Is Clear Channel a House of Congress?


Katrina vanden Heuvel is making the bizarre claim that Clear Channel is "trampling on the First Amendment" because it yanked Howard Stern. So, the obvious "huh?" component is that, as KVH surely knows, there are many charges one might levy against a private broadcaster's content choices, but offending a constitutional provision that binds only Congress (and, now, the states) ain't one of them. The deeper weirdness is that, to the extent that there is a First Amendment issue here, it's with the chilling effects of the FCC's post-Janet-boob zeal. KVH is surely correct that Clear Channel execs have no deep personal problem with trash talk if it brings in the cash, but she glosses the FCC angle to spin a "follow the money" theory that has Clear Channel's CEO spooning with Dick Cheney on cold evenings. How about "following the money" the other way, to the hefty indecency fines the agency is empowered to levy?