The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, February 19, 2004

Post-Jackson, Viacom in BBC/Hutton-style panic over shock-jocks

The New York Post has Viacom president Mel Karmazin with a nasty case of projectile diarrhea.

Suddenly, with Michael 'Sonny Boy' Powell breathing down Viacom-owned CBS' neck, he's issued a decree that all those potty-mouths (Howard Stern, no least) that rake in the big bucks for Infinity have to can the sex talk:
"Any station airing programming that has any sexual or excretory content needs to take whatever steps are necessary to make sure that the programming is not even arguably indecent," the memo said.

"When in doubt, leave it out," said the memo, which also ordered all stations to install programming-delay units for on-the-fly censoring "immediately."

Stations were told to seek "advance consultation with counsel" if they have questions about anything "graphic or explicit."

Leaving Stern with what, exactly?

Will the CBS News division be dismayed? Hardly. Magic words: Brown & Williamson.

So the marginal effect on the CBS speech thermometer is probably small.

The sight of one of the titans of broadcasting having lost control of its bodily functions is one to store for future reference, though.

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