Surely you’ve heard a little about Howard Stern recently. “Shock Jock Fined.” Yeah what else is new?
The thing you won’t hear about much is why he was fined- for a show over 3 years ago. The FCC has taken a sudden interest in Howard Stern. ClearChannel recently dropped him from all of their stations… which sounds a lot more impressive than it actually is, since they were only carrying him on 6 stations.
But we knew Stern’s content, and they did too. Why the sudden change?
A little while ago Stern decided he had had enough and spoke out about President Bush. Stern urged his listeners to vote against Bush. This from a guy who publicly supported the “War on Terror” and the invasion of Iraq. Coincidentally, three days later ClearChannel decided Stern’s show was “indecent” and dropped him.
It’s yet another chapter in stating the obvious: radio and television stations have been merged down to a very small number of companies that control the large majority of the broadcasting band. They are all controlled by Republican-friendly businesses, and are all too willing to act as the voicebox of the present administration.
CBS refused to air a commercial from MoveOn.org during the Superbowl, claiming that MoveOn were without the money to pay for the ad. This of course was an outright lie- online donations easily surpassed the cost of that advertising spot. The television stations are not impartial and do not tell us the truth.
The solution: turn off your TV and do something productive with your life. Go out with your friends so they don’t waste their lives either! I can pretty much guarantee you will never hear someone say this:
MAN ON DEATHBED
Wow, I sure am glad I watched every episode of Survivor!
Something I think is amazing- broadcasters wonder where their share is going when they pull these shenanigans.
Yay all our stations are finally totally identical! RADIOMAN BOB
That’s a big cost savings for us! And yet… our numbers aren’t that much better! I don’t get it! RADIOMAN FRANK
Well, the ratings are still going down… People are turning away from radio, Bob. But I wonder why? Why is radio in the toilet? It just doesn’t make sense! RADIOMAN BOB
Let’s see, we have a 5 song playlist, plastic DJs, commercials every 5 minutes, and filled the airwaves with lies and hate, supporting a government that sends dozens of the friends of our listeners to their graves. RADIOMAN FRANK
What does any of that have to do with anything?! Let’s stay on task, Bob! RADIOMAN BOB
Let’s lobby the FCC to crack down on smaller broadcasters! Maybe that will make things better! RADIOMAN FRANK
Right on brah- once we get rid of pirate radio, college stations, and swallow up more of the private stations, I’m sure things will get better and we won’t be so amazingly irrelevant! Everything can be exactly as bland as we like it! RADIOMAN BOB
But first! The whores! WHORES
More on the FCC: On Oprah yesterday at 4pm, a show aired live in which a guest described some of the sex acts teenagers are doing now, I guess referred to in the film Thirteen, including the “tossed salad” as made famous by Chris Rock (it’s a variant of rimming, guys). This was on Oprah. Do you think she got fined?
So to highlight the hypocrisy, Stern wanted to play a clip from Oprah that aired live yesterday. I say wanted because his producers refused. Stern’s idea was to play the clip and dare the FCC to fine him… because then they would have to fine Oprah. Which would make them look very stupid. And if they fined just him, and not Oprah, the favoritism would be obvious. And if they didn’t fine him for that, and fined him for something else… well you get the general idea.
There is a lot of support for Howard Stern. Las Vegas station KXTE has been airing regular appeals to their listeners to get the word out, and rock group Korn wrote a song about Stern and ClearChannel (also available on the KXTE site).
Maybe Howard Stern will make good on his threat to leave radio and migrate his show to Satellite Radio… personally I think this would be giving up.
Also, this seems largely a case of “too little, too late.” Where was Howard Stern when the rest of us were protesting the war? When we let the Supreme Court hand the presidency to someone who got his brother to rig the election for him? Broadcasters edited in the sound of boos to a speech Michael Moore made, turning his anti-war speech into conservative propaganda… but did Howard Stern complain then? Noooooooo!
Did you know that a lot of college and indie stations have live web feeds?
Try it, you’ll like it! Pick up the schedule and find your genre!College stations truly offer what commercial radio cannot- variety. So if you only think you want different kinds of music, maybe you’d be better off stealing the new Britney album. Have fun at the mall, Barbie!
FCC investigates Howard Stern after he speaks out against Bush