FCC Fines Clear Channel $495,000 for Stern


See Jeff Jarvis for details, and a bunch of great links (including a Michael Powell speech accepting a First Amendment award). The offense in question involves the word "Sphincterine."

NEXT: Scalia's Purge

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  1. “Sphincterine”

    That says it all…

  2. The Great Apathy will arrive, I suppose. We just have to weather this SpEd group we call a government in the meantime.

    I grew up respecting government and could not comprehend how these behaviors and expressions could be valued so highly and the State trusted so little.

    Because the State needs to earn trust, not expect it to be freely given on account of its being. The government has not in its nearly 230 year history earned that trust.

  3. Stern is the most popular morning DJ in America. I guess all those people the FCC claims own the airwaves are the ones who don’t listen to his show.

  4. I never listen to Stern on the radio, and I only infrequently watch a few minutes of his TV show, when channel surfing toward something I really want to see. He’s not my cup of Tea (and A ;-).

    That said, if Mr. Stern is bullied off the air by the FCC, I’ll be protesting on general principle. Nothing I have ever heard or seen on his show is worse than giving the FCC the power to censor. First it’s the FCC shutting Stern down, next it’s Scalia telling reporters they can’t record his newsworthy remarks (and getting deputies to enforce that request!). And don’t forget Campaign Finance Reform, which actually prevents real political speech in a violation of the First Amendment that is clearly blatant even to children. There is no end, apparently. Enough!

    Mr. Stern, I really am no fan of much of what you say, but this is America and you have the right to say it. I support that.

  5. Howard Stern is proud of his show as is!

  6. Stern sucks.

    Having said that I wonder what the FCC will do with the $495k? Is there anyway to track that money?

  7. So what is everyone gonna do to defend free speech? they are taking away the most effective source of freedom we have in this country and its only the begining. I think that they are trying to put a lid on the political humor that occurs in radio and late night tv. more than anything. They’re afraid that the comments made towards past and present presidents will influence the American public to believe that our pres. is intelectualy inferior
    like we need some dumb ass on late night tv to convince us of that!

  8. What?

    Sphincterine is a great product.

  9. Will, most government fines are simply given to the treasury and placed in the geneal fund.

  10. I love how everyone here who defends Stern has to disassociate themselves from his work — I for one find his show pretty hilarious at times, especially when they cover current events during Robin’s news segment or when they make fun of pompous celebrities…. Anyway, I read the offending transcript over at thesmokinggun and I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary in it. In other words, they might as well fine him for every utterance on every radio station over the last ten or fifteen years, because clearly the FCC’s standards have changed if they’re levying fines for this.

  11. I dunno, the most obscene thing I ever heard on the radio was that Osadamma had weapons of mass destruction, and that we had to invade Iraq before he used them against us. Where’s the fine for that?

    Baba booey!

  12. “I love how everyone here who defends Stern has to disassociate themselves from his work — I for one find his show pretty hilarious at times…”

    If you think about that, Patrick, this is necessary to establish that not just Stern’s fans support his free-speech rights, but also people who would normally would be his detractors or have no interest in him or his show at all. In other words, that this issue isn’t about Stern as much as it is about EVERYONE’s right to speak and publish, free of government censorship.

    Speaking just for myself, I like outrageous, gross-out humor, on occasion, and I’m not afraid of graphic sexual content or what the FCC is calling obscenity. Chappelle’s Show has had me literally rolling on the floor in laughter. So did the early recordings of Richard Pryor. Mr. Gillespie of Reason has no use for Lenny Bruce, but I loved a lot of his stuff. South Park is awesome. “Tunnelvision” and “The Groove Tube” still give me bellylaughs, some 20-odd years after I first saw them as a high-school student. Stern, more often than not, just leaves me cold — not particularly offended, just disinterested. But that’s OK. As I said above, this is America, and Stern has a right to his act and his freedom of speech. I will gladly defend that right even if I don’t particularly care for his product.

    In defending Stern, you NEED people who disassociate themselves from him and his work, perhaps even more than people who are self-described fans. Proponents of free speech, on the other hand, need to defend Stern, even if they don’t like him all that much, so that they aren’t labeled hypocrites or fair-weather-friends when the time comes to defend, for example, South Park or Chappelle’s Show. If the purge of Stern holds, you know that shows like that will eventually become the targets of our self-righteous guardians of public morality. Let’s stop it now.

  13. Maybe they aren’t censoring Stern because they are afraid children with listen to him. Parents can prevent their kids from listening to Stern at least some of the time afterall. Maybe their case for censoring Stern is that they believe even ADULTS listening to Stern will lead to a general “coarsening of the culture” (it’s why were not allowed to see the real images of war people – yea right) which makes it a hard culture to raise kids in. And while I would agree that it IS a hard culture to raise kids in this top-down nation-wide solution that will solve few of the real problems is clearly absurd – absurd and dangerous.

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