Howard Stern suspended on all Clear Channel-owned stations

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by tveric, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. tveric macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Clear Channel Radio has suspended the shock jock's program indefinitely for breaking new company rules of decency. Clear Channel is the nation's largest radio chain and today announced a new policy aimed at limiting on-air indecency.

    Clear Channel's president said Stern's show today was vulgar, insulting and offensive.

    Stern's spokesman wasn't available for comment.

    Pressure has been mounting on the broadcast industry, even before singer Janet Jackson's breast was exposed during the live Super Bowl halftime broadcast.

    Stern has a history of racking up fines. In 1995, Viacom paid $1.7 million for various violations by Stern. That's the largest cumulative fine to date.

    Clear Channel says Stern won't be allowed back on the air until it feels assured the show will conform to broadcast standards.
     
  2. tveric thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Has the whole country gone crazy? Janet Jackson flashes a breast (and 82% of the country doesn't care - check the AP poll), and suddenly radio DJs are knocked off the air without having done anything illegal, without a hearing, a judge, a jury, anything.

    This is scary, folks. And even if you're not a Howard Stern fan, think about this: the FCC isn't going to stop at strong-arming Clear Channel. It could be your favorite TV or radio show next.
     
  3. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #3
    So, how exactly was today's show any different than other days?
     
  4. tveric thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    It wasn't, that's why it's clear that Clear Channel is just trying to cozy up to the FCC. They cited the reasons for the suspension as Tuesday's Rick Solomon interview, in which Howard asked Rick about sex with Paris Hilton and a racist caller used the n-word (which the staff of the show quickly decried, as they always do when someone uses a racist term on the air).

    In other words, business as usual. That was the worst part of Tuesday's show, in terms of raciness, so they used that part as their lame excuse. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of Stern fans in six cities are now denied the show due to the over-reaction and censorship practiced by Clear Channel.
     
  5. MoparShaha macrumors 68000

    MoparShaha

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    #5
    I was very upset when I read this. What is this country coming to? Thanks a lot Janet :rolleyes:. Why, oh why!
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #6

    Holy over reaction Batman.

    Stern isn't off the air. ClearChannel just stopped airing his syndicated show on stations they own. DJ's aren't getting canned left and right and why in the world do you think you need a judge and jury just to fire an employee? It's a job and if you breaks the rules you can get fired. The only reason Stern still has a job is because he draws big ratings which means big $$$ for the people he works for. Stern is by fair the most fined DJ ever. If he didn't generate so much money he would have been off the air long ago.

    Anyway don't start hyperventilating yet. All this is a knee-jerk reaction to Janet's boobie. In 6 months everything will be back to "normal." Just like right after 9/11 media outlets were hypersenstive about content because they didn't want to appear to be insenitive<sp?>. 6 months later it was back to business as usual. And if you have to have a panic attack I'd worry more about ClearChannel than the FCC.


    Lethal
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #7
    clear channel is the devil.

    here's typical operating procedure at CC:

    1. buy a large portion of the listenership (i.e. radio stations) in a market

    2. fire the local talent and broadcast non-local programming, including news, from a centralized location

    3. buy performance venues in the area

    4. force bands to sign up for CC touring package, -- the only way to get into CC venues -- by threatening to not play their music

    CC admits their sole purpose is to sell advertising. they (ab)used the relaxed radio ownership rules to generate near monopolies, reduced costs by centralizing (and sacrificing the quality of) programming, then jacked advertising rates (they own most of the billboards, too) 'cuz they're the only game in town.

    don't forget that last year, under the "leadership" of chairman michael powell (colin's son) and w/ bush's blessing, the FCC voted to relax TV ownership rules in much the same way. this, despite a massive letter writing campaign, 98% coming out against the rule change.
     
  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #8
    This isn't a sign of US public overreaction (though there's plenty of that--at least in the limited scope of public discussion we see in the media--going on), this is, as zimv20 pointed out, a sign of how bad it is to have a company that owns half the broadcast radio stations in the country.

    Basically, Stern got pulled from Clear Channel stations (again, it's not like he was fired) not because nobody is listening, nor because he did anything specifically wronger than usual (though I despise his show anyway), but because he's a potential financial liability, and CC's marketing dept. probably decided that "Clean sells today".

    Usually, you'd have a station in an area with strict decency standards (bible belt, maybe) pulling his show, while areas that didn't care wouldn't. Sucks to live in an area prone to overreaction, but at least you generally get media in line with what the local population wants.

    With one megaconglomerate, what they say goes EVERYWHERE. They don't like stern because airing his show ammounts to 5% less profit than another Beyonce song or the liability of fines looks bad on the balance sheet or the CEO doesn't like him or something, they pull him from every market in the country. Alternately, they don't feel like airing a news show that doesn't report favorably on them, nobody hears it, or they want to air racy lyrics that a lot of people in some areas find offensive, too bad. What they like, everybody gets.

    Stern will still be on the air in areas that still have independant stations, but this sort of blanket decision by a country with so much control over what we hear is unnerving.

    Too bad the FCC doesn't feel like doing anything but changing laws so CC can own even more than they already do.
     
  9. Awimoway macrumors 65816

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    #9
    I know I'll be flamed...

    This is one of the few issues where I get off the liberal bus and ride the other way.

    Hard as it may be to believe, different people have different values. Many people's values are not the same as yours. Surprising, I know. You can mock them, accuse them of being immature (although I don't think humor gets any more immature than Howard Stern's brand) or overly sensitive, but that won't make them any more like your values.

    And a public commodity, like the airwaves, must conform to a certain minimum standard because... well, because the voting public says so. A majority of the ultimate powers that be (the voters) want limits on what can be shown and said on public airwaves in order to save them the time and effort of having to avoid it themselves and protect their children from it. It also saves them the irritation of being accidentally exposed to such things while flipping channels or scanning for a radio station.

    But this is tyranny of the majority, you say. This is a violation of freedom of speech and right to assemble, you say. Well, I don't think so. You can still say whatever you want and show whatever you want. And as many people as want to watch/listen can do so (thus the right to assemble is not violated either). However it must be in private. It must be said and done among those who have implicitly consented to be exposed to these things by subscribing to cable TV or going to a comedy club or a strip bar where coarse language and sexually explicit content are understood to occur.

    I applaud the FCC for taking its own rules seriously, and I applaud Clear Channel (dear God, tell me I'm not defending Clear Channel! :eek: ) for putting values ahead of profits and finally respecting FCC code.
     
  10. D*I*S_Frontman macrumors 6502

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    #10
    This is a free market economy. Let's not make veiled references to censorship (judge, jury, etc.). REAL censorship is when a government denies someone free speech. When a business entity shuts someone up who is potentially harming their reputation or jeopardizing their status with the FCC, that is "good management," not "censorship."

    If enough people get upset with Clear Channel corporate actions, they can simply tune out. The advertizing begins to fade, and CC either a) caves to demands of the public or b) dies. Whether they have 1 or 10,000 stations, it makes no difference--they still are controlled ultimately by market forces. The commodity here is not food, power, or any other true necessity--it's jabbering talk radio. If CC screws things up, a competitor will devour them station by station.

    Stern rode the edge for a good long time. This will probably HELP his career in the long run. Yuck.
     
  11. Dippo macrumors 65816

    Dippo

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    #11
    This is soooo true, you wonder why there is never anything original on the radio...

    I doubt Howard will be off the air for too long, he makes them way too much money, and all they care about is MONEY!
     
  12. rt_brained macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Try to avoiding confusing opinion and fact.

    Clear Channel is an extraordinarily powerful and agressive media/entertainment company (some say a monopoly). They've swallowed up radio stations all over the country and put countless stations' employees out of work in the process. Is that a values over profits tactic?

    There are specific laws regarding the number of stations a particular company, like CC, can own in a given market. Attorneys for Clear Channel have participated in the successful lobbying of our current (pro big business) administraion to relax or rewrite these long-standing antitrust rules, allowing CC's further growth.

    In light of the fact that CC's president is scheduled to testify in front of Congress today, his company's decision pull Stern from the airwaves after the "N-word" phone call yesterday is interesting timing to say the least. I suspect some of today's news soundbites will be conservative lawmakers praising him for putting "values above profits" and being "brave enough to stand alone against the tide of indecency among his peers."

    I need to stop here, as my gag reflex is starting to kick in.
     
  13. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #13
    Thank you, show us your tits,show us your butt and lets talk about if you are bisexual. Stern has no Taste,no class, and is a void. I wonder how anyone can watch or listen to the same crap everyday. Is this the only thing that is on his mind 24hrs a day?
     
  14. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #14
    I don't particularly like Stern either. And I will say that Clear Channel does have the right to air what it wants on its radio stations.

    BUT...Clear Channel, which has always had a decidedly conservative bent, also owns something like half the radio stations in my town. The remaining stations are owned by a few other conglomerates. Where does that leave Stern if he wants to find another affiliate? With a very few options, that's where.

    Which is PRECISELY the thing we've all been screaming about for several years now. The constant merging of media companies into a handful of goliaths gives them unprecedented power to control what you and I see and hear, and gives us FEWER choices.

    But does the FCC pay attention to that? No, they're too worried about one bare breast that aired in prime time, or a few off-color words. Not that those things don't deserve attentiont too, but it is SO hypocritical for the FCC to gets its pants in a knot about "indecency" and ignore the megacorps that are affecting the industry economically.

    That is soo like a Republican administration. They love money, but they're afraid of sex. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #15
    Okay, wait a minute...I just read this on ABCNews's web site:
    They HAVE gone nuts. So if somebody on Fraser makes a joke about going to the bathroom, the FCC is gonna fine NBC? That's just crazy. :mad:
     
  16. hacurio1 macrumors regular

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    #16
    I totally agree with you, what is next? South Park? I love South Park, we have to stop these puritans’ fascists and stop all this.
     
  17. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #17
    i doubt this is simply CC adhering to decency codes. rather, i think Stern did something to piss off CC and they're punishing him.

    as mentioned, Stern is popular and he sells advertising. aside from the occasional power trip, money is what CC really cares about.
     
  18. tveric thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    You've missed the point. No one is saying that you have to listen to Stern. If you don't like him, fine, don't listen to him. But there's a lot of people that know his show is more than just strippers and sex (we actually listen rather than let our local pastor tell us what's on it) and that it's an intelligent, funny radio show.

    But that's another thread. The point is, why should Stern's fans be denied listening to his show just because a few people want it censored? As long as he doesn't do anything illegal on the air (and he hasn't) we should have the freedom to hear his show, just as you always have the freedom to not listen. You can argue that the show has no class and no taste and prove it beyond any doubt if you want, but even if you did, that doesn't justify the FCC putting so much pressure on the stations that carry him that they start dropping the show out of fear. That's suppression.

    We live in a supposedly free society. If no one listens to Stern, no stations will carry him. You don't need the government to censor shows with no taste - if a show has no redeeming qualities, and no one watches, the free market economy will take care of it. Which is the way it should be.

    As for the guy who said Clear Channel is "finally putting values above profits", don't kid yourself. They're appearing before Congress this week and made this move as part of their strategic plan to ensure profits keep coming in forever. They will NEVER put profits in 2nd place, trust me. Anyway, why should your values be more important than mine and 20 million Stern listeners' values? Again, the free market will take care of any shows that the public doesn't like. It shouldn't be the FCC and Congress scaring stations into pulling shows. That's a little too much like book-burning for my taste.
     
  19. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #19
    1) I hate Howard Stern

    2) I only like one Clear Channel Radio Station, and only listen once in a while.

    3) The FCC is EVIL and has outlived its usefullness.

    4) CC is a monopoly and must be broken up. No company should be able to control more than 15% of the Listening Audience.

    TEG
     
  20. hacurio1 macrumors regular

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    #20


    No, I won’t flame, that’s what tolerance is all about. I don’t have to agree with your point of view, of even like it, but I must learn to deal with it, and respect it. But conservatives these days are taking things too far. I see the problem form a different angel. The media constantly broadcasts “Blame games” and the American public have become accustomed to them. (I will be sarcastic). For example, Bush is not guilty of using inaccurate intelligence to go to war, the CIA is guilty for providing such information. The consequences of inadequate International policy is not guilty of 911, the bad security in airports is. The lady who got burned while careless handling the Mc Donald’s cup of hot coffee is not guilty of burning her self, Mc Donald’s is guilty because they don’t label the cups. And the list can go on and on. They talk about decency, but decency is a moral quality that has to be inculcated and taught to children and individuals at early stages of their lives. Children will always be exposed to violence, sex, drugs, and alcohol; but they will never commit “indecent” acts if they have formed a strong personality with good moral foundations. Psychological research has proven that the Believe and moral foundations individuals possess are extremely hard to alter and change; hence, children rose with good morals and values will be unlikely to engage in any sort of indecent acts latter in their lives. Parents these days, however, blame the media, schools, society, and the entire environment instead of recognizing that it’s ultimately their responsibility first, second, and third, to teach good morals to their children. I have heard and seen such outrageous things going on in schools in this country “columbine” that it alarms me and troubles me deeply. Children having oral sex in school, drug usage and abuse, alcohol usage, children murdering children and professors; one just doest see this things happening anywhere else in the world. I can’t explain why while having the most conservative broadcast standards in the world, we still see our youth completely out of hand. Statistics show that more that 70% of out teens are sexually active by age 16. Breasts are censored as if they were something out of this world, but violence galore on TV and movies is ok. I agree that somethings shouldn’t be broadcasted, but if Howard Stern has so may fans and followers, I believe the problem is somewhere else, and stiffer FCC regulations won’t change things a bit.
     
  21. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #21
    I would agree with the first part of this sentence but not the second. The FCC was formed to ensure that the public's airwaves are used in their best interest. This clearly is not happening, which is why I agree the FCC is evil.

    I don't think the agency itself is useless. If it weren't there, the media would be even worse than they are now. But I do think Bush needs to boot out the lame-a**es he's got in there now and put in some people who take seriously the FCC's original mandate to see that the airwaves are used in the public interest.
     
  22. tveric thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Please write the FCC and your congressperson and senator, and let them know you're against censorship.

    FCC contacts

    Your US represenative

    Your senator

    Hopefully the 1-second exposure of a boob won't lead to the complete stripping away of anything funny and edgy on TV and radio.
     
  23. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #23
    The FCC itself is not evil and is very needed. But the people currenting running the FCC do not have the public's best interests at heart. Stern getting dropped by CC has more to do w/a very vocal minority b*tching about Janet's nipple than it does w/the FCC trying to censor the airwaves. If the silent majority doesn't like how things are going they need to speak the hell up. Use the links tveric posted and let the government know where you stand. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, people.

    Thomas Veil,
    What you posted is nothing new. Those have been standards for sense '78. Would you like to know why those standards were put in place? Because 1 guy, who was listening to the radio w/his son, complained to the FCC about George Carlin's stand up routine now commonly refered to as "7 dirty words." 1 guy out of the entire listening audience led the charge. Who says 1 person can't make a difference?

    Obviously the rules are not enforced to the letter. What is "okay" to say over the airwaves varies by location and changes rather frequently as society redefines what is acceptable and what is not. 50 years ago you couldn't show a man and a women sitting in the same bed (even if they were married). Watch reruns of "I Love Lucy" and you'll notice that Lucy and Ricky slept in seperate beds. Today seeing sex on TV is not uncommon (some would say too common) and you might even catch a naked butt cheeck or two. Just a few years ago saying "@ss" on TV was a huge no-no. Now it's not a big deal.

    And, basically, between 10pm and 6am stations can air anything they want, short of obcenity<sp?>, but they don't because they don't want to piss off/alienate viewers. Over the air radio and TV broadcasts are typically way more conservitive than FCC standards.

    Also, it was the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that relaxed regulations and allowed these mega-conglomerates to form in the first place. Of course we also can't forget the DMCA (passed in 1998) that has robber consumers of many of their rights regarding media.

    tveric,
    We do live in a free society. And ClearChannel is free to carry whatever programing it wants. If people miss Stern enough in ClearChannel markets and raise a big enough stink CC will start airing the show again on their stations. Because, like you said, they are very profit driven. Government forcing CC to air Stern is as bad as Government forcing CC to drop Stern.


    Lethal
     
  24. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #24
    But the fact is...

    HE DID THAT SAME ROUTINE thousands of times before.

    CC has a new policy that they didn't give to the Stern Show and he gets canned... :rolleyes:


    I don't like the show, I find no part of it funny or amusing, but what gives?


    I'm gonna make a pirate radio station.

    Just to protest this, I will hook it into my audio out port from my computer where i will have my iTunes music running, it will be up in a week.

    FCC -- Bite me.
     
  25. tveric thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Actually, I agree with you. Government should not force anyone to air Stern. In fact, one could argue that government forcing a company to air a program is actually worse than forcing a company to drop a program. Regardless, there is little doubt that CC's decision to drop Stern was heavily government-influenced, and that government influence came as a direct result of Stern's recent criticism of conservatives in general and GWB in particular. A scary harbinger of things to come, indeed.
     

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