Death of America...

I was listening to Howard Stern this morning, as I do every morning. Lately, he's been talking about the demise of the show and how it's coming quickly, but today, the tone was taken to an entirely different level.
The tenor of the show segment I caught this morning was frighteningly similar to that of the days immediately following the attacks of 9-11.
It's an overstatement, I know. Can't really compare the beheading of Howard Stern in order to appease the radical Uber-Christian aspects of the current government with the Taliban's grotesque violence against us, can I?
I don't know if I'm justified in the comparison or not, but I know I feel like something is happening, something that threatens the America I love.
I don't want to be told what's good for me. I don't want my choices taken away from me. I sure as hell don't want to pay taxes to a government that's going to use my money to take my rights away from me.
In the 90's it video games. I'm sure you all remember the congressional hearings of the time. How many times was Doom blamed for some freak-ass blowing his face off with his father's 12 gauge?
There were also the heavy-metal hearings. How many times was Judas Priest blamed for some freak-ass blowing his face off with his father's 12 gauge?
I didn't even like heavy metal and I was outraged.

Stop policing entertainment.

It's going to be cable television soon. Then satellite. Then the internet. If they keep going the way they're going, there's going to be nothing left of the America we grew up in. We're losing our voices.

I guess I should get used to shows like Everybody Loves Raymond.
Bleagh.

Howard Stern and Mancow are both spewing this stuff today. I don''t buy into their hype for ratings gibberish.

Hmmm, I don''t really think I have a problem with reigning in commercial television and radio. I think _because_ there is cable, satellite, and the internet, then those who want to broadcast a stronger message have the full opportunity to do that, but there should be a bastion where families and parents trying to monitor what their children hear and see shouldn''t have to worry. If I''m watching a CBS show with my son, I should be able to feel confident that we''re not going to suddenly hear a string of obscenities, for example.

I''m really not hearing anything about ''blame''. To claim this is censorship is ridiculous in every sense of the word ... to compare something like this to the Taliban, laughable.

If the public doesn''t want him on the public''s airwaves, then they have the right to ask that he be pulled. There is no ''v-chip'' for radio, which means that I would be afraid to leave a child alone with a radio for fear of the crap he would be exposed to. I wouldn''t want a ten-year old to be listening to Stern or Opie and Anthony''s broadcast of the couple having sex in St. Patrick''s Cathedral.

If you want to broadcast smut on the air, that''s fine. Do it at midnight or 3AM. Stream it over the internet. Or better yet, make it a direct purchase. Go buy his CD. But why should the public have to allow the trash from shock jocks on the public''s airwaves?

No offense, but doesn''t this belong in P&C?

My only problem with going after Stern and Mancow is that they are on when kids are in school. I listen to both and everyone knows what they are about.

I''ve always been of the opinion of ""if you don''t like it change the station"" but then what do I know!

Ok I know how to tie my shoes and sometimes pee without missing the toilet... do I get a cookie now?

The problem I have with this argument is that it''s not the FCC taking Howard Stern off the air, it''s Clear Channel dropping him because they don''t want him on his station. Clear Channel has every right to control what is and isn''t on thier station. Besides, if you''re counting on Clear Channel, the name in homoginizing radio, to be your cultural bastion against the white washing of our society you''re going to be a little disappointed. Besides, the FCC gets to control your content in exchange for giving you a license to broadcast on the public airwaves, which is part of the tradeoff. If Howard Stern wants to be edgy he should go to the Internet or XM Radio. I have no doubt that he could make it as an Internet show.

I''m not really a fan of Howard Stern anyway. I really liked a local radio station until they started playing him during the time my alarm goes off. A couple of weeks of that, even 10 minutes at a time, made me want to poke my ears out with a pencil.

I''ve always been of the opinion of ""if you don''t like it change the station"" but then what do I know!

For an adult, that is just fine. But you can''t be around kids 24 hours a day, and if you don''t want them listening to Stern, it is tough to enforce when he is right there on the public airwaves. Compare Stern to Playboy. Do you think parents want Playboys available on the comic book racks for kids to buy? We regulate offensive content all the time. If you want to indulge, feel free. But why should the public hace to bear the inconvenience instead of you?

Just to clairfy Stern at least on the east coast starts its broadcast before children get to school.

I am torn over this because of the children issue.

As a parent it is impossible for me to completely police what my children d but I try. For example I use to listen to Stern all the time but had to stop because of my kids. In fact I can not listen to most any morning radio shows as they are often talking about a subject that I do not want my children exposed to at thier current age.

So I did what some advocate and changed the channel. I have to listen to things like classical radio when the children are arround for example.

The problem is I know I can not always be arround. Radios are common place and not hard to operate. Heck my 2 year old turns on the radio at the house, cranks up the volume, and then dances her little heart out.

Personally I am leaning towards the evil rating system. Very few of us bulk over the movie rating system. It helps parents get an idea of what is and is not appropriate and there are some controls that help prevent younger children from seeing stuff they should not.

To think this has anything to do with religion or to compare it to the Taliban is ridiculous though. I even like people like Stern and am not religious but as I said see the need for some better controls.

mateo, you''re correct. This should have been in p&c.

As far as leaving my child alone with the radio, I guess I wouldn''t feel comfortable letting her listen to the radio alone at any time. Have you listened to the lyrics of some of the Top-40 songs lately? They''re not suited for the ears of a six year old, either.
I also don''t let her watch television alone.
I''M her filter. That''s the way it should be.
As far as the question of what happens when she''s not around me, which is the enevitable next question, I''ll be honest, I''m a lot more worried about what some random person is going to do to her than I am about anything she''s going to listen to on the radio.
Anyway, since boobie-gate, it really seems like the pressure has been turned up and that our rights are in danger.
You don''t think this all would stop with Stern, do you?
Suppose someone in the government told you you couldn''t play DOOM3 because it was too violent? Would that be okay?
A child can play a video game as easily as they can listen to the smut on the radio.
Where''s the line?

The government isn''t going to tell you that you can''t play Doom 3. That is foolish fear-mongering. There is no modern precedent for the govenment preventing content that is bought in a direct purchase by an adult.

I could see the government calling for stricter ratings and imposing a fine if stores sold games to people below the appropriate age level though. Frankly, I would be in favor of that.

Also, to make where I''m coming from more clear, I''m not some left-ist ""everyone should do what they wanna whenever they want"" kinda guy.
I just don''t want the government or pressure from the government or a panel of judges telling me what''s good for me.
I did not agree with it when gay marriage was made legal after it was voted down.
Is my problem with weather gays should marry or not? No. It''s that the public voted it down and a group of judges said, you don''t really know what''s right, and made it legal anyway.
But on the other hand, I don''t want the President going against gay marriage because he KNOWS it''s not right.

Gah. Maybe I''m a lunatic. Pass me the Xanax.

I tend to be reactionary about rights and the trampling thereof. I just don''t see it here. As pointed out above this isn''t the government removing Stern from the airwaves, nor is it Stern unable to broadcast. There''s no squashing of ideas here, only a guy who thought he was above it all getting a sharp reminder that he isn''t.

I am, however, moving this to P&C.

Precedent? I don''t know if I feel comfortable basing what might happen in the future on what has or has not happened in the past.
Precedent only becomes precedent when someone sets it.

You know, when it comes to politicians trying to censor the media ""because of the children"", I can''t help but think ""f*ck the children"". Seriously. Children with irresponsible parents are no safer with rated-G broadcasting.

With Howard Stern, anybody with half a brain who hasn''t been living in a cave should know what kind of content is on his show. If you''re a parent or teacher or school bus driver and you have children in the vicinity, you should know better than to have the radio turned to his show.

I consider the Superbowl Halftime show farce a bit different, since previous halftime shows have not been adult in nature and the ""surprise"" essentially prevented responsible parents from doing their job.

The market has clearly spoken on radio indecency; Howard Stern is (or at least was) a big moneymaker for Infinity Broadcasting and Clear Channel. If enough people suddenly woke up and became offended, advertisers would shy away from Stern and the show would die off. Unfortunately, now we have a bunch of self-rightous politicians in DC attempting to decide what we the public should listen to.

Howard Stern''s belief is that the FCC will not drive him off the air via a single mandate, but rather by fining his parent company and affiliates for every perceived violation, thus giving him a death of a million cuts. In essense, the government is slashing at broadcasters'' bottom lines because that''s the only way these companies could lose money.

If the FCC were doing this to ""Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"" or ""60 Minutes"" or MTV, the media would be screaming ""censorship!"" from the rooftops. But because the highest-profile target is Howard Stern and his content is not politically correct, it apparently isn''t worth worrying about.

"Elysium" wrote:

As pointed out above this isn''t the government removing Stern from the airwaves, nor is it Stern unable to broadcast.

I disagree. By threatening broadcasters and issuing fines, the government is attempting to remove Stern and his ilk from the airwaves.

Prior to Janet Jackson''s escapade in front of a billion viewers and the FCC''s public vows to crush indecency, Stern and other ""shock jocks"" had very little fear of being kicked off the air permanently. If they received complaints in a particular market, the parent broadcaster might drop the show in that particular city.

Now that the government is lumbering into the room and making threats and fining broadcasters like never before, it is not the public -- the consumer -- influencing the decision. Sure, the bottom line for broadcasting companies is still the deciding factor in the success or failure of a syndicated show but that bottom line is dwindling not due to consumer pressure but the artificial handicaps imposed by the FCC.

It has nothing to do with, at least in my case, with being politically correct.

As I stated I like Stern.

I mean I listend to Stern yesterday with Snoop on and was laughing my tail off.

As a responsible parent I did not listen till after my children were dropped off at school and I was alone in my car.

Yet I also know that a child of say 12 has easy access to his show and that it is impossible for a parent, responsible or not, to stop it.

I mean come on do you really think there should be say porn on broadcast TV? I mean after all a responsible parent would not let the child watch it.

Why is this any different?

"maladen" wrote:

I mean come on do you really think there should be say porn on broadcast TV? I mean after all a responsible parent would not let the child watch it.

Sure. Show porn on broadcast TV. Let the market decide whether or not it is worth running; either advertisers will support it, or not.

I think both sides of the political spectrum are being hypocritical on this matter; the Left continuously decries any stifling of free speech, and the Right always is in favor of less government and corporate self-policing. This is neither.

"JohnnyMoJo" wrote:
I''ve always been of the opinion of ""if you don''t like it change the station"" but then what do I know!

For an adult, that is just fine. But you can''t be around kids 24 hours a day, and if you don''t want them listening to Stern, it is tough to enforce when he is right there on the public airwaves. Compare Stern to Playboy. Do you think parents want Playboys available on the comic book racks for kids to buy? We regulate offensive content all the time. If you want to indulge, feel free. But why should the public hace to bear the inconvenience instead of you?

Woohoo! Someone actually quoted me... too bad he''s right now that I think of it...never thought of it that way. I have a son and I''m for sure not letting him listen (even if he is only 9 months old). So Forget what I said as I was thinking about adults.

Now that the government is lumbering into the room and making threats and fining broadcasters like never before, it is not the public -- the consumer -- influencing the decision.

So you are saying the Government does not represent the people? Last I checked a large number of people were offended by the great tittie escape at the Super Bowl. A Government agency which at some point was deemed necessary by the people was created and chose to act...

"Nimcosi" wrote:

So you are saying the Government does not represent the people?

Well I think quite a few Democrats should agree with that statement, given the post-election fuss in 2000.

To answer your question, I don''t believe the U.S. Government -- in practice, though not on paper or in principle -- represents the people. A fraction of the citizenry eligible to vote actually go to the polls. The majority of that minority end up picking our leaders. Leaders who quite often throw their biggest donors a bone.

Politicians represent themselves first. As long as they don''t piss off the public, they can remain as ineffectual as possible.

Last I checked a large number of people were offended by the great tittie escape at the Super Bowl.

You may be right, but what percentage of viewers were actually offended? Is all this outrage really being generated by a vocal minority? Other than the Tivo numbers indicating the volume of playbacks, there seems to be little other than anecdotal evidence in support of this ""widespread outrage"" theory.

A Government agency which at some point was deemed necessary by the people was created and chose to act...

The FCC was a byproduct of the Communications Act of 1934. The primary concern at the time was a perceived glut of advertising.

The FCC commissioners are not elected, but rather appointed by the President. Only 3 of the 5 commissioners may be of the same political party.

"Rantage" wrote:
"maladen" wrote:

I mean come on do you really think there should be say porn on broadcast TV? I mean after all a responsible parent would not let the child watch it.

Sure. Show porn on broadcast TV. Let the market decide whether or not it is worth running; either advertisers will support it, or not.

I think both sides of the political spectrum are being hypocritical on this matter; the Left continuously decries any stifling of free speech, and the Right always is in favor of less government and corporate self-policing. This is neither.

A few points. Letting the market decide works fine for economics, but we are talking about culture. Does an infant need a million bucks or parents to love and care for it? Because there are other outlets for Stern to spew his adolescent tripe than public airwaves, I don''t see a problem with making him follow the rules for the public ones. If he can''t, fine him until he does, or until he has to stop using public airwaves.

As to possible hypocrisy by conservatives, I think preserving societal institutions and preventing crime are two areas where the maxim of small government is not followed. To do otherwise would be Libertartian rather than conservative.

"Gorack" wrote:

Letting the market decide works fine for economics, but we are talking about culture. Does an infant need a million bucks or parents to love and care for it?

A child with incompetent or inattentive parents is screwed, whether the family is rich or poor and regardless if Stern is on the radio.

Because there are other outlets for Stern to spew his adolescent tripe than public airwaves, I don''t see a problem with making him follow the rules for the public ones. If he can''t, fine him until he does, or until he has to stop using public airwaves.

Fine. Which rules, exactly?

Bono can say ""f*cking"" during a broadcast and that is deemed ok (at least at the time) but Stern can make a veiled reference to anal sex and that''s awful? And where do all the double entendres used in countless sitcoms fit into this?

For that matter, why is broadcasting violent images on TV during the dinner hour acceptable but merely talking about sex during the morning commute not?

As to possible hypocrisy by conservatives, I think preserving societal institutions and preventing crime are two areas where the maxim of small government is not followed. To do otherwise would be Libertartian rather than conservative.

If the Government is to keep out of religion, then it should stay out of the culture war. And, quite honestly, I don''t want the damn government telling me what is ""proper"" for me to listen to, watch on TV, or play on my computer. Let me decide. And if I should expose my children to some of it, either charge me with child endangerment or empower me with parental rights.

Fine. Which rules, exactly?

FCC rules.

I don''t want the damn government telling me what is ""proper"" for me to listen to, watch on TV, or play on my computer.

As I said, he has other outlets. As long as Stern''s show is free for you to listen to, someone else must be paying for it. This being the case, it may not be free in perpetuity.