Another $1.5 Million Fine for Stern

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This one's for Infinity, the New York Post is reporting.

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  1. The New York Post is reporting a $1.5M fine against Infinity, bringing total FCC fines related to Stern, up to $4M.

  2. Elares — Thanks, sorry, will correct.

  3. Finally, I made a contribution. Lurk mode… BE GONE!

  4. Thank goodness the government is finally doing what it’s supposed to do: hound a popular entertainer out of business.

  5. I think the FCC has bitten off more than they can chew.

    Howard Stern could put a million young men on the streets of Washington any time he wants.

  6. Joe,

    Could not.

  7. Uh. . .doesn’t the Constitution say someting about how the government can’t levy excessive fines?

    Wait a minute, I think the Constitution still matters?

  8. Jennifer, the Constitution also says something about not the right to jury trials… and curiously, there’s nothing about “administrative agencies” that get to decide what the law is, decide when to enforce it, and decide whether it’s been violated.

  9. It doesn’t matter what the Constitution says.

    We don’t care what the Constitution says.

    We will fine Stern for the simple fact that he exists and he DARED to challenge our will!

    Remember our theme song: “I fought authority, AUTHORITY ALWAYS WINS!”

  10. Howard Stern could put a million young men on the streets of Washington any time he wants.

    I don’t even like his show and I’d march on Washington for the sleazy bastard. Somebody needs to beat the China out of the FCC.

    the Constitution still matters

    What ever gave you that impression? The Constitution matters like the Mona Lisa matters.

    The one thing that tax protester fellow has on his side is that he is right, there is no act of Congress that requires American citizens to pay income tax. However, there is case law, and while we like to pretend that we have protected ourselves from the phenomenon of the judiciary making law, that’s complete bullshit. The court treats its decisions as law regardless, and holds its subjects accountable to it, even though it became law by nothing more than a sufficiently articulated postulate and the agreement of a glorified lawyer in a robe. The Constitution is a piece of paper…wipe your ass with it for all it’s worth.

  11. The excessive fines part of the Constitution no longer applies (Stern)

    The unreasonable search and seizure, and no self-incrimination parts no longer apply (drug testing)

    Free speech-going. Gone altogether, on the airwaves.

    Jury trial-gone, if the Prez chooses to call you a terrorist. No way to challenge that.

    I can’t even think of some sardonic comment to make here. This is incredibly sad. We used to be such a great country; we had our problems, yes, but it seemed we were heading in the right direction to fix them. What the hell went wrong?

  12. C’mon, Jennifer. You still have a great country. Why else are the masses huddling at YOUR doors, yearning to breathe free? Why does this scare the Mullahs so? If I may quote the most shag-a-delic of philosophers for a moment, ” It’s freedom baby, yeah!”

    Just a bit of a goof, from a friend north of the border,to say that all is not perfect but then, twas ever thus.

  13. MALAK:
    Yes, I know that things were never perfect; the difference is that, for all our flaws, it used to be that things were getting better, and a realist (as opposed to an optimist) could say “This year is better than last year, and next year will be even better.”

    Somewhere we changed from “America: Land of the Free” to “America: Hey, it could be worse!”

    By the way, you’d best learn the words to the Star-Spangled Banner and otherwise figure ways to cover thine Canadian ass; our government is so super-pissed about your marijuana laws that you guys might be next in line for regime change. Gotta protect our Northern neighbors from that ol’ debbil weed!

    Man, I wish I had some right now.

  14. I’d be more concerned if this were Imus
    or Letterman, or other anti-Bush performer,
    but it is directed at the worst show on TV/radio,
    arguably worse than Jerry Springer.

    Stern has made millions as has Clear Channel
    from the advertising on the show, so
    I’d a the fines were meaningfully set,
    for five and maybe six figures might not work.

    As for Stern putting a million MEN on the DC mall,
    I’d say a million teenage boys if they could get there,
    and if Stern had some strippers having sex with street people.

    Stern the pimp/freak show hacker gets no sympathy from me.

  15. So much for conservatives allowing the market to decide the survival or decline of a independant entity. Stern was successful = the market embraced him. What’s the problem? Are conservatives trying to save the world? I thought they despised liberals for that. If they are looking for harm, they should look at Dow Chemical. Oh, that’s right, Dow supports Bush.

  16. DJ–
    What, do you actually think that they’ll stop at Stern? I loathe Howard Stern, but if you say “free speech only applies to those who aren’t so damned offensive,” then you have no free speech at all. Hell, even Saddam Hussein gave Iraqis perfect freedom to talk about how wonderful the Hussein family was. Offensive, obnoxious speech is exactly the speech that needs protection.

    Besides, I’ll say this for Stern: he never ever forced anybody to listen to his show. I personally never thought that changing my radio station to avoid him was that big of a problem.

  17. The excessive fines part of the Constitution no longer applies (Stern)

    A few points here.

    I hate the FCC and would like to abolish virtually all of it — along with virtually all of the FDA, the EPA, and most of the rest of the executive branch. So don’t think for a minute I’m defending the FCC here. They shouldn’t have fined Stern, or any other speak, even a single dollar, let along $4 million.

    However, it is not clear that this fine would be considered “excessive” under the Constitution. “Excessive” was understood to mean “grossly disproportional to the crime”. The theory behind obscenity law is similiar to the theory behind “hate speech” — that it harms those who hear it (a stupid theory in both cases, but still). Ergo it is not at all clear that it is “excessive” to fine a company $4 million for knowingly “harming” hundreds of thousands of people at once. The problem here is that the notion of “obscenity” is taken seriously by the law at all — once you accept that you can harm someone by saying the word “fuck” around them (or, in the case of hate speech, the word “nigger”), you’ve conceded the central point in the FCC’s justification for its fines.

    But there’s more!

    What you’re missing is that, under an originalist understanding of the Constitution, the FCC shouldn’t be allowed to impose fines AT ALL, or even to exist in anything like its current form. Neither should the Environmental Protection Agency, or the Food and Drug Administration, or virtually any other executive agency. CONGRESS is supposed to pass regulations — not issue blanket authorization to the executive branch to impose decisions by fiat.

    So what we’re seeing now is just one more bit of fallout from the grostesquely unconstitutional actions pushed through by people like FDR, Johnson, and Nixon, and countless other Presidents and government officials.

    I can’t even think of some sardonic comment to make here. This is incredibly sad. We used to be such a great country; we had our problems, yes, but it seemed we were heading in the right direction to fix them.

    The Constitutional violations you are complaining about date back to before World War II, you realize? Also, where were your complaints when, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency imposes fines on businesses, without trial, on the basis solely of EPA-selected “expert” opinion? That happens considerably more often than the fining of radio DJs, and amounts to a considerably larger amount of money.

    What the hell went wrong?

    The Supreme Court decided, beginning in the late 19th century, that the constitution should be read to allow much greater power to Congress and to the Executive Branch. A few decades later, Franklin Roosevelt decided, with the help of the Congress, that the US Government should have the power to impose whatever the hell regulations it felt like on people and businesses. Things went rapidly downhill from there. They certainly haven’t “improved” in your lifetime, unless you’re about 140 years old, except briefly, over very narrow timespans.

  18. We used to be such a great country

    Did we? Or as kids did we just swallow the nostalgia with our sugar and sleep tight? Perhaps even the most cynical among us have no idea… 🙂

    What the hell went wrong?

    The Constitution was (understandably) written without the foresight that the government would be able to exert the kind of pressure and control over us that it can now. While we were distracted by the pretty colors they were hacking into the growing infrastructure upon which we lay cozy. Not enough of us realized it and fought back.

    It’s not hopeless though. We have yet to see the full kinetic of the internet as a means for change and reform.

  19. As for Stern putting a million MEN on the DC mall, I’d say a million teenage boys if they could get there, and if Stern had some strippers having sex with street people.

    Stern’s listenership is consists mostly of men in their 20s, 30s, and 40s; their average income and education levels are markedly above national averages for their demographic groups. That’s why Stern is so loved by advertisers: his listeners have lots of cash and stay tuned in.

    This demographic group is also one which has been very pro-Bush, due pretty much entirely to the War on Terrorism, for the last few years. So while Stern might not be able to get a million of them to march on Washington, he has a decent shot at getting a million of them, who had previously planned to vote for Bush, to either stay home or vote for Kerry.

  20. Yoy’d be surprised how many of us know the words to your anthem Jennifer. As for regime change in my beloved homeland, I have only one thing to say:

    PLEASE ! ! ! ! !

    No, seriously. Do you have an in with Bush? Or may Rove. I’d do anything . . . ANYTHING

  21. He doesn’t have to put a million men on the mall. All he needs is a half million, then he can say it was a million. That’s what everyone else does.

  22. > Stern’s listenership is consists mostly of men in their 20s, 30s, and 40s; their average income and education levels are markedly above national averages for their demographic groups.

  23. This is not a Republican issue. Lord knows Michael Powell didn’t care about it until Janet Jackson. The strongest censor on the board is Michael Copps, who’s a Democrat.

  24. DJ-
    So basically, you are saying that any single cable customer should have the right to cancel any show he or she deems offensive? When you said that on an earlier post I asked why I should not then be able to get all religious programming off the air, since I, an atheist, am offended by shows which say that I will go to Hell.

    In reality, I would never want to ban such shows; I find changing the channel far easier and far more moral.

    My boyfriend works in TV and has told me that, at least for now, it is not technologically feasible to do a la carte programming. Well, actually, it is, but it would be far more expensive that the current lump-together channel plan. You would pat MORE to not have Stern in your home.

    Seriously, please explain why you think any individual cable subscriber should be allowed to hold all cable programming hostage to his or her oh-so-delicate sensibilities. No Teletubbies–Falwell says they’re gay. No religious programs–I won’t try to ban them but there are less tolerant people out there. No All in the Family reruns–you KNOW there are guys who hate that. No women with exposed faces, because you know some cable subscribers are fundamentalist Muslims. And so on.

    Personally, I don’t know why intelligent educated men like Stern’s stupid show, but I am not arrogant enough to think that just because I hate a show, then every other decent, intelligent person should hate it too. Based upon the things you write in other postings, I don’t think you’re particularly arrogant either, except in regards to this. Why?

  25. “America: Hey, it could be worse!”

    Jennifer, I think you’re reacting to the people on this forum who think there’s nothing to complain about if Ashcroft hasn’t sent you to a death camp. This forum hardly reflects all that’s going on in this country. (And thank God for that!)

  26. > DJ–
    What, do you actually think that they’ll stop at Stern? I’ll say this for Stern: he never ever forced anybody to listen to his show. I personally never thought that changing my radio station to avoid him was that big of a problem.

  27. dj-

    So, because the cable company didn’t put E! on an a la carte basis you support regulation of Howard Stern?

    OK…

  28. Make that WHITE men…

    I said “men in their 20s, 30s and 40s”. I don’t know the racial breakdown of Stern’s audience.

    Assuming these are intelligent, educated listeners, and assuming that you have heard & seen the Stern show, what is the appeal of the show?

    He’s funny, he’s open, and he doesn’t suck up to the people he interviews. Sure, he’s vulgar, but you’d have to be a fucking idiot to think that successful, educated men can’t enjoy vulgarity. The biggest Proust-reading, classical-music-listening, golf-playing upper-class Republican in the world still respects the universal appeal of a nice pair of tits or a dirty joke. All the moreso when he can listen to it in his car, where nobody knows he’s doing it.

    Who would regularly watch the show?

    I think you mean “listen to the show”. And the answer is “a whole lot of successful, educated men in their 20s, 30s, and 40s”.

    Notice how themes of Springer parallel Stern interests:

    I’m afraid you’ve just proven you’re completely unfamiliar with Stern’s show. With the exception of “online strippers and escorts”, none of those themse parallel Stern interests. He doesn’t do Springer’s “white trash on parade” routine. He does comedy bits, news, celebrity interviews, strippers/pornstars, and “Fear Factor”-style outrageousness.

    Food/drink businesses have found that they can draw customers by planning meals around popular shows. No one wants the so called “Stern-element” except titty bars.

    You don’t have a fucking clue what you’re talking about. The Howard Stern broadcasts in San Diego carried restaurant ads for at least one upscale restaurant I can think of (an awesome Spanish tapas place), plus ads for everything from car insurance to online brokerages. Like I said — his listenership is upscale and educated, and less-inclined to flip stations, and therefore prized by advertisers.

    Hell, his previous TV show, which was much raunchier than his “E!” show, was sponsored by Snapple; Howard personally plugged it every episode. So either Snapple (which was, at that time, not widely popular) decided that the “horny teenage deviant” demographic was the right one to pitch fruit-flavored tea to, or you have your head up your ass. I’m guessing it’s the second one.

  29. > DJ-
    So basically, you are saying that any single cable customer should have the right to cancel any show he or she deems offensive?– Jennifer

    Jennifer:
    As Jean Bart would say, Pay attention!
    I never advocated for “banning” or “cancelling” a channel.
    I continually ask for a la carte service.
    Pay for what you want, not for what you don’t want.
    In earlier discussions I used the religious channels
    and the home shopping, info-commercials as examples.

    to Dan
    I don’t have my head up my ass, as you said,
    if there is a way to communicate with such a phrase.
    Again, quote Jean Bart, I never was talking about ads,
    but coffee houses or food spots that draw an audience,
    like the Rush rooms.

    IF my sense of who would regularly watch his show
    has touched a nerve, well, I’ve seen it too.
    I have seen parts of at least a dozen Stern shows.
    I see the constant wait-and-see, peek-a-boo on TV.
    Having never heard the show just on radio,
    I can’t imagine the appeal of just listening.

    Springer let the people humiliate themselves,
    but Stern pushes people into doing it with questions
    and requests — would you BJ one of his ‘freaks’
    or have you had anal or a black man or lesbian.

    Listen to yourself here Dan:
    > Sure, he’s vulgar, but you’d have to be a fucking idiot to think that successful, educated men can’t enjoy vulgarity… All the moreso when he can listen to it in his car, where nobody knows he’s doing it.

  30. If my sense of who would regularly watch his show has touched a nerve, well, I’ve seen it too.
    I have seen parts of at least a dozen Stern shows.

    There are two possibilities here. One is that you are familiar with his show, and knowingly lied when you said that it parallels Springer’s. The other is that you are not familiar with his show, and knowingly lied when you wrote the above.

    but I question who would watch/listen

    You want to moralize and fret about culture without bothering to stick your head out of your box and familiarize yourself with it. Grow up, please.

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