I Tried to Turn it off, but Damn That Anal Sex

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Viacom chief Mel Karmazin defended Howard Stern's right to discuss sodomy over the airwaves, in an interview yesterday with Ken Auletta.

"We are fighting in Iraq for freedom. … If it doesn't appeal to you, shut the radio off. Just because you don't like the words 'anal sex,' doesn't make it indecent."

Mad Mel also took a swipe at the reaction from his media colleagues:

"We think it is a very slippery slope," he said. "So many journalists have not been supportive of the first amendment."

In other news, some nervous public radio lawyers are pre-emptively eliminating the word "suck" from their vocabulary. (Links via I Want Media and Jeff Jarvis.)

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  1. Kudos to Viacom for having a boss willing to go to bat for their talent! Usually it’s the censors who are chanting “we’re in a war”, but Karmazin hasn’t forgotten that it is a war “for freedom”.

    Give them Hell, Mel!

  2. Since Kerry is imploding, maybe the Dems can get Mel K. to run. He’s got my vote.

  3. Let’s not forget, however, that Mel’s comments were in his own best interest.

    He was defending his own free speech interests in support of his own financial interests.

    That somewhat lessens the glory of his charge.

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