Howard Stern Walks, Free Speech Hurts
Contrary to what you think I may be pushing with linking this article, I’m not here to talk about Howard Stern leaving terrestrial radio. I’m not here to talk about how his move could be the biggest success or failure for Sirius Satellite Radio. I’m not here to talk about the massive turn out of Stern fans that seemed to congest at least two city blocks of New York to hear the Stern Show staff say goodbye. The only thing that I really want to talk about that relates to this issue is simply this: free speech took a big blow today.
In the recent onslaught of media touring that Stern recently did he has maintained that the motivation for his moving to Sirius was concerns over being able to do the show that he wants to do when faced with a seemingly ultra-conservative FCC. Blah blah blickity blah blah… this is too long winded for me. Let’s try this again, but in my own voice.
Stern left radio. He says it’s because he can’t do the show he wants with the current state of the FCC. I don’t think anyone can blame him. Everyone has to bow down to the FCC on regular radio because the FCC grants radio stations licenses to broadcast. If the FCC says something is indecent and wants to fine you, what are you going to do? Are you going to go to bat with them in order to prove them wrong? If you have radio station acquisitions or filings for licenses in the pipe line it probably wouldn’t be recomended that you try it. This would be like trying to kick your driving test agent in the nuts when you are trying to get your drivers liscense.
What it all boils down to is this: the current actions of the FCC really piss me off. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think people should be able to go on the national airwaves and say anything and everything that they feel like saying. I also, however, do think that the government needs to realize that there is major power in something I like to call “The Button.” Hear something you don’t like? Use The Button and you can turn it off. The Button also lets you change the channel or station you are on. Those that wish to hide behind not wanting their children to hear something should realize that there are ways as parents to also control The Button so that their children will not hear the things that they don’t want their kids to hear. Don’t go screaming to the government to do your job for you parents.
I don’t really know what I’m saying right now.. except that I don’t think that we should fine someone or some company millions just to try and prove the point of not mistakenly saying “fuck” or even “vagina” on the airwaves.