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Just Saying...

You can't both scream in anger about Howard Stern being "silenced," and gloat about Ted Rall being canned by the NYT. It's called contradiction. Look it up.


Sure you can. Stern actually has talent. And he actually used to use it sometimes.

That's neither here nor there, Bill. I'm talking supposed "freedom of speech" issues here.

The right to freedom of speech is a constitutional thingy (yes "thingy" is the term they use in law school). All of Rall's talk about "freedom of speech" shows that he never studied constitutional law and doesn't realize that the phrase only referes to what the government can and can't do.

But the FCC fining stations for talk about Howie's ball is government action to limit the freedom of speech, so it is appropriate to make a political debate out of it.

I don't watch or listen to Howard and I don't care about his balls, but I will defend them to the death (cough, sputter). Well anyway the FCC can lick my balls.

You're all missing my point. I'm talking about the people, not the issue. You cannot say "I'm so glad that the NYT gave in and pulled Rall's comic," and then say "Howard Stern is being railroaded by Clear Channel!"

See what I mean?

I guess.

But I do want freedom of speech, and Howie's being canned because of an FCC, policy, very high fines and a memo they sent to Clear Channel.

I feel cheated! I want people to be free to talk dirty on TV!

Perhaps people who say "Howard Stern is being railroaded by Clear Channel!" are actually not talking about Stern so much as about their disapointment in Clear Channel is dropping the ball and not defending our rights against a government that's nuts.

Anyway the issue is important to a lot of people. Stern isn't accused of hate speech or anything more harmful than talking about sex and sexual anatomy. God help us, by government proclamation, we no longer have balls (or dicks or vaginas), and we're certainly not allowed to enjoy talking about them in public.

In principle, I agree.

However on one hand there are angry consumers (directly) encouraging the NYT, and on the other it's the FCC and it's threat of punative fines.

I've never liked Howard Stern, and thought that much of his show ought not be heard in daytime/primetime hours.

On the other hand, no station/network should be compelled to air him either.

The same applies to Ted Rall.

Well, yea. I'm talking about the people who are pissed at Clear Channel.

The government intefering is a whole other ball game that I'll address later.

So the NYTime decided they have taken enough crap on behalf of one bad cartoonist and dumped him. Okay so people get fired all the time.

Clear Channel cuts loose 2 jock (one with talent and another who just sucked) in order to have something to talk about in front of congress other than Clear Channel's attempts to own every radio station in America.

Somehow this involves freedom of speech? Has anyone been thrown in jail? Has the army been moblized to shut down a radio station? Has the government forced the power companies to stop powering the 100,000 watt radio towers?

Tell me who exactly has been silenced? And if somebody came up to you and said that "President Bush is trying to get me fired because he does not like my views" you would rightly call that person an idiot. But since it is "the king of all media" I am supposed to believe him?

And how long is it going to be before Howard starts reading posts from the Democratic Underground?

Rob Moates, I don't know what the fines are now, but under the Regan Administration I remember a case where a radio station was fined $100,000 for obscenity for a radio play on AIDs. There is also a threat of non-renewal of licence. Back then there was a policy that genitals can not be talked about even in a medical context, although in practice this was only used selectively against stations who pissed of the wrong people...

Yes it's about freedom of speech. The tragedy of the Democratic Underground is that they've inherited real issues and that they aren't worthy to support them.

Michele is entirely correct on this issue. Freedom of speech does not equal license to be free of consequences. Ted Rall has a lot of other venues to vent his spleen, just as Clear Channel represented only six of Stern's stations. Good lord, just look at the great press that was being given to the organized gay groups that were going out to "get" Dr. Laura!

Yes, the fly in the oinment is the FCC, it IS a government agency and they ARE engaging in censorship; however, public owned airwaves have been deemed not the equal of the press.

Who says people can't be contradictory?

I'm not saying they can't, Keith. But I can call them on it.

Just like the billion times I've been called on contradicting myself. :-)

Wait a minute. Howard Stern is being canned?

I know he's foaming at the mouth about how it's going to happen, but until we hear from Infinity Broadcasting (he doesn't work for fucking Clear Channel, people -- he was only on SIX of their stations) as far as I can tell it's just him making noise to boost his ratings and try to convince Infinity that they can't afford to fire him.

Jesus on a JetSki, people...


No, it's more than that. It's record fines for the company that employs Howard and threats of revocation of the licenses of every station that continues to air his show, at least if it continues in it's usual form.

The difference betwee Rall and Stern's individual cases is Clear Channel controls multiple stations, whereas the NYT is a sinlge entity. If, for instance, Rupert Murdoch decided to can Rall from every single media outlet that he controls, now THAT would be comparable to what Clear Channel did.

The best thing is that when Howard does leave public airwaves he will go to Satellite radio and you will see a MASSIVE expansion of the satellite radio base. Traditional radio has started to suck, specifically because of mass consolidation like Clear Channel is attempting. I will be glad to see it die a miserable death in favor of satellite radio. Stern can then continue on having earned his "King of all Media" nickname.

Sorry, Sherard. Not buying it. Stern is too smart to let it happen.

Ted Rall was sacked because the NYT's readers didn't like him. That's the one and only reason he lost his job.

Howard Stern got dropped by Clear Channel because Clear Channel is, for very good reasons, mortally afraid of the US Government, which has the power to put Clear Channel out of business permanently whenever it wants to. And that's the one and only reason they dropped Stern, who was very popular with their listeners and was making them a lot of money.

That is why I think it's fair to call what happened to Stern, "censorship". No, Clear Channel didn't censor him -- but in my opinion it is entirely fair to say that the FCC did.

First: Michele, I knew what you were talking about, I was just being a dumbass. Thanks for the bitchslap.

Second: The NYT does own more than one paper and is distributed worldwide.

Third: The difference between Rall vs. NYT and Stern vs. CC is that in the former, Rall's work was dropped due to reader (customer) complaint. In the latter, listener (customer) complaints alone were never enough to get these guys off the radio. CC basically responded to every customer complaint with a form letter printed on leftover $20 bills that said "We feel your pain". If not for the record FCC fines, Stern and Bubba are on the radio at CC today and the 6 office workers hired to handle the hate mail still have jobs. Show me anyone who believes CC would have found morality without the FCC's help, and I'll show you someone waiting for O.J. to find the real killers.
It's not 100% censorship, but the FCC totally "Free Speech Zoned" them.

As has been mentioned elsewhere, Stern was on SIX of CC's over 1000 stations. Stern's program is owned by Infinity, which is #2 to Clear Channel in the industry. CC is probably using the FCC to ditch Stern and get some PR Luv in the process.

I never complained about Stern being pulled. He's still tops in NY, and so far there have been no fines.

And, as someone said, Satellite radio is going to be the eventual home for Stern, since it's more akin to cable.

OTOH, I can dance all over Rall's financial loss because it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.