Censorship in radio For the past several years Freedom of speech in America has had it’s meaning changed many times. Although the changes have gone unnoticed by most Americans, In the radio business they are felt day in and day out. radio personalities, programmers, and owners have to deal with this everyday but they too have no real idea what the Federal Communications Commission’s idea of free speech is. You see the rule seems to change depending on who you are. If you are tagged by the FCC anything the broadcaster does or says is monitored and picked over and fined.( Howard stern. King Of All Media.165-166 ) The FCC has been picking on Howard Stern for years, they singled Howard for doing ?trash radio?. But according to Stern other programs are saying or doing the same if not worse things than he is. Stern tells of when Geraldo said (Stern Miss America. 526-530.) in a show about the Mennendez brothers being molested for doing something wrong. ?Hell, I’m not for child molestation, but if I knew anal sex . . . punishment, I’d keep my room clean.? Geraldo goes untouched. but Howard got fined for saying ?lesbian’s filled with lust.? (Howard Stern. Miss America.519). That seems a bit more tame to me but since Stern is tagged he gets fined. The First Amendment states. ?congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.? This rule, over the years has changed to ?congress shall make . . .? as interpreted by the FCC (king of all. 165) this makes no sense the word freedom, according to Webster’s Dictionary means the state of being free from constraints, possession of political and civil rights, unrestricted access or use yet, the FCC is in charge of what can and can’t be said over the airwaves. The FCC is the god of the broadcasting industry, they do not have to answer to anybody they have all the power to do whatever they want. The basic rule for a deejay is that he/she may not use the seven dirty words, all know them and understand they can not use them, But what nobody knows is, what else can’t a deejay say over the air. The rules are not documented. Most stations go by their own policy, And if their policy is wrong and something goes over the air that isn’t supposed to they can get pulled ( off the air) or fined. Martin Espada is a person who got pulled from the air and his poem censored. ( all things censored. 20-22 ) Espada says, he wrote a poem for the radio program All Things Considered called ?imagine the angels of bread? about an African American wrongly accused of killing a Philadelphia police officer. And with the heat the poem would have generated the program with some forceful help from the FCC type group called National Public Radio the poem was pulled and Espada was no longer allowed to read his poetry on the air. Now Espada was never fined from the FCC because his poem never made the air waves, but the real question is, If it had, would Espada been fined? probably not, Because so many deejays that do ?trash radio? never even get looked at by the FCC Because they are not marked yet. This shows the hypocrisy of the FCC.
I myself have lived in many different cities all across the United States and I’ve listened to just about every local deejay in those cities and they are all pretty much doing the same thing as Howard Stern, yet no fines hardly at all, I watch television and see the same type of show, again no fines, Joe salzman writes about the hypocrisy of free speech. ( hypocrisy rules the air waves.) He points out that shows like Seinfeld, (In prime time when most kids are watching) can talk about ?Sexual intercourse, Masturbation, bodily functions, male and female sex organs, Impotence, homosexuality, and birth control methods.? and people and the media love him. And a show like the Howard Stern Show.( in the morning, when most kids are in school.) talks about ?sexual intercourse, . . . and birth control methods.? and people and the media hate him. He goes on to say ?most people who rave about Seinfeld watch his program. most people who rant about Stern haven’t actually listened to his show.? the same goes for the FCC according to Stern, He says some fines he gets the FCC had not actually listened to the show, but have heard about it from letters from people who were listing.( Stern radio show ). Censorship happens in Canada as well, Stern is going to be pulled from the air because the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council doesn’t like the racy show. ( this are the same people who got the Mighty Morphine Power Rangers pulled off the air in Canada). They demand that Montreal’s CHOM-fm and Toronto’s Q-107 take Stern off the air for violating the industries code of ethics. this got back to Stern, he responded with this statement. ?It looks like I’m Hitler or something , get a sense of humor we’re just goofing. I’m not a rocket scientist or a philosopher . I’m a radio deejay jay who makes people laugh?. ( stewing over stern.53.) This is so true what the FCC, N.P.R., C.B.S.C, and other government officials have got to learn, Deejays are not to be taking serious, they don’t cause war or famine they are entertainers, if a deejay says ?*censored*? on the air it isn’t going to hurt any sane-minded person. Howard and other deejays say what is on most of are minds anyway, most people are just to afraid too say what is on their mind. One other case is the case that disappeared. As Stern says the FCC is good at losing paperwork ( Miss America. 519.) This case was with a Miami based deejay Neil Rodgers Who acutely won a case against the FCC. Neil was fined for gay bashing in 1996, He was charged after saying the word ?fat queen? . The problem was this, Neil is an open homosexual, and he was talking about himself. The case was thrown out of court and now Neil says he is pretty much left alone. But the FCC has lost the paper work and deny ever giving him a fine.( Neil Rodgers Show.). I heard this on my way to work one day while listening to Neil’s show and rememberd Sterns comment about the FCC losing paper work. when his company Infinity tried to take the FCC to court over the fines, the FCC did not show up for court instead they started losing the paper work every time Infinity tried to buy another radio station. until Infinity finally just got tired of this and paying off the fines ?and were talking millions? said Stern. (miss America.519.). There are ways to stop all the censorship in radio but it most likely wont ever be stopped completely. There are groups and political parties there to help the cause such as the ( Libertarian party ) Libertarian Party, and Freedom For Speech. But neither is very powerful so I propose some easy solutions. The Supreme Court must look over the First amendment remember what it stands for and limit the power of the FCC this organization has way too much power. There is checks and balance in all other government except for the FCC the Supreme Court should set up another origination to balance the power, like congress they would have to vote majority rules on every censorship issue and all other regulations that are set and regulations to be set. This way there would be no overwhelming power to decide what can tell them to do. But the easiest thing that can possibly be done the most simple solution that any one with arm’s can do is. See that dial on your radio? turn it. it really is that simple if you don’t like what you are hearing turn it off.
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