Inherently Different

The Business of Censorship

Late in 1999, I talked to a few people who thought Shrub (AKA George W. Bush) was the second coming of Satan. They worked themselves into a lather, bemoaning the possibility of a world that had this convicted felon, drug-abuser and mental midget leading the most powerful military on the face of the Earth. I laughed, placating them with the words, “The position of President of the United States is a puppet perch, meaningless. He won’t affect the world at large! If you want to worry about someone, worry about Cheney. If Bush is elected, he’ll be the one who runs the country!”

Of course, as the elections came about, and the 9/11 attacks changed the world as we know it, I began to see that while my friends weren’t exactly right in their predictions, they came eerily close to the truth. What’s worse is that I wasn’t too far off either.

That’s why I started to look to the 2004 elections with a great deal of interest. I wanted to see how Americans would react to the state of the union. The front runners, Kerry and Edwards, are likeable, charismatic and more importantly, electable.

This recent article that details Kerry’s position on the whole Howard Stern debacle, makes me really pull for the guy. Seriously, anyone who has the intelligence to see past the rhetoric spouted by either side and make an intelligent decision, should be the leader of the free world. I’m not a fan of censorship of any kind, but if Clear Channel decides they want to pull Stern’s show, which they syndicate, off of the channels they manage, they should be able to. What Clear Channel did isn’t censorship, it is intelligent business practice. Clear Channel is guilty of many things, the least of which is a homogenization of the radio waves, but censorship is not one of them.

Had the government insisted that Stern’s show be blocked from the public airwaves, that would have been censorship. But a company, with varied interests, who chooses not to air the program because it would cause them economic hardship doesn’t fit the profile of censorship.

Stern’s an ass. His show is nothing more than infantile jokes about poop, sex, racial stereo-types and freaks of nature. I don’t like his comedy so I do what any intelligent, rational person does. I don’t listen.

In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be any FCC because the US would be filled with intelligent, rational men and women who not only can decide for themselves what constitutes indecent behavior, but can also understand that if they don’t like something, they can just choose not to listen or view the offensive item.

Each Television & Radio has a built-in self-serve censorship device. It’s called the tuner and it comes with a handy knob that lets you change the station whenever you want.

5 thoughts on “The Business of Censorship”

  1. Well. Let’s agree to disagree here.

    While I’m not a fan of the low-end humor on Stern, I do listen to the show every morning. In fact, my radio alarm wakes me up at 6 when the show starts.

    This isn’t a censorship issue. I listened to the entire show that people are saying was indecent, and not a single thing said or talked about was any different than the past 10 years.

    None of the “7 dirty words” were said, and while the Paris Hilton conversation was certainly not offensive, it was definitely guilty of being flat out boring.

    Clear Channel took Stern of their stations due to the simple fact that he had a 180 on supporting Bush and the Republicans.

    Three weeks or so ago, due to the whole hoopla over the Jackson tit incident, and the fact that Congress was able to put together this immediate inquiry into that, but still 3 years later has not done a 9/11 inquiry set Stern off and he started questioning a lot of Bush policy which he supported since 2000.

    Now Bush sold the Texas Rangers to the president of Clear Channel years ago. The Bush family and the Clear Channel ownership have ties that go back years and all kinds of dollars invested and made from each other.

    Other former Clear Channel employees who were reports are starting to come out about the fact that Clear Channel would reprimand them on stories done that involved corporations or when the delved into reporting on Bush issues.

    It isn’t a censorship issue. Clear Channel has had something like 10 years of airing Stern. In fact, the recently resigned contracts in several markets.

    Bush comes out as no longer supporting Bush and things change.

    While I won’t comment on Stern’s intelligence, he does have a massive national listenership (if that is a word) and has influenced the outcome of several New York and New Jersey political races.

    He is #1 in the 18-34 male demographic in practically all of the markets he airs in.

    And coincidentally (yeah, right), Clear Channel yanks him off markets in several States that are considered swing states for this November’s election, especially Florida.

    There’s more to this than mere content that someone will consider “indecent”. It is a greater issue of corporate media dominance that will come to play a huge role in our burgeoning Fourth Riech.

    But yes, the biggest issue I have with all of this, is the fact that once again the people of this country can’t take personal responsibility for their actions and turn the channel off.

    There lies the true problem.

    A lack of personal integrity in the individual.

  2. As I stated in that post, “Clear Channel is guilty of many things, the least of which is a homogenization of the radio waves, but censorship is not one of them.”

    Which is to say, I’m not a fan of clear channel or of their really vanilla programming. But regardless of their ties to bush and the religious right, IT’S THEIR RADIO STATION and if they don’t want stern on it, regardless of why, they have the economical right to remove the show from their stations… there isn’t any argument against that.

  3. I just don’t like them more or less using the FCC’s current attack on all things “non-Little House on the Prairie” as a convenient masque.

    10 years is a long time to finally say… “geez, we don’t agree with this programming.”

  4. The FCC is an antiquated commission that ceased being relevant in the early 80s. You’ll get no argument from me there. But I still say that regardless of what tactic Clear Channel uses to get that jackass off their radio stations, it is there perogative.

  5. Of course, ChumpChannel had the right to dump Stern. Just like I have the right to sell my car if it isn’t to my liking anymore. It’s their business. If they dont want him, fine. I’m certain someone else in those 6 or 7 markets will try to pick him up. CC will have to pay out his contracts, I’m sure, as with any business.

    The FCC is a different issue altogether.

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