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

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Friday, April 09, 2004
 

FCC gives great smut


The FCC's NAL against Clear Channel in relation to Howard Stern's April 9 2003 broadcast (piece yesterday) is a must-read. But absolutely not while consuming foodstuffs or beverages of any kind.

As 'Sonny Boy' Powell and Bad Cop Michael Copps rip the First Amendment methodically into pieces of molecular dimension, they take deadpan to a new level.

I particularly draw paragraphs 11 and 13 to your attention. But for maximum comic effect, as the saying goes, read the whole thing.

Apart from the decision to fine per incident, rather than per show [1], the decision also raises (I'm not suggesting it's for the first time) the question of prosecutorial discretion. The NAL covers six stations; but the Howard Stern Network runs to 41 stations. What about the unfined 35?

For instance, Stern's home station of KXRK New York City (owned by Infinity, and therefore by Viacom) does not appear to have been NAL-ed for the April 9 2003 broadcast.

(The last NAL against Infinity on account of Stern I can see is (my piece of March 19) that made on account of a broadcast by WKRK Detroit in 2001.)

If a Stern broadcast is indecent under the rules, why aren't all 41 stations that carry the broadcast the subject of action by the FCC?

Of course, Bush-loving Clear Channel is not going to fight the recent NAL - or any of them. And, as I suggested on March 25, I reckon Viacom's Mel Karmazin won't either, for all his defence of Stern, and keeping him on the payroll.

Is the supineness of the broadcasters in any way connected with the, to date, restrictive use of prosecutorial discretion by the FCC?

  1. How do they work out what counts as one incident? There were two separate segments (the transcript starts on p11a): the anal sex passage and the Sphincterine passage. Yet each station is fined for three violations. No comprendo.


|
free website counter Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com