Friday, December 16, 2005

Long live Howard Stern

Today is the last day that radio personality Howard Stern is broadcasting on free FM terrestrial radio. He will be starting on Sirius Satellite Radio in January. I know most people think he's just a potty-mouth and a "shock jock" and a lewd pig but that is a matter of taste and it shouldn't be the government that tells you what you can see or hear. In fact, some "less government and more freedom" types in the Republican party have suggested that pay cable and pay radio content be regulated. That's HBO, that's Showtime. That's Sex and the City and Sopranos. Now that's obscene. What's next? Republican censoring the internet (or internets) because they are offended by the content? Believe me I'm sure someone wants to do it. And if they can regulate HBO they can regulate bookstores. It's not a hysterical argument.

Howard Stern talks about a lot of things and yes he talks about toilet issues and bedroom habits of his guests. But if you look on Amazon you can find "Walter the Farting Dog" which has been a top seller for fours years. How about "Everyone Poops?" Another book favorite of kids. Guess what parents of babies and toddlers ask each other - "Did he poop today? How was it? Was is big? What was the consistency?" Middle school kids? Have you listened in on their conversations? High School kids? Forget about it. They have more active sex lives than most people. This is what people talk about. All day.

Ever listen to Dr. Ruth? Oprah? The View? Watch Desperate Housewives? Fear Factor? Survivor? Believe me they are saying and doing things more "shocking " than Howard Stern. Again, it's simply a matter of taste something the government should never be allowed to regulate. A five-member panel called the FCC decides whether to issue what's called a "Notice of Apparent Liability" if they think something has been broadcasted that is obscene. Unless it is one of the famous "seven dirty words" it is only obscene if it violate contemporary community standards. Since Stern in number one in most of his markets, i.e. Miami, Chicago, New York, the community has already voted that its not obscene since it is number 1 in the ratings. The community has spoken. How can something be deemed to have violated the community's standards if the community has voted it number 1? The catch here is that the FCC also approves licenses and mergers in the broadcasting world and unless you pay your fine without challenging it in court your paperwork just might go missing. And by the way, how many of you clicked on the "seven dirty words" link? Do you feel obscene? Should you be fined? Should the government expand the list of words to ban?

After the Janet Jackson boob incident at the Superbowl, (oh dear heavens not a breast for maybe one second!) the outraged Congress took time from taking bribes from defense contractors to pass a law that would increase fines from $37,500 an incident to $500,000. So now it's more of a penalty to show a breast on the Superbowl or talk about toilet bowls than it is to reveal classified information or leave nuclear waste uncovered in the town square.

If you don't like Howard Stern don't listen to him. But 18 million people liked it on free radio and who are five political hacks on the FCC to tell them otherwise? Whatever happened to choice? You want five people to decide what you can watch and hear? You got it. Before it was Elvis and his hips, then the Beatles, then Madonna then Howard Stern. Tomorrow it will be something else that is "undermining our culture and coarsening our society." It's always something. I wonder how much Howard Stern the Catholic Priests listened to before they molested boys and girls in their churches? Maybe they just need more religion. Maybe they didn't have enough 10 Commandments on the walls. I wonder what violent video games Hitler was playing on his Xbox 360 as a kid. The real obscenity is that political decisions control what you see and hear and a bunch of blue-haired ladies and Jerry Falwell can censor the sex and doody talk on Stern's show while cherishing the epic violence of the Passion of the Christ. Once again a matter of taste.

It's legal to go to the bathroom and have sex but it's illegal to talk about it uncensored. Go figure. And go read Captain Underpants one more time before some religious political hack gets on the FCC or the Library and Internet Protection Commission and bans it too. And don't say I didn't warn you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicely put.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Yes, but he's still a moron.

2:33 PM  
Blogger phinky said...

Why does the Federal Communications Commission hate capitalism?

I think the free market has made a decision as to what the community standard is. Gee, if so many people think pornography is disgusting, why does it make so much money? Hmmm, I think someone is out of touch with America. I think someone wants the government to do their job as parents.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

Yes, I forgot to talk about the $10 billion a year porno business. I guess all those consumers are obscene too. Maybe a few "heavens to Betsy" people will complain about Victoria's Secret show on UPN and that will be fined. It's insane who runs this country. Truly insane.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Imran Anwar said...

Howard's End?


12:15 AM  

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