we are allowed to think and believe. If one media outlet does not allow a certain DJ to be on the air, then we lose that one voice and what she/he has to say? Somehow I don't feel it's fair to silence anyone, even if you don't support their views, you should support their right to view them. It's not just the liberal or conservative media taking a hit, although each side would hope it's just them, it's all of us. Check out this website to see who owns what and http://www.cjr.org/tools/owners/ . This affects everything we see and hear.

2. Who is the FCC? Did I vote for them? Probably the only fair way to decide if somebody is decent or not in a market based economy is to judge by the listeners that person gets. Howard Stern, while I don't listen to him, has a huge fanbase and tons of listeners, he should therefore stay on the radio. If people begin to think he is rude or crude then the market will force him out, but until then I say let him speak his piece. Obviously someone is listening.

apmonia

LethalWolfe
Apr 12, 2004, 06:42 PM
It's funny that people are saying "let the market sort things out" in protest to CC dropping Stern when in fact that is happening. CC dropped Stern because they don't want to carry his product anymore. His con's out weigh his pro's. CC can carry, or not carry, whatever they want. Telling CC they *have* to carry Stern is as totalitarian<sp?> as telling them they are not allowed to carry Stern.

If there still is a market for Stern other broadcasters will continue to carry him and/or he'll go to XM. If there is not a market for Stern more broadcasters will drop him and his attempt to XM will fail.

And who've mentioned Flint and Hustler. Standards for print are different than standards for over-the-air radio and tv which are also different than cable/satilite radio and TV. And of course you also have different standards for news vs commerical speech.

Freedom of Speech is not "one size fits all."


Lethal

CMillerERAU
Apr 12, 2004, 09:44 PM
http://horizons.eraunews.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/03/31/4068f5659c53b

I wrote this for our april fools edition of the newspaper at my college.

MarkCollette
Apr 13, 2004, 01:55 AM
It's funny that people are saying "let the market sort things out" in protest to CC dropping Stern when in fact that is happening. CC dropped Stern because they don't want to carry his product anymore. His con's out weigh his pro's. CC can carry, or not carry, whatever they want. Telling CC they *have* to carry Stern is as totalitarian<sp?> as telling them they are not allowed to carry Stern.


Except that our problem is that instead of CC dropping him due solely to low demand, it was instead precipitated by large government fines. If CC had dropped him, even without the fines, then that would be that.

Krizoitz
Apr 13, 2004, 02:20 AM
Except that our problem is that instead of CC dropping him due solely to low demand, it was instead precipitated by large government fines. If CC had dropped him, even without the fines, then that would be that.

The rules have been there for YEARS. The fines were just being finally enforced. Clear Channel got sick of paying the fines. He wasn't a good buisness investment. Again as long as they don't actually stop him from saying what he wants to i don't see the problem.

LethalWolfe
Apr 13, 2004, 01:04 PM
Except that our problem is that instead of CC dropping him due solely to low demand, it was instead precipitated by large government fines. If CC had dropped him, even without the fines, then that would be that.

As Krizoitz said, Stern has been getting fined for years. CC decided that Stern doesn't generate enough profit anymore to warrent dealing with the fines, the headaches, and the headlines. CC isn't dropping Stern because of low demand but because of high maintainence<sp?>.


Lethal

mactastic
Apr 13, 2004, 01:27 PM
If you have a right not to be offended by Howard Stern, do I have a right not to be offended by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingrahm, et al.? Should my poor child's ear have to be assaulted by their brand of political hate speech? I don't want to have to explain to my 7 year old child why her dad is 'unamerican' for his beliefs. I don't want to have to explain why the 'secular humanists' are ruining society. Why should I be forced to be put in this situation?

applebum
Apr 13, 2004, 02:17 PM
If you have a right not to be offended by Howard Stern, do I have a right not to be offended by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingrahm, et al.? Should my poor child's ear have to be assaulted by their brand of political hate speech? I don't want to have to explain to my 7 year old child why her dad is 'unamerican' for his beliefs. I don't want to have to explain why the 'secular humanists' are ruining society. Why should I be forced to be put in this situation?

I am glad you brought this up. I am guessing that everyone here that feels that HS should not be dropped just because he "offended" some people were also right in there complaining when Rush was forced to step down at ESPN because he also "offended" some people. After all, as I am hearing here, these little offenses build character, need to be discussed, and might as well be heard on the air since they may be heard on a street corner as well. I know everyone here is very consistent in their beliefs, regardless of who is having their 1st ammendment rights trounced upon.

davecuse
Apr 13, 2004, 02:31 PM
The main difference between Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh's situation is that Rush put down one of the best athletes in the NFL because of the color of his skin, and did so on a show that is family oriented. He was fired by the station without a cue from the FCC, and without being fined. ESPN know's their market, as Clear Channel knew exactly what they were getting into when they hired Stern.

Rush = fired by station

Stern = harassed by the government, who are violating his rights to freedom of speech, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

If Clear Channel would have said to Stern a month after he started, sorry pal, you don't fit with out station very well... it would not have been a big deal, he would have been forgotten. But the fact is that they clearly want him as a part of the station, and his fans want him there. The only reason Stern is being fired is because the FCC is hunting him down, and for what? Doing his job.

Just my two pennies.

Koodauw
Apr 13, 2004, 02:34 PM
If you have a right not to be offended by Howard Stern, do I have a right not to be offended by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingrahm, et al.? Should my poor child's ear have to be assaulted by their brand of political hate speech? I don't want to have to explain to my 7 year old child why her dad is 'unamerican' for his beliefs. I don't want to have to explain why the 'secular humanists' are ruining society. Why should I be forced to be put in this situation?

While I don't know who Laure Ingrahm is, I do know that Rush Limbaugh and Sean hannity dicuss political topics. Many of these discussion lead to an "Exposition of ideas" Howard Stern talking about the size of someones package does not. Thus the FCC can fine him. ( I beleive this to be the correct reasoning) So, yes, it is perfectly legal for you to be put in that situation.

Koodauw
Apr 13, 2004, 02:37 PM
Stern = harassed by the government, who are violating his rights to freedom of speech, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.



Please do cite me one example of how his rights are being violated.

In you search feel free to read FCC v. Pacifica.

applebum
Apr 13, 2004, 02:42 PM
The main difference between Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh's situation is that Rush put down one of the best athletes in the NFL because of the color of his skin, and did so on a show that is family oriented. He was fired by the station without a cue from the FCC, and without being fined. ESPN know's their market, as Clear Channel knew exactly what they were getting into when they hired Stern.

Rush = fired by station

Stern = harassed by the government, who are violating his rights to freedom of speech, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

If Clear Channel would have said to Stern a month after he started, sorry pal, you don't fit with out station very well... it would not have been a big deal, he would have been forgotten. But the fact is that they clearly want him as a part of the station, and his fans want him there. The only reason Stern is being fired is because the FCC is hunting him down, and for what? Doing his job.

Just my two pennies.

Actually, the point of this thread was that Stern was dumped/fired by his station (Clear Channel). Clear Channel made a business decision much like ESPN did. Stern new what was permissible and wasn't - he pushes the envelope. Should the FCC be more consistent - yes. I just wanted to point out that Rush has the same "rights" to offend that Howard does. They are very similar in that they have both made money by being controversial and saying things that antagonize/offend. I just feel it is important to be consistent when defending "rights".

LethalWolfe
Apr 13, 2004, 03:29 PM
The main difference between Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh's situation is that Rush put down one of the best athletes in the NFL because of the color of his skin, and did so on a show that is family oriented. He was fired by the station without a cue from the FCC, and without being fined. ESPN know's their market, as Clear Channel knew exactly what they were getting into when they hired Stern.

Rush = fired by station

Stern = harassed by the government, who are violating his rights to freedom of speech, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

If Clear Channel would have said to Stern a month after he started, sorry pal, you don't fit with out station very well... it would not have been a big deal, he would have been forgotten. But the fact is that they clearly want him as a part of the station, and his fans want him there. The only reason Stern is being fired is because the FCC is hunting him down, and for what? Doing his job.

Just my two pennies.


Okay, there are some misconceptions going on here. Stern was never employed by ClearChannel. Stern is employeed by whatever radio station he is based at in NYC. All ClearChannel did was air Stern's syndicated show in the 6 markets they carried it in. AFAIK Infinity Broadcasting, CC's biggest rival, is still airing Stern on its stations.

Everyone coming in on Stern's defense makes it sound like the FCC just now started fining him. Stern has been getting fines for years, but he has been popular enough that companies paid those fines. All that did was fuel Stern's ego and make him think he was bullet proof. And he just found out he wasn't. CC dropped him because the amount of money he brings in is no longer out weighs the fines, the headlines, and the headaches. Why is that so difficult for people to understand? Like I said before, Stern didn't get dumped by CC because of low ratings but because of his high maintainence.

Again, I ask, why does CC *have* to carry Stern? CC can air, or not air, whatever they want. If you don't like what CC is, or is not, airing don't listen to their stations.


Lethal

Koodauw
Apr 13, 2004, 03:47 PM
I agree

mactastic
Apr 13, 2004, 04:12 PM
While I don't know who Laure Ingrahm is, I do know that Rush Limbaugh and Sean hannity dicuss political topics. Many of these discussion lead to an "Exposition of ideas" Howard Stern talking about the size of someones package does not. Thus the FCC can fine him. ( I beleive this to be the correct reasoning) So, yes, it is perfectly legal for you to be put in that situation.

I wonder how many times the words 'oral sex' have been uttered on the Rush Limbaugh show....

applebum
Apr 13, 2004, 04:28 PM
I wonder how many times the words 'oral sex' have been uttered on the Rush Limbaugh show....

Yes, but that is not really sex, so it doesn't count.

Krizoitz
Apr 13, 2004, 06:51 PM
Stern = harassed by the government, who are violating his rights to freedom of speech, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

First. Freedom of speech means he gets to have an opinion. It doesn't mean he gets to broadcast it over the airwaves. Following your logic then Clear Channel should host my show (non-existent at this point) where I can share my views. Because I don't have a radio show does that mean my views are being oppressed?

Second. As someone else has allready pointed out the supreme court has stated on more than one occasion that speech is not unlimited. To do so would be anarchist.

Third. There is a difference between the free exchange of ideas in order to promote discussion and what howard stern does. Personally I can't stand Rush Limbaugh, but the issues he discusses have actually substance behind them. Howard Stern, not an ounce.

davecuse
Apr 13, 2004, 07:45 PM
I'm no longer going to argue my point; I stand with what I said before. I do not have the time, nor do I really care enough to research specific points.

The bottom line is that I find the show entertaining, and I understand why the FCC feels they are justified to fine a station for airing the man. It just appears to me that in the aftermath of the Janet Jackson fiasco the FCC is embarrassed, and has upped the fines for content that they do not deem acceptable. I would just rather be given the opportunity to make that decision on my own. I am fully capable of making my own choices, and I feel that most other people are as well. So in closing, I just don't want to babied or told that I cannot hear something that I find humorous.

Krizoitz
Apr 13, 2004, 07:53 PM
I'm no longer going to argue my point; I stand with what I said before. I do not have the time, nor do I really care enough to research specific points.

The bottom line is that I find the show entertaining, and I understand why the FCC feels they are justified to fine a station for airing the man. It just appears to me that in the aftermath of the Janet Jackson fiasco the FCC is embarrassed, and has upped the fines for content that they do not deem acceptable. I would just rather be given the opportunity to make that decision on my own. I am fully capable of making my own choices, and I feel that most other people are as well. So in closing, I just don't want to babied or told that I cannot hear something that I find humorous.

No one is telling you you can't listen to it. Clear channel is just saying they don't want to broadcast it. They have that right just as much as you have to listen to what you want to. Its not about babying anyone, its about setting a minimum of standards that society can live by.

LethalWolfe
Apr 13, 2004, 08:02 PM
I'm no longer going to argue my point; I stand with what I said before. I do not have the time, nor do I really care enough to research specific points.

The bottom line is that I find the show entertaining, and I understand why the FCC feels they are justified to fine a station for airing the man. It just appears to me that in the aftermath of the Janet Jackson fiasco the FCC is embarrassed, and has upped the fines for content that they do not deem acceptable. I would just rather be given the opportunity to make that decision on my own. I am fully capable of making my own choices, and I feel that most other people are as well. So in closing, I just don't want to babied or told that I cannot hear something that I find humorous.


So, following your logic, every radio station, tv station, magazine, newspaper, and internet site must carry everything anyone wants to them to carry and the companies/people that own said radio stations, tv stations, magazines, newspapers, and internet sites should have no control over their content?

Do you not see that forcing a company to carry certain content is as bad as forbiding them from carrying certain content?


Lethal

Krizoitz
Apr 13, 2004, 08:18 PM
So, following your logic, every radio station, tv station, magazine, newspaper, and internet site must carry everything anyone wants to them to carry and the companies/people that own said radio stations, tv stations, magazines, newspapers, and internet sites should have no control over their content?

Do you not see that forcing a company to carry certain content is as bad as forbiding them from carrying certain content?


Lethal

Thank goodness, someone FINALLY gets it. Free speech does not equal free airtime, just that the government can't tell you you aren't allowed to give your opinoin at all.

MacNut
Apr 14, 2004, 12:45 AM
I think part of the problem is that we have double standards in that its ok for one person to say something but not another. If Howard Stern gets fined for something than fine everybody else. Dont use Stern as an example. If the FCC wants to fine the crap out of him thats fine, but be equal about it.

MacNut
Apr 14, 2004, 12:51 AM
As for ClearChannel dumping Stern, they have every right to do so but I think they could of easily paid that fine with no problem, they are the biggest radio corporation in the country, I think they could afford it. Plus Stern will get his money anyways because I believe CC broke contract with Stern and I bet he will want his money. So is CC really saving anything.

Krizoitz
Apr 14, 2004, 12:53 AM
I think part of the problem is that we have double standards in that its ok for one person to say something but not another. If Howard Stern gets fined for something than fine everybody else. Dont use Stern as an example. If the FCC wants to fine the crap out of him thats fine, but be equal about it.

Ok who else should they fine who is breaking the rules?

MacNut
Apr 14, 2004, 12:58 AM
Ok who else should they fine who is breaking the rules?

Ok did everyone forget about Janet Jackson, she started this whole mess with her halftime stunt, where was her huge fine, come on she flashed a breast. I didnt see Sterns penis at all. And im sure more people watched Janet than will ever listen to Stern on any givin day. :mad:

LethalWolfe
Apr 14, 2004, 01:35 AM
As for ClearChannel dumping Stern, they have every right to do so but I think they could of easily paid that fine with no problem, they are the biggest radio corporation in the country, I think they could afford it. Plus Stern will get his money anyways because I believe CC broke contract with Stern and I bet he will want his money. So is CC really saving anything.


Do you know how much the proposed fine is? $495,000 per station. ClearChannel owns six stations that aired Stern's show. That is nearly 3 million dollars in fines CC might have to shell out. I don't care how big your company is paying that much in fines is going to piss corporate off. On top of that 4 other CC stations are getting fined $715,000 each because of another shock jock (Bubba the love sponge). That's another 2.9 million dollars. And Congress is most likely going to raise the max penalty for each fineable offense from $27,500 to $500,000. If CC is shelling out nearly 6 million dollars in fines when each individual fine is max $27,500 imagine how much they would have to shell out in the future if each fine is $500,000! And, like people have said before, Stern has been fined in past and he'll get fined again in the future so it's not like this is a one time thing. And, on top of the fines, if a station gets fined 3 times it's broadcast license could be pulled.

There is also the public image that CC wants to project. Maybe that don't want to a company that airs "those kinds" of programs anymore. You aren't going to see FOX style shows on CBS and vice-versa. Disney is not going to start putting out porn and Vivid Video is not going to start making animated movies for the whole family.

And for everyone complaining about government regulation the FCC does not actively monitor broadcasts. It only investigates shows when it recieves complaints. All it took to set these standards over 20 years ago was a father driving w/his son in CA and heard Geroge Carlin's "7 dirty words" bit on the car radio. And people say one man can't make a difference.


Lethal

MarkCollette
Apr 14, 2004, 01:41 AM
As Krizoitz said, Stern has been getting fined for years. CC decided that Stern doesn't generate enough profit anymore to warrent dealing with the fines, the headaches, and the headlines. CC isn't dropping Stern because of low demand but because of high maintainence<sp?>.
Lethal

I'm not sure how you're disagreeing, since that's what I said too, but maybe I just did not communicate my point effectively.

I know that CC is dumping Stern for economic reasons, so I have no problem with that. As an aside, if they had dumped him for their own moral crusde, then I would not like that. But, it's not the case. So, please don't bother commenting on the aside.

What is the economic reason? Well, the dollar amount of an individual FCC fine jumped dramatically, like an order of magnitude. So, the FCC instigated this, by fining him much more than before, for an activity that is not much different than his previous activities, showing that they now have less tolerance.

Every post I've read, that's against Stern getting dumped, has said that it's this changing of tolerance by the FCC which they disagree with. We have speculated that it is because the Bush government is targetting him.

I have no idea why people keep arguing about whether or not Stern's freedom of speach is being trampled by CC, since CC has very little to do with this. The question is whether the FCC is trying to trample his freedom of speach.

I hope this eliminates the need for 75% of the posts in this thread, where people are arguing back and forth, redundantly.

LethalWolfe
Apr 14, 2004, 02:15 AM
I'm not sure how you're disagreeing, since that's what I said too, but maybe I just did not communicate my point effectively.

I know that CC is dumping Stern for economic reasons, so I have no problem with that. As an aside, if they had dumped him for their own moral crusde, then I would not like that. But, it's not the case. So, please don't bother commenting on the aside.

What is the economic reason? Well, the dollar amount of an individual FCC fine jumped dramatically, like an order of magnitude. So, the FCC instigated this, by fining him much more than before, for an activity that is not much different than his previous activities, showing that they now have less tolerance.

Every post I've read, that's against Stern getting dumped, has said that it's this changing of tolerance by the FCC which they disagree with. We have speculated that it is because the Bush government is targetting him.

I have no idea why people keep arguing about whether or not Stern's freedom of speach is being trampled by CC, since CC has very little to do with this. The question is whether the FCC is trying to trample his freedom of speach.

I hope this eliminates the need for 75% of the posts in this thread, where people are arguing back and forth, redundantly.

Sorry I misread your previous post.

I don't see how the FCC is trying to tample his freedom of speech. Like I said before the FCC reacts to complaints. The complaints probably come and go depending no the mood of the public at large. And post-boobie there have been a hail storm of complaints and, unfortunetly, knee-jerk reactions. In response the FCC has lobbied the max amount of fines against shock jocks like Stern and Bubba the Love Sponge that they can (even though Stern wants to play the martyr he has *not* been singled out by the FCC). Which is $27,500 per incident per station. Now, like I said in my previous post, this max penalty might get raised as high as $500,000.
There are guidelines outlining what is and is not protected speech and what is and is not "broadcast friendly" between 6am and 10pm. But these guidelines are subjective and are a reflection of what current "comminty standards" are.

I'm gonna shut up now 'cause I feel like I'm ranting. ;)

Lethal

MacNut
Apr 14, 2004, 02:20 AM
All it took to set these standards over 20 years ago was a father driving w/his son in CA and heard Geroge Carlin's "7 dirty words" bit on the car radio. And people say one man can't make a difference.

I've probably heard all 7 dirty words said by my father while driving in the car.
I hope that guy is happy, now we can't see anything good on TV :rolleyes:

LethalWolfe
Apr 14, 2004, 02:36 AM
I've probably heard all 7 dirty words said by my father while driving in the car.
I hope that guy is happy, now we can't see anything good on TV :rolleyes:


If he's still alive I'm sure we could find his address and send him hate mail. :D


Lethal

davecuse
Apr 14, 2004, 07:00 AM
By fining Clear Channel the FCC is telling the radio station and in turn me that Stern cannot be heard. I don't understand why it's so difficult to see that....

I don't want my government determining what I can and cannot see or hear, Stern does not have a political agenda, his show is purely for entertainment geared towards adults. He has done an excellent job of gaining a huge fan base. I repeat that the only reason clear channel is dropping him is because of this fine. Essentially the FCC is forcing him to be dropped, i.e. babying me. I just want the choice to listen to what I want. And no this does not mean that everyone should have a venue, obviously Stern has done something right look at his ratings.

Clear Channel did..
Realize that this fine was something that they did not want to deal with in the future.

Clear Channel did not...
Wake up one morning and say to themselves, this guy is making us too much money, let's can him.

Krizoitz
Apr 14, 2004, 10:17 AM
By fining Clear Channel the FCC is telling the radio station and in turn me that Stern cannot be heard. I don't understand why it's so difficult to see that....

Because that is NOT what happened. Think of radio waves like roads. You can use the roads for various reasons, but you can't do so in any way you please. You can't drive the wrong way, you can't go past the speed limit, etc. These rules were put in place because any society can not exist without those rules. The FCC is not telling the radio station that Howard Stern can't be heard. They are telling them that he can't break the rules without consequences.

In fact if CC and Howard Stern wanted to they could broadcast his show at other times during the day in which that type of content is allowed. Much like on broadcast television. On network TV you can't say or do certain types of programming during certain times of the day. These standards were set up because people felt like EVERYONE should be able to be comfortable to a minimum extent watching during the day.

But what about people who want to watch porn, or hear swearing, or talk about penis sizes. Well thats what cable is for. Or video stores. Or the internet. Or Playboy magazine.

Why is it that your right to hear or see whatever you want whenever and whereever you want suprsedes everyone elses rights?

You are free to watch or listen or read whatever you want. Howard Stern is free to say and talk about whatever he wants. Clear Channel is free to carry his show or not if they want. But there are rules and there are consequences.

If enough people are still interested in Howard Sterns show then it will find a different time/place to be broadcast. No one is telling him he can't do that. Why can't he follow the rules and move his show to a time of the evening where that kind of content is allowed?


I don't want my government determining what I can and cannot see or hear, Stern does not have a political agenda, his show is purely for entertainment geared towards adults. He has done an excellent job of gaining a huge fan base. I repeat that the only reason clear channel is dropping him is because of this fine. Essentially the FCC is forcing him to be dropped, i.e. babying me. I just want the choice to listen to what I want. And no this does not mean that everyone should have a venue, obviously Stern has done something right look at his ratings.

The FCC isn't babying you, its not telling you what you can and can't listen to. It's not breaking in to your home and taking all your porno mags and unplugging the cable from your TV. Its merely saying that these are the rules which are in place. Play by them or get fined. All he has to do do stay on the air is change when his show is on. That's it. Or he can move to a different venue. Cable TV maybe. Its not like they are walking around and shooting people who say offensive things. Gimme a break, you want to talk about the Government outta control you talk about the Patriot Act. The FCC is not the Gestapo organization you make them out to be.

Oh and popularity doesn't make it right. I could give you many examples of where a person/group was popular and what they did to get there was wrong. But I'll leave it at that for now.

applebum
Apr 14, 2004, 12:03 PM
Because that is NOT what happened. Think of radio waves like roads. You can use the roads for various reasons, but you can't do so in any way you please. You can't drive the wrong way, you can't go past the speed limit, etc. These rules were put in place because any society can not exist without those rules. The FCC is not telling the radio station that Howard Stern can't be heard. They are telling them that he can't break the rules without consequences.

In fact if CC and Howard Stern wanted to they could broadcast his show at other times during the day in which that type of content is allowed. Much like on broadcast television. On network TV you can't say or do certain types of programming during certain times of the day. These standards were set up because people felt like EVERYONE should be able to be comfortable to a minimum extent watching during the day.

But what about people who want to watch porn, or hear swearing, or talk about penis sizes. Well thats what cable is for. Or video stores. Or the internet. Or Playboy magazine.

Why is it that your right to hear or see whatever you want whenever and whereever you want suprsedes everyone elses rights?

You are free to watch or listen or read whatever you want. Howard Stern is free to say and talk about whatever he wants. Clear Channel is free to carry his show or not if they want. But there are rules and there are consequences.

If enough people are still interested in Howard Sterns show then it will find a different time/place to be broadcast. No one is telling him he can't do that. Why can't he follow the rules and move his show to a time of the evening where that kind of content is allowed?


The FCC isn't babying you, its not telling you what you can and can't listen to. It's not breaking in to your home and taking all your porno mags and unplugging the cable from your TV. Its merely saying that these are the rules which are in place. Play by them or get fined. All he has to do do stay on the air is change when his show is on. That's it. Or he can move to a different venue. Cable TV maybe. Its not like they are walking around and shooting people who say offensive things. Gimme a break, you want to talk about the Government outta control you talk about the Patriot Act. The FCC is not the Gestapo organization you make them out to be.

Oh and popularity doesn't make it right. I could give you many examples of where a person/group was popular and what they did to get there was wrong. But I'll leave it at that for now.

Very good points all! And to take it one step further, Howard Stern can still continue to say whatever he wants on the channels he is on for as long as the stations are willing to pay the fine. The FCC isn't taking Stern off the air, they are just fining him for breaking rules (I do fully understand they haven't been consistent in their fining).

I am a man, and I like to see naked women. Just because I can't see this at 8 PM on network TV doesn't mean the FCC has taken away my rights. I can see all the naked women I want on the internet, I can switch over to HBO at 8 and probably see some there, I can wait til 10 and watch NYPD Blue and see some there, or even switch to E after 10 and see the broadcast of Howard's show (soft core porn practically), oh did I mention I can see all that I wanted to on the internet? ;)

Sometimes it seems like we have been free so long in this country that we have become spoiled. We truly have no idea what it is like to live without freedom and "rights". I pray that we never have to find out.

davecuse
Apr 14, 2004, 12:10 PM
Because that is NOT what happened. Think of radio waves like roads. You can use the roads for various reasons, but you can't do so in any way you please. You can't drive the wrong way, you can't go past the speed limit, etc. These rules were put in place because any society can not exist without those rules. The FCC is not telling the radio station that Howard Stern can't be heard. They are telling them that he can't break the rules without consequences.

Your reasoning is false, in what way is talking about something at all like driving a 2,000 lb piece of metal down the highway at 90mph?

You are correct that society needs rules, rules to ensure people's safety, and rules to ensure that people have a voice. I repeat, by fining Clear Channel, the FCC is telling them that Howard Stern is not acceptable and putting undue pressure on them to drop his show. This is an indirect way of banning his right to free speech, and his right a public venue. It should not be the governments right to decide who is on the air, it should be the people's. Clearly the people are behind Howard, otherwise he would not have such stellar ratings.

yamabushi
Apr 14, 2004, 01:04 PM
If you have a right not to be offended by Howard Stern, do I have a right not to be offended by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingrahm, et al.? Should my poor child's ear have to be assaulted by their brand of political hate speech? I don't want to have to explain to my 7 year old child why her dad is 'unamerican' for his beliefs. I don't want to have to explain why the 'secular humanists' are ruining society. Why should I be forced to be put in this situation?
I was thinking along the same lines. I would rather have my child listen to uncensored 2LiveCrew than be assaulted by the lies and hate speech of Rush Limbaugh. Some other people obviously feel the opposite. Why are the views of some people on what is offensive validated by legislation while others are ignored? The airwaves are never going to be clean enough for everybody. In my opinion we either have a free society that protects free speech or we don't. It is starting to appear that the latter is true.

btw- I personally don't like Howard Stern, but I love freedom and democracy.

Krizoitz
Apr 14, 2004, 01:12 PM
Your reasoning is false, in what way is talking about something at all like driving a 2,000 lb piece of metal down the highway at 90mph?

You are correct that society needs rules, rules to ensure people's safety, and rules to ensure that people have a voice. I repeat, by fining Clear Channel, the FCC is telling them that Howard Stern is not acceptable and putting undue pressure on them to drop his show. This is an indirect way of banning his right to free speech, and his right a public venue. It should not be the governments right to decide who is on the air, it should be the people's. Clearly the people are behind Howard, otherwise he would not have such stellar ratings.

First, the FCC only fines a station when people bring violations to its attention by filing complaints. They do not go out of their way to hunt people down.

Second, the FCC IS telling Clear Channel what is acceptable because their are rules that say so.

Third, Howard Stern doesn't have a right to the radio airwaves any more than I do. Is my free speech being violated if a radio station doesn't want to carry what I have to say?

Fourth, there are lots of things you can't do in public, like have sex for example, because people have a right not to see it. Any society has to have some standards that all sides can live under.

Fifth, Howard Stern could have his show at other times during the day, why doesn't he do that? Then he could still be on the air?

Sixth, simply because he is popular doesn't mean the people are behind him. All it means is that SOME people are behind him. I guarentee you that group is no where NEAR the majority of Americans. Besides who says the majority is always right? The majority of people in this country used to think that slavery was ok. The majority of people in the world used to think the earth was flat. Heck the majority of the people in this country are Christian, does that mean we should start having Christian only laws? Majority doesn't make it ok, even if Howard Stern did have a majority of the people behind him (which he doesn't).

davecuse
Apr 14, 2004, 01:51 PM
the FCC IS telling Clear Channel what is acceptable because their are rules that say so.

So these rules are correct by default? Slavery used to be legal, that law changed for the better.

Howard Stern doesn't have a right to the radio airwaves any more than I do. Is my free speech being violated if a radio station doesn't want to carry what I have to say?

Clear Channel did want to carry him, just not pay the fines. If you had a radio show and were dropped because of FCC fines I would back you.

there are lots of things you can't do in public, like have sex for example, because people have a right not to see it. Any society has to have some standards that all sides can live under.

Having sex in the middle of the street is far different that a radio show, again your reasoning here is faulty. You should look into a Psychology class at your local college or university, they offer a great deal of insight into arguments.

simply because he is popular doesn't mean the people are behind him. All it means is that SOME people are behind him. I guarentee you that group is no where NEAR the majority of Americans. Besides who says the majority is always right? The majority of people in this country used to think that slavery was ok. The majority of people in the world used to think the earth was flat. Heck the majority of the people in this country are Christian, does that mean we should start having Christian only laws? Majority doesn't make it ok, even if Howard Stern did have a majority of the people behind him (which he doesn't).

I'm not saying that the majority of people think that his views are right, just that he should not be harassed and dropped from venues due to government fines for airing his views. It's not like he's trying to fulfill some political agenda over the airwaves, he's just trying to make people laugh. What's so wrong about that?

LethalWolfe
Apr 14, 2004, 01:52 PM
Your reasoning is false, in what way is talking about something at all like driving a 2,000 lb piece of metal down the highway at 90mph?

You are correct that society needs rules, rules to ensure people's safety, and rules to ensure that people have a voice. I repeat, by fining Clear Channel, the FCC is telling them that Howard Stern is not acceptable and putting undue pressure on them to drop his show. This is an indirect way of banning his right to free speech, and his right a public venue. It should not be the governments right to decide who is on the air, it should be the people's. Clearly the people are behind Howard, otherwise he would not have such stellar ratings.

Once again *Free Speech is not w/o it's limits.* No one has a *right* to have their own radio or TV show. Using public airwaves is a privilege not a right. They are regulated because they are a finite resouce. And "entertainment" speech is allowed less leeway than news or political speech. Once again, this isn't just happening to Howard Stern. Other DJ's have been fined and even fired. Stern is just making a big stink 'cause his huge "I am Howard. I get ratings. I am Untouchable" ego is getting deflated.

Once again, you are saying that CC, as well as every other media provider, should be forced to carry all content including content they do want to carry. How is that not totalitarian? What about their right to run their business w/o government interference?

Stern is no longer on the air in 6 markets. That's it. He is still on the radio. He is still on TV. If he webcasts his show he is still on the web. He can still write books. Go on the lecture circut. Even get a deal and go onto satilite radio. If this is the government's attempt to silence Howard Stern is a very, very, very poor attempt.

Yes Stern has a big fan base which is the only reason stations have paid for his more than 1 million dollars in fines (by far the most by any single person/show) over the course of his career. And CC is saying that, for them, the income generated by Stern is not enough to offset the penalties of carrying Stern's show. The market is speaking. At least the markets that CC aired Stern's show in. And, again, the FCC reacts to complaints. They do not monitor every broadcast every single minute of the day. If no one was complaining no one would be getting fined. People complained, shows got reviewed, and in this case Stern got the max penalties thrown at him. Which I don't see a problem w/because Stern has been fined many times in the past and knows where the lines are. But he crosses them anyway because it helps him get ratings. Which in the past was enough to save his @ss, but not anymore (maybe he's just not as popular as he used to be?). When you play with fire you are going to get burned.

And sense you are so offended by what is going on here I hope that you have contacted your state representatives, the FCC, ClearChannel, and your local radio station (assuming you live in a market that airs/aired Stern) and voiced your displeasure about this situation instead of only b*tching and moaning on an internet forum.


Lethal

LethalWolfe
Apr 14, 2004, 01:58 PM
davecuse, no offense, but you might want to read up FCC regulations, freedom of speech, and court decissions that deal with the two. This discussion would be a lot less circular if you knew what you were talking about.


Lethal

davecuse
Apr 14, 2004, 02:01 PM
Once again, you are saying that CC, as well as every other media provider, should be forced to carry all content including content they do want to carry. How is that not totalitarian? What about their right to run their business w/o government interference?

Please re-read my previous statements, as you have missed my point. Howard Stern was not dropped because Clear Channel just decided they didn't like him, he was dropped because of fines by the Government. So yes I agree that they should be free to run their business without government interference.

Krizoitz
Apr 14, 2004, 05:10 PM
So these rules are correct by default? Slavery used to be legal, that law changed for the better.
Those laws are the ones in place and he violated them and he was fined because of it.


Clear Channel did want to carry him, just not pay the fines. If you had a radio show and were dropped because of FCC fines I would back you.

Obviously they didn't want to carry him enough, otherwise they would have payed the fines.


Having sex in the middle of the street is far different that a radio show, again your reasoning here is faulty. You should look into a Psychology class at your local college or university, they offer a great deal of insight into arguments.

I will kindly ask you to refrain from making personal attacks like that thank you very much. My reasoning is fine, the point being that even in public not all behavior is permited. This is because I want to be able to walk down the street without having to see two people going at it. And I want to be able to scan the dial without having to hear about peoples penis size during the hours when this isn't allowed. If its past whatever time the rules change then yes it is my option to turn off the radio, but when the radio is supposed to be free of that sort of stuff and it isn't then the law and my freedoms are violated to.

You seem to be of the mind that freedom should be unlimited and that the radio waves should be free to be used however anyone wants them to be. Well whether you like it or not the people of this country and the Supreme Court have decided otherwise.


I'm not saying that the majority of people think that his views are right, just that he should not be harassed and dropped from venues due to government fines for airing his views. It's not like he's trying to fulfill some political agenda over the airwaves, he's just trying to make people laugh. What's so wrong about that?
Because he is doing so by breaking the rules. The airwaves are not free! They aren't there so you can say whatever you want whenever you want. Howard Stern doesn't have any more right to broadcast than I do. His ability to be on the radio is a privilege not a right, and just like any other privilege (driving for example) if you break the rules then you get punished, whether you like the rules or not. Again the key difference here between his freedoms being taken away and his privileges is that no one is telling him he can't say what he wants, just that he can't say it in certain areas, or at certain times. This is not only completely legal, but is necessary so that society can function with some modicum of stability.

LethalWolfe
Apr 14, 2004, 06:50 PM
Please re-read my previous statements, as you have missed my point. Howard Stern was not dropped because Clear Channel just decided they didn't like him, he was dropped because of fines by the Government. So yes I agree that they should be free to run their business without government interference.

It is your under lying, and previously stated, premise that Stern is the victim of some FCC witch hunt that I have the problem with. Stern has been fined (yet again). Other DJ's have been fined and/or fired. Stern has made a career of breaking the rules and having other people foot the bill. Now one company has said "enough is enough" and dropped Stern's show and some people start busting out the conspirancy theories. All the while Stern is crying like a spoiled brat that has been disciplined for the first time.

I guess I fail to see how fine-in-2004+Stern=Witch hunt, but all-previous-fines+Stern and/or fines+non-Stern-DJ are not witch hunts.


Lethal

davecuse
Apr 14, 2004, 06:55 PM
Ok, obviously you have your views and I have mine. This is a point that we disagree on, but this discussion is going nowhere. I don't think that either of us are going to change the other one's mind. So I vote for this thread to be closed.

Koodauw
Apr 14, 2004, 07:37 PM
And for everyone complaining about government regulation the FCC does not actively monitor broadcasts. It only investigates shows when it recieves complaints. All it took to set these standards over 20 years ago was a father driving w/his son in CA and heard Geroge Carlin's "7 dirty words" bit on the car radio. And people say one man can't make a difference.

l

Thank you Lethal. I've said FCC v. Pacifica a few times, but I guess no one was listening.

MarkCollette
Apr 15, 2004, 02:15 AM
Argh! The pain in my brain from reading the same statements, which have been refuted over and over, being repeated again and again.

I've noticed that aguments are now getting personal, which is never nice, but is to be expected due to some people's complete inability to read.

So, to be completely clear:

We know that freedom of speach does not involve radio station having to give you a show. WE KNOW THAT. Anyone writing that one more time is publically admitting to mental retardation.

We know that society needs rules to function. We know that applies to speach as well, for example "fire" in crowded room, "bomb" in airport etc. We just don't think that that applies to anyone talking about sex on the radio, television, etc. We think that those existing rules should be thrown out.

When someone is held to "community standards", then that is highly vague. Are polls taken to determine what is a community standard? No. Usually, it comes down to one of two things: either a judge thinks to himself what that standard might be, or it is defined by the number of people who complain. In any case it is a vocal minority, and not actually a measure of the majority. So, we know that it is not democratic. Furthermore, the Constitution is intended to protect the rights of the few against arbitrary impingement, which this violates as well.

What I'm getting at is, if the FCC is going to fine anyone, it should not be based on some arbitrary system, where they fine you more or less, based on the whining and hurt sentiments of a few vocal individuals. Instead it should be based on whether or not real harm has been done.

davecuse
Apr 15, 2004, 06:43 AM
Argh! The pain in my brain from reading the same statements, which have been refuted over and over, being repeated again and again

I was starting to think I was on my own.

tveric
Apr 15, 2004, 09:45 AM
First, the FCC only fines a station when people bring violations to its attention by filing complaints. They do not go out of their way to hunt people down.
That is technically true; however, the reality is that the FCC can pick and choose who they go after because you only need 1 complaint to go after somebody. I can write a letter complaining that the F-word was unbleeped on the Ryan Seacrest show, but the FCC will never go after him - on the other hand, the $495,000 fine was a result of ONE man's complaint. So, in effect, they can and do hunt down whomever they wish to bring down.


Second, the FCC IS telling Clear Channel what is acceptable because their are rules that say so.
Completely misleading statement. The FCC says "no sexual and/or excretory content" because that's indecent. Meanwhile, what exactly defines what that content is? There's sexual content on Friends every week - no one gets fined. There's sexual content on Oprah almost every day - no one gets fined. The actual "line" that you claim Stern crosses is completely arbitrary, subject to the opinions of those in charge of the FCC. These fines would be declared unconstistutional if the case was ever allowed to get that far, simply because of the (intentional) vagueness of the "rule".

Third, Howard Stern doesn't have a right to the radio airwaves any more than I do. Is my free speech being violated if a radio station doesn't want to carry what I have to say?
This is a ludicrous statement. If you could get 12-20 millions listeners every morning, radio stations would be fighting to get you on the air. In addition, you could (if you had the money) start your own radio station, get a license, and start broadcasting. So no, your free speech right isn't being violated. You have as much a right to the airwaves as Howard does. You just aren't entertaining enough to get someone to pay to put you on the air.

Fourth, there are lots of things you can't do in public, like have sex for example, because people have a right not to see it. Any society has to have some standards that all sides can live under.
The difference is, people could presumably see you have sex in public without intending to. You have go outside to live your daily life, you can't avoid that. You don't NEED a radio or TV, or internet for that matter, lots of people live without 1 or more of those things. Furthermore, even if you take on the responsibility of buying a radio, no one is forcing you to listen to Howard Stern. Completely inappropriate analogy to "sex in public".

Fifth, Howard Stern could have his show at other times during the day, why doesn't he do that? Then he could still be on the air?
He doesn't do that because the marketplace dictates that he go on the air in morning drive, when the most people will listen to him. This is still a capitalist country. In addition, if you're dragging out the "what about the children" argument, the morning is the only time parents actually supervise their children on a consistent basis - the afternoons and night are times when kids can put on their headphones and listen to whatever they feel like. I know I did.


Sixth, simply because he is popular doesn't mean the people are behind him. All it means is that SOME people are behind him. I guarentee you that group is no where NEAR the majority of Americans. Besides who says the majority is always right? The majority of people in this country used to think that slavery was ok. The majority of people in the world used to think the earth was flat. Heck the majority of the people in this country are Christian, does that mean we should start having Christian only laws? Majority doesn't make it ok, even if Howard Stern did have a majority of the people behind him (which he doesn't).
You're actually RIGHT on this score! We live in a country where the rights of the minority are reasonably well protected. That's why in this case, the minority of 12-20 million people that WANT to listen to Howard Stern should not be denied that right by a few hundred religious fanatics that write letters to the FCC over and over again. If you don't like Howard, don't listen to him. Write down a different radio station in your Arbitron diary. Throw your radio out the window! This is a free country - you have the right to do any of those things, but not the right to deny me the Howard Stern show just because you don't like it.

MacNut
Apr 15, 2004, 05:35 PM
For a newbie your quite smart.

tveric
Apr 15, 2004, 07:59 PM
Thanks. I'm only a newbie to posting here, though. And even that seems to be more a function of how little I post than how long I've been posting.

Read the Truth! http://www.howardstern.com/fcc.html

davecuse
Apr 15, 2004, 08:48 PM
Fight the good fight newbie! Although I'm not sure if telling on other shows is the best way to fight for freedom of speech, it is quite telling to see some of the other infractions that other shows have commited. I think that we as a society need to evolve a little, and understand that adults will do adult things, does everything really need to be sugar coated? I think that Howard understands his audience, and caters to what they (myself being one of them) want to hear in the name of good humor.

If Howard does decide to make the move to XM as he has hinted on his show, I do back the move and I will most certainly subscribe to the service. I am planning on getting XM as is, but this would be the icing on the cake.

tveric
Apr 15, 2004, 09:22 PM
Fight the good fight newbie! Although I'm not sure if telling on other shows is the best way to fight for freedom of speech, it is quite telling to see some of the other infractions that other shows have commited. I think that we as a society need to evolve a little, and understand that adults will do adult things, does everything really need to be sugar coated? I think that Howard understands his audience, and caters to what they (myself being one of them) want to hear in the name of good humor.

If Howard does decide to make the move to XM as he has hinted on his show, I do back the move and I will most certainly subscribe to the service. I am planning on getting XM as is, but this would be the icing on the cake.

I understand the reaction to telling on other shows - I had the same one. But here's the thing (and if you dig a little deeper into Howard's show each morning you'll understand this, he harps on it enough) - it's not so much telling on other shows as it is pointing out the hypocrisy of the FCC. Viacom's lawyers intend to fight the next round of fines to come their way, and the FCC knows this - didja notice that the last $495,000 fine was against 6 stations, and all 6 just "happened" to be Clear Channel stations? Two possible reasons for this:

1)The FCC doesn't want a confrontation in court, where they would get slaughtered for selectively fining some shows while other shows like Ryan Seacrest, Oprah Winfrey and more are ignored, even in the face of massive citizen complaints against those shows.

2) They're taking their time to build as good a case as they can, which would still get ripped apart if they don't fine other shows which have committed more egregious violations.

For example, the F-word is never said on Howard's show - even if a guest or caller says it, it gets bleeped (the show is on a delay handled by multiple computers - Howard has the ability to bleep such offenses, and if even if he misses it, there's another button operator to catch it on the second delay). Yet it went out on Seacrest's show unbleeped.

Oprah Winfrey, meanwhile, often airs sexual content that makes Howard's antics seem like a 70s sitcom in its offensiveness. One clip in which a guest graphically described what "salad tossing" means (look it up) was not allowed by Howard's general manager to be aired on his show, even though it had already aired on Oprah, uncensored. As our mostly uneducated poster pointed out before, the FCC can only investigate incidents that listeners complain about. If enough listeners complain, the FCC only has two choices:
1) Continue to ignore Oprah's show, strenghtening the argument that their "standards" are completely arbitrary and unconstitutional.
2) Fine Oprah - in which case all holy hell would break loose in this country. Oprah has even a bigger (and more right-of-center) audience than Howard, and if she got fined, believe me, you'd see some fireworks erupt. Once Oprah comes forward on the side of free speech, you've got an unstoppable combination of forces in this country that will overwhelm the religious right that's trying to make all us have only what THEY want on the airwaves.

For more info: http://www.howardstern.com/

LethalWolfe
Apr 16, 2004, 08:33 PM
That is technically true; however, the reality is that the FCC can pick and choose who they go after because you only need 1 complaint to go after somebody. I can write a letter complaining that the F-word was unbleeped on the Ryan Seacrest show, but the FCC will never go after him - on the other hand, the $495,000 fine was a result of ONE man's complaint. So, in effect, they can and do hunt down whomever they wish to bring down.

How are these fines different from all the other fines cause by Stern? What makes these fines so special?

Completely misleading statement. The FCC says "no sexual and/or excretory content" because that's indecent. Meanwhile, what exactly defines what that content is? There's sexual content on Friends every week - no one gets fined. There's sexual content on Oprah almost every day - no one gets fined. The actual "line" that you claim Stern crosses is completely arbitrary, subject to the opinions of those in charge of the FCC. These fines would be declared unconstistutional if the case was ever allowed to get that far, simply because of the (intentional) vagueness of the "rule".

It is vague because it is undefinable. It deals with completely subject matters where the context is as important as the word/material itself. It should be vague. It should be judged w/discretion and not hard and fast rules. A picture of a woman's vagina can be porn or it can be a visual aid in a sex ed or medical class. What was it that Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said in regards to defining porn,"I can't define it, but I'll know it when I see it." Presentation has a lot to do with it. I've watched a documentary on PBS about human sexuality and it showed clips of a couple having sex and the man ejaculating (last thing I ever thought I'd see on b'cast TV) but I don't think anyone would label it as "porn."

This is a ludicrous statement. If you could get 12-20 millions listeners every morning, radio stations would be fighting to get you on the air. In addition, you could (if you had the money) start your own radio station, get a license, and start broadcasting. So no, your free speech right isn't being violated. You have as much a right to the airwaves as Howard does. You just aren't entertaining enough to get someone to pay to put you on the air.


You are right. Everyone has the same right to air waves. Which is to say we all have no right to be on the air waves. It's a privilege<sp?> granted by the FCC which has been put in charge of regulating and maintianing this finite resource. And there are consequnces for not following regulations.


The difference is, people could presumably see you have sex in public without intending to. You have go outside to live your daily life, you can't avoid that. You don't NEED a radio or TV, or internet for that matter, lots of people live without 1 or more of those things. Furthermore, even if you take on the responsibility of buying a radio, no one is forcing you to listen to Howard Stern. Completely inappropriate analogy to "sex in public".

It has long been established that part of the reason the content of over-the-air broadcasts (be it radio or TV) can be regulated is because the audience has no control over the content that comes to them. The reason the same regulations don't apply to cable and satilite is because 1. they are not over-the-air b'cast tv and 2. by subscribing to them you are basically saying "yes, I want this content in my home." This is one reason why the regulation of porn on the internet has gone no where fast. Porn on the internet doesn't come to you, you go to it.

And in regards to the "think of the children" stance the precendent is that, basically, adults should be allowed to hear/watch adult content. On the flip side that doesn't give broadcasters freedom to air whatever they want. There is an attempt to maintain a happy medium.

And to top it all off something that may people seem to not be aware of is that different forms of speech as well as different mediums are afforded different amounts of protection. The internet is pretty much anybody's game. Print media is very protected (unregulated). Then TV and then radio. And for kinds of speech poltical speech and news are very, very, very protected. Educational content is also very protected. Entertainment and/or commercial speech are not very protected (by comparision).

And for the record I'm not a Stern fan or a Stern hater (although the movie was surprisingly good).

Most of what I've said here I've tried to keep simple and brief.


Lethal

tveric
Apr 16, 2004, 09:16 PM
How are these fines different from all the other fines cause by Stern? What makes these fines so special?

You show your lack of knowledge on the subject here, and don't take that the wrong way - not saying you're stupid or something, you just don't know the facts. The reality is that until two weeks ago Stern had NEVER been fined by the FCC. There was, about 10 years ago, a $1.7 million settlement paid by Infinity Broadcasting that was basically extortion - Infinity had to pay because the FCC was burying their license requests and station acquisition requests in paperwork, and the FCC didn't want to go to court because they would have lost. Regardless, it was NOT a fine, it was instead treated as a tax-deductible "voluntary contribution."

It is vague because it is undefinable. It deals with completely subject matters where the context is as important as the word/material itself. It should be vague. It should be judged w/discretion and not hard and fast rules. A picture of a woman's vagina can be porn or it can be a visual aid in a sex ed or medical class. What was it that Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said in regards to defining porn,"I can't define it, but I'll know it when I see it." Presentation has a lot to do with it. I've watched a documentary on PBS about human sexuality and it showed clips of a couple having sex and the man ejaculating (last thing I ever thought I'd see on b'cast TV) but I don't think anyone would label it as "porn."

Again, you have your facts screwed up, and this time backwards. Oliver Wendell Holmes provided the "fire!" in a crowded theater as an example of unprotected speech. In the same (concurring) decision, Justice Potter Stewart said he knew OBSCENITY when he saw it, and the movie in question was NOT obscene. In other words, he was defending free speech in the face of the right-wing religious nuts who had brought the case to the Supreme Court in the first place, by saying that you can't just decide that something you don't like is obscene and thereby abridge someone's free speech rights. Nothing Stern says is obscene, and I challenge you to find an example of something he said on-air that is. Please.



You are right. Everyone has the same right to air waves. Which is to say we all have no right to be on the air waves. It's a privilege<sp?> granted by the FCC which has been put in charge of regulating and maintianing this finite resource. And there are consequnces for not following regulations.

We go back to this same argument again and again - why do you ignore the fact that there ARE no clear-cut regulations, and the FCC (a non-elected body that is supposed to be employed by us, the citizens) arbitrarily decides who to fine and when. That's not right. Next time they might come for you or some show you like, completely arbitrarily. That's why we can't allow government employees to just make up rules as they go along. It's a dangerous precedent, and if you don't understand that, maybe you'd rather live under the Taliban.

It has long been established that part of the reason the content of over-the-air broadcasts (be it radio or TV) can be regulated is because the audience has no control over the content that comes to them. The reason the same regulations don't apply to cable and satilite is because 1. they are not over-the-air b'cast tv and 2. by subscribing to them you are basically saying "yes, I want this content in my home." This is one reason why the regulation of porn on the internet has gone no where fast. Porn on the internet doesn't come to you, you go to it.

Howard isn't broadcasting porn - there's a world of difference between porn on the internet and a guy on the radio saying the word "penis". Especially since the same exact topics are broached in far more detail all over TV. How do you not get this?

And in regards to the "think of the children" stance the precendent is that, basically, adults should be allowed to hear/watch adult content. On the flip side that doesn't give broadcasters freedom to air whatever they want. There is an attempt to maintain a happy medium.
What does this even mean? It has nothing to do with your previous argument, so I can only assume you agree that kids aren't listening to Howard's show.

And to top it all off something that may people seem to not be aware of is that different forms of speech as well as different mediums are afforded different amounts of protection. The internet is pretty much anybody's game. Print media is very protected (unregulated). Then TV and then radio. And for kinds of speech poltical speech and news are very, very, very protected. Educational content is also very protected. Entertainment and/or commercial speech are not very protected (by comparision).


You have no idea what you're talking about here, and it shows. The Internet only "anybody's game" by de facto, not de jure reasons. There's also no laws establishing some sort of "pecking order" that you seem to have come up with on your own here - all of the mediums you listed are equally protected. Where's the law that says entertainment speech is less protected than political and news speech? Please admit that you were just talking out of your bunghole here, since it's painfully obvious.

davecuse
Apr 16, 2004, 09:27 PM
It has long been established that part of the reason the content of over-the-air broadcasts (be it radio or TV) can be regulated is because the audience has no control over the content that comes to them. The reason the same regulations don't apply to cable and satilite is because 1. they are not over-the-air b'cast tv and 2. by subscribing to them you are basically saying "yes, I want this content in my home." This is one reason why the regulation of porn on the internet has gone no where fast. Porn on the internet doesn't come to you, you go to it.

This is one argument that I do not understand. It's not like TV and Radio just magically start playing in your head. You have to go out and purchase an appliance to view or listen to this content, essentially saying "yes, I want this content in my home". Am I wrong on this?

If you want to live a sheltered life, you are welcome to. I know a few people who refuse to have a TV in their home. You don't have to have a TV or Radio to function as a part of society, it's a source of entertainment, treat it as such.

In my opinion Howard Stern has not done or said anything worth beheading him over. I just think that this an excesively lofty fine for something that's not a federal case, which has caused him to be dropped by 6 stations. But hey I could be wrong, and I'm sure someone will tell me that I am.

Krizoitz
Apr 16, 2004, 10:02 PM
This is one argument that I do not understand. It's not like TV and Radio just magically start playing in your head. You have to go out and purchase an appliance to view or listen to this content, essentially saying "yes, I want this content in my home". Am I wrong on this?

If you want to live a sheltered life, you are welcome to. I know a few people who refuse to have a TV in their home. You don't have to have a TV or Radio to function as a part of society, it's a source of entertainment, treat it as such.

In my opinion Howard Stern has not done or said anything worth beheading him over. I just think that this an excesively lofty fine for something that's not a federal case, which has caused him to be dropped by 6 stations. But hey I could be wrong, and I'm sure someone will tell me that I am.

The point is that because radio and broadcast tv are free it is expected that all people should be able to listen/watch with a reasonable expectation of not having to see/hear overly offensive content. Obviously free speech is also important you don't have the right to go through life without being offended either. In the case of TV and radio a balance must be maintained between freedom and being decent for most people.

On the one hand some people want there to be everything allowed, no controls. On the other hand some people want TV/Radio held to some ultra-puritanical standard. What the FCC tries to do is maintain a balance and Howard Stern has passed what most people feel is a reasonable level. You may disagree and you may voice your opinion but guess what, other people feel that his show doesnt in anyway benefit anyone and that it goes to far in terms of behavior to justify its free speech argument. Those people who are out to stop Howard Stern from violating the rules aren't all trying to set up some sort of uber-conservative agenda, anymore than those proponents of his show aren't all out to create total anarchy. Some of the people in this thread's arguments might be taken more seriously if they didn't attack people as if we were extremeists just because we feel that Howard Stern has gone to far.

MacNut
Apr 16, 2004, 11:46 PM
This may be a lame argument but here it goes, I have cable which shows my local 'Broadcast" stations but i pay for it since its on my cable lineup, so does this mean that its not broadcast if I pay for it? Same could be said with Direct-TV since they now show local "Broadcast" stations. Could this be a loophole in the law since I assume this law was passed way before Cable was wide spread.

Krizoitz
Apr 17, 2004, 02:30 AM
This may be a lame argument but here it goes, I have cable which shows my local 'Broadcast" stations but i pay for it since its on my cable lineup, so does this mean that its not broadcast if I pay for it? Same could be said with Direct-TV since they now show local "Broadcast" stations. Could this be a loophole in the law since I assume this law was passed way before Cable was wide spread.

Its more like those stations are included at no cost. Because you can get those channels for free anyone I mean.

tveric
Apr 17, 2004, 07:13 AM
You may disagree and you may voice your opinion but guess what, other people feel that his show doesnt in anyway benefit anyone

Wait a second - doesn't benefit anyone? 12-20 million listeners every day listen to Howard. A lot of them, myself included, find that rush-hour traffic is bearable, even enjoyable, if we have his show to listen to while we're stuck. Doesn't benefit anyone? With millions of listeners, how could anyone make that argument?

No one thinks that you're an extremist because you don't like Howard Stern, just like no one thinks I'm an extremist because I don't like Rush Limbaugh. The difference is, I don't want Rush off the air, and I understand that there should be something for everyone on the airwaves - there's plenty of room. You cross the line into extremist when you declare someone should be taken off the air without any evidence that they're harmed anyone - basically you want them gone because you don't like their type of entertainment. That's extremism.

davecuse
Apr 17, 2004, 07:29 AM
Its more like those stations are included at no cost. Because you can get those channels for free anyone I mean.

I still think that this whole argument is off base. Is it or is it not true that you have to go out and actively buy a radio to get this content?

If you have to buy a piece of hardware to listen to a radio station, aren't you in essence subscribing? And telling the content provider, hey I want to listen to your show, otherwise I wouldn't have bought the radio in the first place.

Do you also think that if I go to a computer lab I should not be able to access howardstern.com? It is very much the same premise, you have to go out and actively search for the content provided on both radio and the internet.

MarkCollette
Apr 17, 2004, 09:17 PM
How are these fines different from all the other fines cause by Stern? What makes these fines so special?

I think it's been pointed out at least 5 times if not more that the fines are tremendously greater than before, for an act that is not really new. Like orders of magnitude more.

Please, no more asking this same question over and over, without reading any previous posts. We need to cut out the redundancy from this thread with a lawn mower.



It is vague because it is undefinable. It deals with completely subject matters where the context is as important as the word/material itself. It should be vague. It should be judged w/discretion and not hard and fast rules. A picture of a woman's vagina can be porn or it can be a visual aid in a sex ed or medical class. What was it that Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said in regards to defining porn,"I can't define it, but I'll know it when I see it." Presentation has a lot to do with it. I've watched a documentary on PBS about human sexuality and it showed clips of a couple having sex and the man ejaculating (last thing I ever thought I'd see on b'cast TV) but I don't think anyone would label it as "porn."


There's a difference between obscenity and porn. Porn need not be obscene. And judges have deemed much nastier things as not being obscene. Just because it makes some mormon's pulse race, does not mean that it's grounds for censorship AT ALL.



You are right. Everyone has the same right to air waves. Which is to say we all have no right to be on the air waves. It's a privilege<sp?> granted by the FCC which has been put in charge of regulating and maintianing this finite resource. And there are consequnces for not following regulations.


Umm, the initial reason for regulating the air waves was because of the physics that if I broadcast on the same frequency as you, then none of our stuff gets through. As well, for public safety, it was decided that what you said had to be regulated, so no one is pretending to be the President on the radio, saying that it's time to kill all the Ukrainians, or any other such disruptive thing. These are matters of coordination, and national security. I don't see how, when some puritans lobbied congress to enforce their morality on us, and decided that talking about sex and flatulence, that that falls under the same blanket of necessity. Add the ad nauseum arguments about freedom of speach that take the usual page.


It has long been established that part of the reason the content of over-the-air broadcasts (be it radio or TV) can be regulated is because the audience has no control over the content that comes to them. The reason the same regulations don't apply to cable and satilite is because 1. they are not over-the-air b'cast tv and 2. by subscribing to them you are basically saying "yes, I want this content in my home." This is one reason why the regulation of porn on the internet has gone no where fast. Porn on the internet doesn't come to you, you go to it.

And in regards to the "think of the children" stance the precendent is that, basically, adults should be allowed to hear/watch adult content. On the flip side that doesn't give broadcasters freedom to air whatever they want. There is an attempt to maintain a happy medium.


Err, satellite is over the air. Radio and satellite are the same thing, it's just that with one you buy a radio, and one you buy a satellite dish. The economic barrier to entry is the only difference, and the satellite costs are falling. Satellite is just less regulated because it's newer, and the FCC knew that its ************ interference could never stand up in court (for any medium), and when a new medium came, it had to bow out of the way. It's just not rectified on the old mediums due to inertia.

In all these mediums, they're broadcast over the air, or on a wire, a decision has been made by the viewer to 1) buy equipment to listen, and 2) actually choose the frequency to listen to. Anyone's incompetence at choosing the wrong frequency is their problem. Especially since the "damage" from a wrong decision is at most some hurt feelings, or other such insignificant thing.

Plus, if all the media corporations have been able to legislate adding data to the information flow to say if something can be saved or not, why have they not added more bits to describe the content? Then the airwaves could be totally openned, and all the pansies can get a vchip radio, a vchip TV, etc. and censor themselves, instead of the rest of us?

The happy medium is to allow us to have the control over ourselves, not to enforce it upon us.

Krizoitz
Apr 17, 2004, 09:40 PM
I still think that this whole argument is off base. Is it or is it not true that you have to go out and actively buy a radio to get this content?

If you have to buy a piece of hardware to listen to a radio station, aren't you in essence subscribing? And telling the content provider, hey I want to listen to your show, otherwise I wouldn't have bought the radio in the first place.

Do you also think that if I go to a computer lab I should not be able to access howardstern.com? It is very much the same premise, you have to go out and actively search for the content provided on both radio and the internet.

Yes you have to purchase the hardware but the idea is that the content is free to everyone, and that everyone should have the right to listen to it with a reasonable assurance that overly offensive content isn't going to be there.

Different people will agree on what offensive content is of course, but we aren't talking about borderline here, its pretty clear that Howard Stern has violated the rules as we have them. The real complaint in my mind is why they let it go on for so long.

I'm not saying there isn't a market for what he wants to broadcast, just that there are other markets available where those rules won't be broken. And hey if you really feel that the rules should be changed fine, but its easier to allow people to get potentially offensive content from elsewhere than to keep that content available and expect people un-intentionally exposed to it to forget it.

I mean its better to allow people to go get drunk in specific places than have alcohol randomly come out of a drinking fountain at McDonald's by accident to someone who doesn't want to drink it. I know I know bad analogy but it's been a long day, I think you get the point.

MarkCollette
Apr 17, 2004, 09:49 PM
The point is that because radio and broadcast tv are free it is expected that all people should be able to listen/watch with a reasonable expectation of not having to see/hear overly offensive content. Obviously free speech is also important you don't have the right to go through life without being offended either. In the case of TV and radio a balance must be maintained between freedom and being decent for most people.


Because some industry players have chosen a business model where the end user had an upfront cost, with no residual cost, has no bearing whatsoever on people's constitutional rights. I can give out free pieces of paper on the street, or I can charge for them. But, it's still my choice what I write on them. You are assuming that a balance needs be made between freedom, and what some people deem to be decency. Considering that everyone's opinion of what is decent is different, and the right to freedom is inviolable, I think it should be obvious that your assertion is not just illegal, but practically impossible. The current attempts to keep everyone happy are just a kludge. They're intended to keep a statistical majority happy. For example, not being allowed to say/do certain things before a certain time, is because a statistical majoirty of kids are asleep after that time. That's is why no fines should ever be given because of a single, or even a few complaints. Because just as the system does not protect the few kids awake after midnight, we recognise that it will not protect everyone who doesn't like what they hear, and never can.

So even if we allow this censorship due to your assertion that we need this balance, then it should still be impossible for a single complaint to cause a fine.



Those people who are out to stop Howard Stern from violating the rules aren't all trying to set up some sort of uber-conservative agenda, anymore than those proponents of his show aren't all out to create total anarchy. Some of the people in this thread's arguments might be taken more seriously if they didn't attack people as if we were extremeists just because we feel that Howard Stern has gone to far.

I disagree. This is only my opinion though, but I assert that there are individuals who have an "uber-conservative agenda", and they are attacking all pillars of secular freedom which stand against their agenda. And why should my assertion, which sounds paranoid delusional, actually be imminently obvious instead of thrown out immediately? Because I was raised a christian, and I have sat in church and listenned as people planned ways to stop people from being able to be free, and being forced to follow these people's morality. Sure, they don't talk in dark rooms, with their faces in shadows, but instead discuss these things while eating cookies and juice together on Sunday. And they don't have pantheons of power, but they do know that if they raise a stink to a politician, then they can probably get their way. They take glee in making people live under the same restriction they live under.

This is a struggle. It is an actual conflict. That sounds really quite silly, it's like admitting your nemesis is Ned Flanders. These people believe that there is a war on earth, between good and evil. They think that our freedoms allow evil, and must be stopped. That they, as agents of good, must stop our freedoms. These aren't crazy terrorists, these are all of the fundamanetalist christians all over the world. Well, actually, some of them are terrorists, like the ones who kill abortion doctors. That's why we can't back down from our right to freedom. That's why we have to ensure that all options are open to everyone, and it is our personal choices which dictate what we do, and not another's.

Krizoitz
Apr 17, 2004, 10:02 PM
The happy medium is to allow us to have the control over ourselves, not to enforce it upon us.

You do have control over yourself, no one is forcing you not to watch/listen to Howard Stern.

Just because you can't drive your car through the middle of a park doesn't mean your freedom to drive is being taken away.

Radio/TV are like public parks. They are there for EVERYONE'S benefit. Therefore a minimum level of decency needs to be maintained so everyone can reasonable be allowed to enjoy it. This isn't to say you make the park a complete conservative paradise. Women don't have to completely cover themselves for example. But they aren't allowed to run around naked and fornicate either.

Telling people that they don't have to buy a radio or watch TV is like telling them they don't have to go to the park. Yes its true, but the purpose of the park is for the use of everyone. Likewise radio is meant to be usable by everyone, so there are certain rules you live by.

If you want to run around naked you don't do it in the park. No one says you can't do it, just not in certain places. Likewise no one is saying you can't listen to howard stern, he just can't broadcast in certain places without following certain rules. He follows the rules he can stay and play with everyone. Otherwise no more park for him.

Oh and telling people they can avoid his station is like asking them to be able to just avoid a certain area of the park. Fine if you are used to the park, but when you travel you don't know where.

Regardless the idea is that the park shouldn't HAVE to be avoided because of things like that. Same with radio.

MacNut
Apr 18, 2004, 12:06 AM
Most people who complain about Stern and all the other shows didn't just happen upon the show by accident, they are purposely listening to find something to complain about. People have known for years what Stern is about, the fact that he is just now getting fined is kinda strange don't you think. Its all just a big form of tattling at the playground. If Stern was so offensive to people than why wasn't there a big outcry 10 years ago when Stern was in his prime. Why because he brought in great ratings, plus Michael Powell wasn't at the helm of the FCC either.

MacNut
Apr 18, 2004, 12:10 AM
Now Michael Powell, does the name sound familiar, well could it be because he is the son of Colon Powell, coincidence? I don't think so. Do you really think he would be here if it weren't for daddy?

Krizoitz
Apr 18, 2004, 01:15 AM
Most people who complain about Stern and all the other shows didn't just happen upon the show by accident, they are purposely listening to find something to complain about. People have known for years what Stern is about, the fact that he is just now getting fined is kinda strange don't you think. Its all just a big form of tattling at the playground. If Stern was so offensive to people than why wasn't there a big outcry 10 years ago when Stern was in his prime. Why because he brought in great ratings, plus Michael Powell wasn't at the helm of the FCC either.

So basically we shouldn't complain about it now just because he got away with it before? I disagree, I wish people had complained more before, but maybe it wasn't seen as big a problem then. Regardless the thing is that he has broken the rules and he has been breaking them. Either he needs to clean up his show, move it to a different time, or find a different outlet where he can get away with it.

MarkCollette
Apr 18, 2004, 05:17 AM
You do have control over yourself, no one is forcing you not to watch/listen to Howard Stern.

Umm, when they force him off the air, then my option to listen to him has been removed, no matter what I personally choose.

Put generically, if an option is open to anyone, then they can all exercise freedom to follow that option or not. But, if you completely remove that option, then no one has that freedom anymore.

When the FCC fined Stern off the air, then they forced me to not be able to listen to him. Elementary logic.



Just because you can't drive your car through the middle of a park doesn't mean your freedom to drive is being taken away.


You're trying to draw an analogy here to the radio thing. But the difference is the consequences. A car can crush a pedestrian to death. Naughty words you hear, can not.



Radio/TV are like public parks. They are there for EVERYONE'S benefit. Therefore a minimum level of decency needs to be maintained so everyone can reasonable be allowed to enjoy it. This isn't to say you make the park a complete conservative paradise. Women don't have to completely cover themselves for example. But they aren't allowed to run around naked and fornicate either.


I'm not sure which bland village you live in, but in my city, and others nearby, we don't lower our parks to some theoretical lowest common denominator.

In Calgary, we have parks, that are each specifically for: skate boarding, bird watching, ice skating, boating. So if you don't like the activity, then tough luck, you can leave.

In Edmonton, they have a water fountain by city hall where the youth go topless in summer. If you don't like it, then tough luck, you leave.

In Ontario, and some other provinces, it is completely legal for women to be topless anywhere. If you don't like it, then tough luck, you leave.

In Vancouver, they have a nude beach, where people of all ages go completely nude. If you don't like it, then tough luck, you leave.

In a multicultural society, with distinct values that are truly respected, one does not foist restrictions on everyone, but merely allows for locales where people have the option to participate or not.



Telling people that they don't have to buy a radio or watch TV is like telling them they don't have to go to the park. Yes its true, but the purpose of the park is for the use of everyone. Likewise radio is meant to be usable by everyone, so there are certain rules you live by.


I didn't say that people shouldn't listen to the radio at all, merely that they should stick to their frequencies while I stick to mine. Seems pretty straightforward to me.



If you want to run around naked you don't do it in the park. No one says you can't do it, just not in certain places. Likewise no one is saying you can't listen to howard stern, he just can't broadcast in certain places without following certain rules. He follows the rules he can stay and play with everyone. Otherwise no more park for him.


Again, let's make the distinction between all parks, and specific parks. As well, let's make the distinction between all radio frequencies, and specific ones. I can go completely nude in a specific beach in Vancouver, just not in other specific ones. Howard Stern is only allowed to broadcast for the station he's employed for, but cannot legally buy a gun, walk into another radio station, and force them to allow him on their frequency. So, I can listen to his show on his frequency, and you can listen to the other frequencies. Plain and simple.



Oh and telling people they can avoid his station is like asking them to be able to just avoid a certain area of the park. Fine if you are used to the park, but when you travel you don't know where.

Regardless the idea is that the park shouldn't HAVE to be avoided because of things like that. Same with radio.

Actually no. If I travel to Mexico, and they have arbitrarily different laws, then it's my responsibility to research them before I go. If I plan on going anywhere new, then it's always my responsibility to plan ahead. If I fail to plan ahead, then the results are my fault. In fact, most of us go to new places to explore, and learn new things, not to be sheltered into our old mode of existance but happen to be in a different location.

If I travel to another country, like France, and bumble my way about, and land up on a beach, and see some tits, and I have some utter dislike and revulsion of tits, then that's my fault. In no way should I ever be able to have someone fined or jailed because of my own petty sensetivites.

Ignorance is not something to be catered to, by telling people that if they haphazardly throw themselves into a new situation, that they'll be guaranteed to feel comfortable. Hell, some of us seek out that discomfort, because it makes a good story to tell others, when we get back.

Krizoitz
Apr 18, 2004, 05:43 AM
Umm, when they force him off the air, then my option to listen to him has been removed, no matter what I personally choose.
Yes they fine him, so he is not on the radio anymore, but he can be elsewhere. Radio isn't the only option.


Put generically, if an option is open to anyone, then they can all exercise freedom to follow that option or not. But, if you completely remove that option, then no one has that freedom anymore.

When the FCC fined Stern off the air, then they forced me to not be able to listen to him. Elementary logic.

You aren't allowed to listen to him on the radio, you can listen to him elsewhere?

I'm not sure which bland village you live in, but in my city, and others nearby, we don't lower our parks to some theoretical lowest common denominator.

I'm talking about your average, regular public park. Yes there are specialty parks, just like there are things like the Internet and Cable TV. Those are your skateboard parks and nude beaches, not different radio stations.


In a multicultural society, with distinct values that are truly respected, one does not foist restrictions on everyone, but merely allows for locales where people have the option to participate or not.

Again we aren't talking about foisting values on anyone. No one is saying don't listen to Howard Stern at all, and no one is saying he can't have his show. He can do it on cable tv. He can do it over the internet. He can do it over satelite radio. He can do it in the evening hours when it IS allowed on radio. He can sell videos. He just can't do it in one specific place (radio) during specific hours.


I didn't say that people shouldn't listen to the radio at all, merely that they should stick to their frequencies while I stick to mine. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

You are drawing a minute distinction that each frequency is the unique place. I am trying to point out that daytime radio in general is the place where people are suppposed to be able to not have to put up with Howard Stern and that there ARE places where you can get it.



Again, let's make the distinction between all parks, and specific parks. As well, let's make the distinction between all radio frequencies, and specific ones. I can go completely nude in a specific beach in Vancouver, just not in other specific ones. Howard Stern is only allowed to broadcast for the station he's employed for, but cannot legally buy a gun, walk into another radio station, and force them to allow him on their frequency. So, I can listen to his show on his frequency, and you can listen to the other frequencies. Plain and simple.

Not plain and simple. It isn't about frequencies, its about mediums. Daytime radio follows one set of rules and Howard Stern breaks them. He can go to any of the other mediums just like you can go to any of the other parks, but daytime radio is the public park where we are supposed to be free from worrying about whether we are going to be flipping through and have our kids have to hear about some guys penis size.



Ignorance is not something to be catered to, by telling people that if they haphazardly throw themselves into a new situation, that they'll be guaranteed to feel comfortable. Hell, some of us seek out that discomfort, because it makes a good story to tell others, when we get back.
Except in order to find radio stations they DO want to listen to they have to go through those stations. Its not like being able to fly over Mexico if you don't want to go there. People have the expectation and right to not have to worry about hearing that sort of stuff on the radio. Plain and simple. You want to hear it, fine, go to one of the many avenues where it is acceptable. This is one where it has not been allowed and he has been breaking laws that are allready in place. Let him take his show elsewhere. He got away with it for a long time. Well eventually the rules caught up to him.

tveric
Apr 18, 2004, 06:46 AM
Yes they fine him, so he is not on the radio anymore, but he can be elsewhere. Radio isn't the only option. He can do it on cable tv. He can do it over the internet. He can do it over satelite radio. He can do it in the evening hours when it IS allowed on radio. He can sell videos. He just can't do it in one specific place (radio) during specific hours.
I am trying to point out that daytime radio in general is the place where people are suppposed to be able to not have to put up with Howard Stern and that there ARE places where you can get it.
Daytime radio follows one set of rules and Howard Stern breaks them. People have the expectation and right to not have to worry about hearing that sort of stuff on the radio. Plain and simple. You want to hear it, fine, go to one of the many avenues where it is acceptable. This is one where it has not been allowed and he has been breaking laws that are allready in place. Let him take his show elsewhere. He got away with it for a long time. Well eventually the rules caught up to him.

You drone on and on using the same falsehood every time to support your argument. To you it's all about: Howard Stern broke the law. How is it that you have ignored everyone who has told that there ISN'T any law that Howard has broken? How many times can you ignore that fact? In other posts you even demonstrated clearly that you don't even know what specific rules are in place! If you did know, and if you knew anything about constitutional law and the precedents have been set, you'd know that Howard breaks no law on the air.

But then again, maybe you still wouldn't know, because you also obviously haven't listened to his show.

Here's the other thing: you, or anyone else, can't tell Howard, "well, you can do your show elsewhere, so get off FM radio." Again, this is not Taliban-run Afghanistan. If I don't like your little corner store in my neighborhood, I'm not allowed to force you to move it just because you sell lottery tickets or anything else that offends me, unless it's illegal. And let me stress again: HOWARD HAS NOT BROKEN ANY LAW. You predicate your entire argument on the supposition that he has, yet he hasn't, so your whole argument is smoke and mirrors.

All this talk, talk, talk, is irrelevant anyway. I'm going to be very happy when Viacom takes the FCC to court this time instead of donating a "voluntary contribution." The FCC will lose, they'll be forced to adopt an objective set of rules instead of the current uncontitutional vague ones, and all hell will break loose on morning radio, upsetting people with sticks in their asses even further. Nothing will make me happier.

applebum
Apr 18, 2004, 09:12 AM
Because some industry players have chosen a business model where the end user had an upfront cost, with no residual cost, has no bearing whatsoever on people's constitutional rights. I can give out free pieces of paper on the street, or I can charge for them. But, it's still my choice what I write on them.

Good example of free speech - however, if you are being aggressive and forcing people to take your paper, if you are shouting and using offensive language with children around, then you can be moved on or arrested for being a public nuisance. Also, if you are selling those papers and don't have a liscense to do business, you can be fined or perhaps worse. And, if you were in a mall trying to hand these out, free or at a fee, you could be asked to leave or arrested for trespassing since you are on private property. Now all of these are examples of how your message can be legally silenced without it being a violation of free speech, because I have the right to walk down the street unmolested, the state has the right to lisence all businesses, and the mall has the right to determine who can come on their property and what rules will be adhered to while one is there. But, there are also ways to do each of these freely as well. You can stand quietly on the sidewalk and hand your papers to any wishing to take them, you can get the proper license to sell your papers there on the sidewalk, and you can get permission from the mall to handout/sell your papers. All freedoms have their boundaries - sometimes those boundaries are consistent and obvious, sometimes they are inconsistent, and sometimes they are illegal and one must be prepared for a fight, jail, or even death to remove that illegal boundary.

Krizoitz
Apr 18, 2004, 01:15 PM
And let me stress again: HOWARD HAS NOT BROKEN ANY LAW. You predicate your entire argument on the supposition that he has, yet he hasn't, so your whole argument is smoke and mirrors.


YES HE HAS. The FCC has regulations in place. The Supreme Court has upheld the ability of the FCC to regulate the airwaves. Howard Stern has violated those regulations. Regulations = LAW. When he breaks them he gets fined. Ergo he is breaking the law. You may not agree with the law but he has broken the ones in place. I don't know how you can claim he hasn't broken the law when he quite clearly has.

MacNut
Apr 18, 2004, 06:30 PM
FINE LETS SAY HE BROKE THE LAW, THAN FINE EVERYONE WHO BROKE THE LAW. DONT MAKE STERN A SCAPEGOAT FOR AMERICAS PROBLEMS. IF YOU WANT TO FINE SOMEONE FOR BREAKING THE LAW WHY NOT JANET JACKSON, SHE FLASHED AMERICA, DID STERN DO THAT, NO.

Sorry for yelling but im getting upset over your argument.

Krizoitz
Apr 18, 2004, 07:04 PM
FINE LETS SAY HE BROKE THE LAW, THAN FINE EVERYONE WHO BROKE THE LAW. DONT MAKE STERN A SCAPEGOAT FOR AMERICAS PROBLEMS. IF YOU WANT TO FINE SOMEONE FOR BREAKING THE LAW WHY NOT JANET JACKSON, SHE FLASHED AMERICA, DID STERN DO THAT, NO.

Sorry for yelling but im getting upset over your argument.

Why are you getting upset? I understand if you don't agree with the fine. Or if you think the law should be changed. But that doesn't change the fact that it is the rule and he has been breaking the rules and he is now getting punished for doing so. I don't understand how that is out of line. We aren't talking about strapping him down and ripping out his tongue cause we just don't like what he is saying all of a sudden. We are talking about applying the rules in place to violations which occured.

Its like saying you shouldn't get a fine for breaking the speed limit just cause other people are doing it and not getting caught. Or because you have gotten away with it in the past. You are still breaking the rule.

MacNut
Apr 18, 2004, 07:24 PM
You missed my point, if your going to fine Stern for something fine everyone who breaks the rules, the fact is that stern is being made an example of, GO AFTER EVERYONE

MacNut
Apr 18, 2004, 07:33 PM
This is the reason i started this thread in the first place, because Stern is getting fired from CC for things he has said for years and if CC was so upset why did they keep him on the air all this time. This is nothing but a witch hunt and Stern is the witch.

davecuse
Apr 18, 2004, 07:56 PM
If Stern hadn't gotten fined, does anyone really think that Clear Channel would have dropped him? The bottom line is that he did not break a clearly defined "rule", he said something that someone sort of thinks went over the line. Want to know what offends me? Bush's ad campaign a few weeks ago that had pictures of bodies being carried away from the WTC. Why doesn't the FCC fine Dubya?
My point is this. If you're going to set a standard for decency where does it end?

MacNut
Apr 18, 2004, 09:15 PM
Dubya wont get fined because it is Dubya's people running the FCC

tveric
Apr 19, 2004, 12:32 AM
YES HE HAS. The FCC has regulations in place. The Supreme Court has upheld the ability of the FCC to regulate the airwaves. Howard Stern has violated those regulations. Regulations = LAW. When he breaks them he gets fined. Ergo he is breaking the law. You may not agree with the law but he has broken the ones in place. I don't know how you can claim he hasn't broken the law when he quite clearly has.

Okay, one last time, because you keep ignoring the key point (how convenient, by the way).

You say the FCC has regulations in place. Fine, tell me what those regulations are, if you even know. Then show me where Howard broke those regulations. You keep stating he has, yet you know of no instance where he actually has. Please provide an example.

My point is, you cannot. That's why Howard hasn't broken any law.

Remember the CDA? Do you even know what it is? Do you know why the Supreme Court overturned it? If you can answer those key questions, you, maybe, will understand why Howard hasn't broken any law. And please, no more arguments of "YES HE HAS". That's at about the level of "I'm rubber you're glue." I doubt that would stand up in court either.

You have your homework. If you choose to do it and educate yourself, it would at least show that you care enough to not take someone else's word for everything you believe, and actually find out the facts for yourself.

Krizoitz
Apr 19, 2004, 02:10 AM
Okay, one last time, because you keep ignoring the key point (how convenient, by the way).

You say the FCC has regulations in place. Fine, tell me what those regulations are, if you even know. Then show me where Howard broke those regulations. You keep stating he has, yet you know of no instance where he actually has. Please provide an example.

My point is, you cannot. That's why Howard hasn't broken any law.

Remember the CDA? Do you even know what it is? Do you know why the Supreme Court overturned it? If you can answer those key questions, you, maybe, will understand why Howard hasn't broken any law. And please, no more arguments of "YES HE HAS". That's at about the level of "I'm rubber you're glue." I doubt that would stand up in court either.

You have your homework. If you choose to do it and educate yourself, it would at least show that you care enough to not take someone else's word for everything you believe, and actually find out the facts for yourself.

Wow you are getting desperate, instead of arguing your point from any grounds you try and attack my level of knowledge, and hurl personal insults at me. But since you want facts, here you go:

1) Communications Act of 1934, updated as late as 1996 grants the FCC the power to fine or even remove the licencse of stations who broadcast indecent material (profane/obscene). Section 303 subsection M-1-B in particular.
Communications Act of 1934 (Ammended 1996) (http://www.fcc.gov/Reports/1934new.pdf)

2) The Supreme Court upheld the FCC's right to regulate the radio waves, and that this is not a violation of Free Speech. Interesting distinctions include the fact that because people aren't able to be forewarned (they are tuning in and out).
FCC v. PACIFICA FOUNDATION (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=438&invol=726)

3) Information from the FCC itself can be found here (http://www.fcc.gov/parents/content.html) with information about where in US law it is legal for them to fine a radio station. That information if you don't want to look for it can be found in the Title 18 United States Code section 1464.

Now, I have provided you with the specific locations of law which Howard Stern has broken. The FCC page links to specifics involving the Howard Stern case as well as previous cases.

And please refrain from posting such personal attack posts in the future, I'm not afraid to report them to the moderators. I for one prefer a forum where people debate ideas, not simply attack someone whom they disagree with.

MacNut
Apr 19, 2004, 02:20 AM
So you wanna go after Stern, thats fine but go after all of the other offenders. Don't just single out Stern because you don't like him, play fair and go after everyone who is indecent or offends people.

Krizoitz
Apr 19, 2004, 03:36 AM
So you wanna go after Stern, thats fine but go after all of the other offenders. Don't just single out Stern because you don't like him, play fair and go after everyone who is indecent or offends people.

They are going after others, such as "Bubba the Love Sponge", a look at the FCC website shows that they are pursuing other offenders, but they are a limited agency so they go after the big fish first. Plus they rely on individual complaints. One complaint against one host isn't worth as much as many complaints against Stern.

Do you go after the guy who is going 2 miles over the speed limit or 20?

davecuse
Apr 19, 2004, 06:31 AM
Not that I think he should have to, but I do hope that Howard goes to XM. I think by moving into this market he could essentially stick it to the FCC. Make XM a huge player in the market, and dwindle down the FCC's control to a few small radio stations that are left in the wake of people switching to satellite.

MacNut
Apr 19, 2004, 12:07 PM
They are going after others, such as "Bubba the Love Sponge", a look at the FCC website shows that they are pursuing other offenders, but they are a limited agency so they go after the big fish first. Plus they rely on individual complaints. One complaint against one host isn't worth as much as many complaints against Stern.

Do you go after the guy who is going 2 miles over the speed limit or 20?

Im not just talking about radio, I mean go after the offenders from Television too. And don't tell me you can't think of any because im sure you watch them everyday.

tveric
Apr 19, 2004, 01:33 PM
Now, I have provided you with the specific locations of law which Howard Stern has broken. The FCC page links to specifics involving the Howard Stern case as well as previous cases.

Nice try. You've provided us with quotations of laws, not laws which Howard has broken. The current people in charge of the FCC opine that Howard has broken those laws. Since when do we convict people in this country without trial? Would you also say a person defending themself in court on a speeding charge is guilty before you hear the evidence in the case? In other words, I asked how you're going to prove Howard is guilty, since you're so ready to crucify him for nothing.

I also noticed you chose to completely ignore my comments on the CDA, so I'll educate you myself. The Communications Decency Act was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (by a vote of 7 to 2, by the way - not even close!) for being vague and overbroad, and thereby in violation of the First Amendment. Guess what's going to happen when Viacom fights the latest fine in court. The fight may not even MAKE IT to the Supreme Court because the FCC regulations are vague and overbroad, and the fines could even be overturned in a lower court just based on precedent. You can't prove someone violated any regulations because the way the FCC's rules are structured, there's no clear boundary lines, regardless of how many times you parrot the words "Howard Stern crossed the line!"

Krizoitz
Apr 19, 2004, 02:14 PM
Nice try. You've provided us with quotations of laws, not laws which Howard has broken. The current people in charge of the FCC opine that Howard has broken those laws. Since when do we convict people in this country without trial? Would you also say a person defending themself in court on a speeding charge is guilty before you hear the evidence in the case? In other words, I asked how you're going to prove Howard is guilty, since you're so ready to crucify him for nothing.

I also noticed you chose to completely ignore my comments on the CDA, so I'll educate you myself. The Communications Decency Act was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (by a vote of 7 to 2, by the way - not even close!) for being vague and overbroad, and thereby in violation of the First Amendment. Guess what's going to happen when Viacom fights the latest fine in court. The fight may not even MAKE IT to the Supreme Court because the FCC regulations are vague and overbroad, and the fines could even be overturned in a lower court just based on precedent. You can't prove someone violated any regulations because the way the FCC's rules are structured, there's no clear boundary lines, regardless of how many times you parrot the words "Howard Stern crossed the line!"

Those ARE the laws, the United States Code and the Communications Act are laws enacted by Congress that create and grant the powers of regulation to the FCC.

The CDA dealt with the Internet which the FCC is not given control over, its not comparable to the Communications Act because the medium is sufficiently different. I ignored it because it had nothing to do with regulation of radio/tv.

Whether or not the laws are vague is not any fault of my own, so don't attack me on that one. You asked for the laws which Howard Stern has broken, I provided you those laws AND a relevant Supreme Court case backing it up. If you disagree with those laws thats not my concern, the point is they are the laws, and have been upheld in the past.

As for convicting people without a trial, it is done all the time. Speeding tickets, littering, jaywalking, all of these can and are fined without a trial. One can then ask for a trial to argue the fine, but a trial is not a prerequisite.

If you want to argue the merits of the case, fine be my guest. Perhaps you are right and Howard Stern will be vindicated, perhaps not. That doesn't change the fact that he has broken and been fined for violations of the current incarnation of the law.

And just in case I haven't been clear, here is a summary.

1) Did Howard Stern Break the Law?
Yes
2) What Law?
The Communications Act of 1934 and Title 18 U.S.C.
3) Does the FCC have the power to fine him for those violations?
Yes

Those are facts, clear and proven. You may be of the opinion that Howard Stern and others like him shouldn't be shackled by laws that you find vague like that. Ok fine. You're opinion may hold out in the end as the one the courts endorse. Ok fine. None of that changes the above factual situation, whether you think its right or not, it IS.

davecuse
Apr 19, 2004, 02:43 PM
As for convicting people without a trial, it is done all the time. Speeding tickets, littering, jaywalking, all of these can and are fined without a trial. One can then ask for a trial to argue the fine, but a trial is not a prerequisite.

That's simply not true, you do not get a fine for a speeding ticket unless you a) are proven guilty b)plea no contest or c)plea guilty. I don't know about the rest, but I'm really get tired of all of these car analogies. DRIVING IS NOT THE SAME AS TALKING. Putting an innocent bystander in harm's way by going too fast in a 2000lb hunk of metal is nowhere near the same as talking on the radio.

Krizoitz
Apr 19, 2004, 03:11 PM
That's simply not true, you do not get a fine for a speeding ticket unless you a) are proven guilty b)plea no contest or c)plea guilty. I don't know about the rest, but I'm really get tired of all of these car analogies. DRIVING IS NOT THE SAME AS TALKING. Putting an innocent bystander in harm's way by going too fast in a 2000lb hunk of metal is nowhere near the same as talking on the radio.

Actually yes it is. To avoid the fine you must contest the fine, otherwise you are expected to pay. Also knowing that you would try and red herring the issue by stating the difference between cars and radio, I listed several other non-violent offenses as well (such as jay walking).

Anyway, it seems like you are grasping at straws at this point. You can't claim anymore that he isn't breaking the law, so you try and claim that they can't fine him without a trial. Considering that they HAVE fined him and others in this manner, don't you think any decent lawyer would have covered that allready if it were an issue?

In order to broadcast you have to get a license, as part of that licencse you agree to certain rules, and punishments if you break those rules. This is one of those instances.

tveric
Apr 19, 2004, 07:14 PM
Considering that they HAVE fined him and others in this manner, don't you think any decent lawyer would have covered that allready if it were an issue?

I repeat: Howard has NEVER been fined by the FCC, nor have his parent companies EVER been fined by the FCC until last month. If you're referring to the $1.7 million Infinity paid in 1995, that was agreed upon by both parties to be a "voluntary contribution" - Infinity did it so that they could go on getting licenses without the paperwork getting buried, as the FCC was blackmailing them in doing, and the FCC agreed to it to avoid a court case which they would lose. Inifinity refused to pay a "fine" and made it clear they would fight any actual fine in court, and the FCC wished to avoid that. Both parties are in too deep for that to happen this time.

As for "Did Howard break the law? YES!" - well, maybe in your neck of the woods someone is considered guilty before they have their day in court. You can say "Did Howard get fined? YES" and that would be accurate, as of last month and this past week. This leads me back to the question, what's your point? If your point is that Howard has been fined, then yes, you're correct. If you're arguing that Howard has done something illegal, then you're wrong, at least under the "innocent until proven guilty" precept. Are you saying that we should just trust the FCC to determine for us who gets to stay on the radio and who doesn't? Are you saying anyone who disagrees with them shouldn't fight a proposed fine in court?

MacNut
Apr 19, 2004, 10:26 PM
Not that I think he should have to, but I do hope that Howard goes to XM. I think by moving into this market he could essentially stick it to the FCC. Make XM a huge player in the market, and dwindle down the FCC's control to a few small radio stations that are left in the wake of people switching to satellite.

Stern could easily destroy the very thing he pioneered by moving to satellite he could ruin the radio industry as we know it.

Krizoitz
Apr 19, 2004, 11:29 PM
I repeat: Howard has NEVER been fined by the FCC, nor have his parent companies EVER been fined by the FCC until last month. If you're referring to the $1.7 million Infinity paid in 1995, that was agreed upon by both parties to be a "voluntary contribution" - Infinity did it so that they could go on getting licenses without the paperwork getting buried, as the FCC was blackmailing them in doing, and the FCC agreed to it to avoid a court case which they would lose. Inifinity refused to pay a "fine" and made it clear they would fight any actual fine in court, and the FCC wished to avoid that. Both parties are in too deep for that to happen this time.

As for "Did Howard break the law? YES!" - well, maybe in your neck of the woods someone is considered guilty before they have their day in court. You can say "Did Howard get fined? YES" and that would be accurate, as of last month and this past week. This leads me back to the question, what's your point? If your point is that Howard has been fined, then yes, you're correct. If you're arguing that Howard has done something illegal, then you're wrong, at least under the "innocent until proven guilty" precept. Are you saying that we should just trust the FCC to determine for us who gets to stay on the radio and who doesn't? Are you saying anyone who disagrees with them shouldn't fight a proposed fine in court?

First you need to stop with the personal attacks. Next you need to back up your arguments with facts as I have done. Not all law and not all punishments work the way you see on TV. It is completely legal for the FCC to determine if he has broken the law, that is their job, they regulate the radio waves as per the law. When a station gets their broadcasting licensce they agree to the rules as laid out by congress and the FCC. They also agree to the fines should they break those rules. When they break those rules they are subject to the consequences. Thats the law, whether you like it or not. If you are going to argue something try arguing an actual point. If you really feel that the FCC can't fine someone then back it up with facts. In the mean time stop accusing me of lying.

As for my point, its simple. Howard Stern broke the rules and he has to deal with the consequences. Whether or not you like it is a different matter.

MacNut
Apr 19, 2004, 11:40 PM
Ok the point that tveric is trying to make is that there are no real guidelines as to what is bad from what isn't. Besides the "7 dirty words" its not really know what is considered bad. That said its hard to say what rules he broke because nobody knows what classifies as illegal content.

Krizoitz
Apr 20, 2004, 12:47 AM
Ok the point that tveric is trying to make is that there are no real guidelines as to what is bad from what isn't. Besides the "7 dirty words" its not really know what is considered bad. That said its hard to say what rules he broke because nobody knows what classifies as illegal content.

I agree the rules are vague, but I don't know if there is any real way to set clear limits in this case. What is slightly distasteful to one person is horribly offensive to another and perfectly fine to a third. It should be known that the FCC just doesn't say ok, its obscene lets fine it. A person has to make a complaint and give enough information that recordings can be found, probably from the radio station, next they review the material that is actually causing offense and determine it from there. Yes it is a human process, and somewhat arbitrary. Maybe they can be a little more clear, but then we get into the part where people like Howard Stern will be able to fight it on the minutest of technicalities. I personally think a review board is the best way to go in this case, but hey I could be wrong, happens all the time. What would you suggest instead?

tveric
Apr 20, 2004, 12:54 AM
I personally think a review board is the best way to go in this case, but hey I could be wrong, happens all the time. What would you suggest instead?

How about a court of law, the way we actually settle differences in a civilized free society? Duh.

And for the record, I obviously never said the FCC CAN'T fine Howard... they just did, last week! I was pointing out how those fines are unjust, and will be overturned if the case is ever allowed to get to court. I'm still not sure what, exactly, you're trying to point out. That you don't like Howard and you think he should be off the air? Fine, it's a free country, you can have that opinion. But you, and people like you, don't get to kick him off just because you don't like him. You have to provide a constitutionally sound reason. And you don't have one.

Krizoitz
Apr 20, 2004, 02:19 AM
How about a court of law, the way we actually settle differences in a civilized free society? Duh.

And for the record, I obviously never said the FCC CAN'T fine Howard... they just did, last week! I was pointing out how those fines are unjust, and will be overturned if the case is ever allowed to get to court. I'm still not sure what, exactly, you're trying to point out. That you don't like Howard and you think he should be off the air? Fine, it's a free country, you can have that opinion. But you, and people like you, don't get to kick him off just because you don't like him. You have to provide a constitutionally sound reason. And you don't have one.

First, not everything is determined in a court.

The Supreme Court has allready determined that the FCC is constitutionally allowed to fine people under the current laws. I put the link in the prior post. I'm sorry that you aren't willing to read it but its there. So it IS constituional at this point.

And we DO get to kick him out of an area where he isn't supposed to be doing something. Just like you can kick someone off the streets for lewd behavior.

I could keep giving examples. I could keep citing law and court cases. I could keep pointing out that you have yet to provide any evidence to back up your claims, something you asked me to do and I did. You just didn't like the fact that I did find them. It's like talking to a brick wall.

And I am going to point out yet again that if you continue to be so rude and harrassing rather than provide a sound argument that you shouldn't be in this forum. This isn't some trashy place, this is a place where we try and discuss things amicably. You seem to be missing that.

tveric
Apr 20, 2004, 10:32 AM
First, not everything is determined in a court.
Great statement to just throw out there without explaining how it's applicable. You already know these latest fines will be fought in court, an appropriate venue in this case. What's "everything"? Anyone who feels they've been treated unjustly can have their day in court in this country. So in this case, yes, the situation will be determined in a court.


The Supreme Court has allready determined that the FCC is constitutionally allowed to fine people under the current laws. I put the link in the prior post. I'm sorry that you aren't willing to read it but its there. So it IS constituional at this point.
I read it and already told you it was irrelevant. The case involved the George Carlin "seven dirty words" routine and I quote: "The ruling applied only to seven particular words, provided little guidance for defining indecency in general." The court agreed that broadcasting THOSE words was indecent, so the ruling basically said you can fined IF you use those words. Howard doesn't ever utter the seven "dirty words", nor does anyone on his show. Of course, you wouldn't know this, since you know nothing about the show; you only know Howard by reputation and assume he's a bad bad man.

As a side note, even that was a 5-4 vote 26 years ago. Hardly a ringing endorsement for censorship; yet, Howard abides by that decision, as he should. The next decision, in Howard's favor, won't even be that close. Vague and overbroad, remember? An example of a specific and not overbroad rule is: "You can't say the seven dirty words." Fine, we're all okay with that - it's specific, it's a rule that can be followed without people's opinions and politics getting in the way. Want an example of a vague and overbroad rule? "You can't say anything indecent." THAT'S unconstitutional. It allows for people to play favorites, to determine someone broke the law without any specific, factual basis; in other words, it's dangerous to free speech. I could easily argue that Rush Limbaugh is "indecent" because he engages in hate speech against liberals, and I'm offended and to me it's indecent. Should he be fined for that? Of course not, because it's a ridiculously vague rule.

And we DO get to kick him out of an area where he isn't supposed to be doing something. Just like you can kick someone off the streets for lewd behavior.
Again, ONLY if it's illegal. Still no proof that anything Howard has said was illegal.

I could keep giving examples. I could keep citing law and court cases. I could keep pointing out that you have yet to provide any evidence to back up your claims, something you asked me to do and I did. You just didn't like the fact that I did find them. It's like talking to a brick wall.
No, you obviously can't give ANY examples! When have you given an example of something illegal that Howard has said?

The problem is that no one knows what your claim is yet. Can you explain that for everyone's benefit? Three times I've asked what you're attempting to prove or point out, and apparently you don't even know yourself, since you haven't laid it out.

Krizoitz
Apr 20, 2004, 11:46 AM
tveric,
You continue to attack me personally and fail to do anything to support your own case. I begin to wonder if you are just doing this to be antagonistic and I will not play that game. You refuse to acknowledge what is put right in front of you simply because you do not like it.

You asked for information to back up my claims and I pointed it out to you. I in turn have done the same and you refuse to do so. I have continously asked you not to put forth personal insults but to discuss the matter at hand and you refuse to do so. Enough is enough. If you wish to actually discuss the matter at hand then do so. If you wish to insult me and attack me then too bad, you aren't going to be around these boards much longer would be my guess.

It is sad that you can not disagree with someone and treat them with respect, all the while complaining about freedom of speech. I recommend that you sit down and think on that for awhile. No one is saying you have to agree with me, but if you are going to disagree in this forum, please do so in a civil and polite manner and I have strived to do this whole time.

tveric
Apr 20, 2004, 01:25 PM
I'm glad you've finally conceded that you have no points. I could have done without the lengthy red herring discussion of my so-called attacks, but whatever, I guess it's important to you that you save some face in an online forum.

Now that I've gotten you to admit that you really didn't know what you were talking about when you jumped into this discussion, I feel like I've made a difference in at least one person's life! Thanks, support free speech, and vote Kerry in 04!

Bye now.

Krizoitz
Apr 20, 2004, 05:17 PM
I'm glad you've finally conceded that you have no points. I could have done without the lengthy red herring discussion of my so-called attacks, but whatever, I guess it's important to you that you save some face in an online forum.

Now that I've gotten you to admit that you really didn't know what you were talking about when you jumped into this discussion, I feel like I've made a difference in at least one person's life! Thanks, support free speech, and vote Kerry in 04!

Bye now.

You really do live in your own world don't you? You only see what you want to see.

The only person without points here is you. My points are pretty clear.

Howard Stern violated the rules.
The FCC is legally and constitutionally allowed to fine him for his behavior.
They did so.

You may not like it or that they can but that doesn't change the facts. Someday maybe you'll learn to accept facts. Until then you may continue living in your own fantasy world.

tveric
Apr 20, 2004, 06:24 PM
Howard Stern violated the rules.
The FCC is legally and constitutionally allowed to fine him for his behavior.
They did so.

How can you say the FCC is constitutionally allowed to fine Howard for his behavior when there hasn't been a constitutional test of fining for "indecency"?

And please don't prattle on and on AGAIN about your George Carlin Supreme Court decision. I already told you that decision SPECIFICALLY stated they were upholding the FCC's right to fine a station for airing the "seven dirty words" and you chose to ignore my statement. Living in your own world, aren't you?

Krizoitz
Apr 20, 2004, 07:18 PM
How can you say the FCC is constitutionally allowed to fine Howard for his behavior when there hasn't been a constitutional test of fining for "indecency"?

And please don't prattle on and on AGAIN about your George Carlin Supreme Court decision. I already told you that decision SPECIFICALLY stated they were upholding the FCC's right to fine a station for airing the "seven dirty words" and you chose to ignore my statement. Living in your own world, aren't you?

There has been a constitutional test, you just don't like it. The decsion didn't merely pretain to George Carlin's use of those seven words, it was the content and type of word and their usage as indecent. A law is not written that specifically outlines every possible scenario that could happen, can you imagine having to have a law for every possible type of murder, the time of day that it happened etc?

Also you're "and I quote"

The ruling applied only to seven particular words, provided little guidance for defining indecency in general.

You never quote the source, where did you find it. Its not in the Courts finding, although it may be somones opinion of it. If its an opinion then it still isn't law.

You also maintain that because it was a close decision its somehow less valid? By those standards alot of decisions are less valid.

Until the court reverses the current decision the law is constitutional. Can that change? Sure it can. Do you have the right to try and change it? Absolutely! Do you have to agree with the current law? Nope.

You have every right in the world to think that Howard Stern should be able to do what he wants. You have every right to want to change the law and to disagree with it, but that doesn't change the fact that they do have the right to fine him and they can and did. As it stands he broke the current law. And he was punished for it. I don't see why it is so hard for you to grasp that concept.

You think my argument is faulty? Fine provide me with some evidence to back up the fact that the law is currently unconstitutional. Provide me with evidence that the FCC doesn't currently have the right to fine him. Provide me with proof that he didn't break the law. Something anything. You have YOUR homework, do it or go away.

davecuse
Apr 20, 2004, 09:37 PM
I think that this "discussion" needs to get taken down a notch. It's getting a little heated. You both have good points, true the FCC can fine Clear Channel, but should they be able to? I do not think so.

There are many things in this world that I would like to see changed, for Howard unfortunately I think is a cause that he is going to give up on. Clear Channel is not willing to take the matter to court, thus they have dropped the show.

That is all beside the point. Yes I understand that these vague rules governing decency are in place, however I believe that they are improper. I just think that the government needs to more clearly define what is legal and illegal, and make some of the loopholes in the system disappear. If certain laws were more clearly defined, we'll say tax code for example, corporations would not be able to form tax shelters and we would all be much better off.

Before you jump down my throat for this analogy let me explain. The loopholes in the tax code allow for big corporations to massage the system, just as I believe the FCC is doing in this case. Let's face it, is the world going to crumbling down because Howard Stern is on the radio? No, so let's concentrate on some of the bigger issues.

How about we dissolve the FCC and put their funding towards nanotech research? Our government is supposed to be for the people, when it comes down to it who wants to be told that they have to shut up? And please don't bring up past points about the medium he's using, just look at the big picture, put yourself in his shoes. The man is just trying to entertain, is that such a crime against humanity?

tveric
Apr 21, 2004, 07:10 AM
Bravo! When you get down to it, the two sides of this discussion are pretty well defined - the anti-Stern camp wants to see their values imposed on everyone else, and the anti-censorship camp actually believes that people should have to freedom to listen to whatever they want to listen to. It's really as simple as that; it's almost a mirror of the ultra-conservative/moderate split in this country. Ultra-conservatives want morality legislated, and of course, it's their morality. Moderates would rather live and let live.

Krizoitz
Apr 21, 2004, 10:14 AM
Bravo! When you get down to it, the two sides of this discussion are pretty well defined - the anti-Stern camp wants to see their values imposed on everyone else, and the anti-censorship camp actually believes that people should have to freedom to listen to whatever they want to listen to. It's really as simple as that; it's almost a mirror of the ultra-conservative/moderate split in this country. Ultra-conservatives want morality legislated, and of course, it's their morality. Moderates would rather live and let live.

Sorry but I disagree (imagine that). I have no interest in imposing my values on everyone. Personally I hold many views that might be labeled conservative, for example, I think homosexual acts are immoral, but I support gay marriage because its not my place to tell them what to do as long as it doesn't hurt me. And believe it or not if I actually felt like they were trying to silence Howard Stern gestapo style I would be one of the first to defend his right to speak. However I feel that this is a case of time and place rather than a case of total silence. I think that he has the right to his views AND the right to express them, just not on daytime radio. Why can't he do his show after 10? Why can't he do it on cable tv or the internet? If they tried to get him off one of those then I would totally disagree with you. I guess I just see daytime broadcast radio as a place where yes, certain minimum standards of decency should be enforced. Its not about making everyone hold the same morals anymore than laws about public nudity are forcing others not to be nude at all. Its about being able to respect each others differences and live in a society where everyone can feel comfortable. Its like the old saying "a place for everything and everything in its place". I just don't feel that the kind of content Howard Stern is broadcasting should be on daytime radio. Oh and before you label ME an ultra-conservative I plan to vote for Kerry, and I voted for Gore.

MacNut
Apr 21, 2004, 12:27 PM
The reason Stern is on in the morning is because thats the best time to be on the radio. It is what prime-time is to TV, when people listen the most. Radio stations make the most money in the morning with the drive-time audience. That is how Stern became who he was today. What ever market you go to the morning drive is the anchor of the radio stations day. They are what Friends is to NBC. Nobody will listen if Stern is on at 11pm but they listen when he's on at 6am. Its all about making money. Watch Private Parts it will explain everything.

tveric
Apr 21, 2004, 01:36 PM
If that's really the only thing you mind about Howard Stern having a slot on American radio - the fact that he's on in the morning - have you considered that the morning is actually the time that parents are most likely able to monitor what their kids listen to?

Think about it - what do most kids do in the morning? Wake up, eat breakfast with parent, ride in car with parent to school. If a parent doesn't want them listening to Stern, they're not.

Meanwhile, when I was ages 12 and up, I used to take my Walkman to bed with me and listen to NY's Z-100 broadcast "Lovelines" at 11 pm. Some of the most graphic sex talk you could ever imagine. Did my parents know I was listening? No. Would they have approved? No friggin way.

By the way, am I a raging psychopath or serial rapist due to hearing all the sex talk on the radio as a child? No.

MarkCollette
Apr 22, 2004, 03:37 AM
First off, sorry for not responding in a timely manner. I've been busy with final exams.

Yes they fine him, so he is not on the radio anymore, but he can be elsewhere. Radio isn't the only option.

You aren't allowed to listen to him on the radio, you can listen to him elsewhere?

You are quite right, that he could switch to a different medium. But I can gurantee you that there is no other medium with comparable penetration rates as radio, in Noth America. So, while people like you and I could switch mediums, I doubt that everyone could, and thus those people's choices are being infringed.



I'm talking about your average, regular public park. Yes there are specialty parks, just like there are things like the Internet and Cable TV. Those are your skateboard parks and nude beaches, not different radio stations.

Again we aren't talking about foisting values on anyone. No one is saying don't listen to Howard Stern at all, and no one is saying he can't have his show. He can do it on cable tv. He can do it over the internet. He can do it over satelite radio. He can do it in the evening hours when it IS allowed on radio. He can sell videos. He just can't do it in one specific place (radio) during specific hours.

You are drawing a minute distinction that each frequency is the unique place. I am trying to point out that daytime radio in general is the place where people are suppposed to be able to not have to put up with Howard Stern and that there ARE places where you can get it.

Not plain and simple. It isn't about frequencies, its about mediums. Daytime radio follows one set of rules and Howard Stern breaks them. He can go to any of the other mediums just like you can go to any of the other parks, but daytime radio is the public park where we are supposed to be free from worrying about whether we are going to be flipping through and have our kids have to hear about some guys penis size.


Interesting how you perceive that radio is intended for a broad audience, while other niche mediums are intended only for narrow groups of audiences.

If every car manufacturer started installing receivers for some other medium, and there was a tidal shift from radio over to this new medium (like how people moved from AM radio to FM radio), and radio was only niche, then would your position change, and would you then say that "indecent" speach should not be allowed on the new medium during the day, and that indecent speach should move to niche mediums, like radio? I could understand that position, because then you're saying that whatever medium is the most accessible to people, should be the most regulated. I'd disagree, but at least I'd understand, because the alternative sounds like a stange and undue reverence for radio.

Which leads us to the mediums versus channels debate. I will start by agreeing with your principle that people should be able to have a place where the standards that they desire will be upheld. I agree that our concept of civilisation rests upon this concept. What I disagree with, is your belief that the granularity in which one can divide these places, is only at the medium boundary, and not the channel boundary. In fact, it sounds ubsurd to me. Right now, I can go into a convenience store, and find magazines for children, and magazines for teenagers and magazines for adults. I've never heard anyone say that all magazines should be decent for children to read, since the magazine medium is so popular, and that any kid getting a slurpee could just start flipping through the magazines, and find a Maxim. It could happen at any time in this convenience store, which is open 24/7. So, why would radio be any different? Should the store owners hide the swimsuit magazines during certain hours of the day?

Why are there all these regulations against open content on radio and television, which do not exist for print media? Is that not an arbitrary standard?

Clearly, the medium is irrelevant. Each medium should have its subdivisions, to cater to the varying needs of the populace.



Except in order to find radio stations they DO want to listen to they have to go through those stations. Its not like being able to fly over Mexico if you don't want to go there. People have the expectation and right to not have to worry about hearing that sort of stuff on the radio. Plain and simple. You want to hear it, fine, go to one of the many avenues where it is acceptable. This is one where it has not been allowed and he has been breaking laws that are allready in place. Let him take his show elsewhere. He got away with it for a long time. Well eventually the rules caught up to him.

Hahaha... Really, is your radio so old that you can only turn a dial to get from one frequency to another? Is your hand so weak that you cannot turn that dial fast enough to get past the stations you dislike, without being subjected to their programming? And why do you have a double standard where we all have to get satellite and this XM radio thing, etc., but you don't have to search in google, or do a little research to find what stations you like? Or buy a radio where you can have your presets? Should we all lay down our freedoms for your laziness and/or incompetence?

There is simply no way that all of our choices should be abridged so that you can be spared the theoretical possibility of accidentally or incompetently listening to something inappropriate.

And please spare me the example your posted like 5 times about travelling to another city. My research response handles that as well.

And no, as everyone here has already explained to you, about the extent of your rights, they do not include having the "right to not have to worry about hearing that sort of stuff on the radio." That is simply not true. Don't confuse what you'd want with what you have a right to.

MarkCollette
Apr 22, 2004, 03:51 AM
Sorry it's taken a while to respond, I've been busy with finals.

Good example of free speech - however, if you are being aggressive and forcing people to take your paper, if you are shouting and using offensive language with children around, then you can be moved on or arrested for being a public nuisance.


Yes, that would be harassment. With radio, one flick of the wrist removes any annoyance, whereas in the real world, some stalker is not so easy.



Also, if you are selling those papers and don't have a liscense to do business, you can be fined or perhaps worse.


Yes, but a business license is intended for tax income reasons, and to reduce fraud from fly-by-night operations. When municipalities attempt to control business licenses for censorship purposes, they usually find themselves in a lawsuit.



And, if you were in a mall trying to hand these out, free or at a fee, you could be asked to leave or arrested for trespassing since you are on private property.


Correct, one is tresspassing if they are not invited in. I would suggest that turning on your radio, and then selecting and leaving your channel on a station, would constitute an invitation.



Now all of these are examples of how your message can be legally silenced without it being a violation of free speech, because I have the right to walk down the street unmolested, the state has the right to lisence all businesses, and the mall has the right to determine who can come on their property and what rules will be adhered to while one is there. But, there are also ways to do each of these freely as well. You can stand quietly on the sidewalk and hand your papers to any wishing to take them, you can get the proper license to sell your papers there on the sidewalk, and you can get permission from the mall to handout/sell your papers. All freedoms have their boundaries - sometimes those boundaries are consistent and obvious, sometimes they are inconsistent, and sometimes they are illegal and one must be prepared for a fight, jail, or even death to remove that illegal boundary.

All of those restrictions on freedom are intended to keep one entity from infringing on another's freedoms. That is where freedom should natually end, when it infringes another's freedom. It should not be arbitrary, and it should not be for any lesser of a reason.