The Satellite Was Out of Sight, Radioactive Though


As one threat to satellite radio subsides, another one rears its head. Broadcasting & Cable reports:

If one California broadcaster has its way, Howard Stern won't be able to be his rude, crude and funny self on satellite radio, either.

Mount Wilson Broadcasters, owner of one FM and two AMs, has filed a petition for rulemaking with the FCC arguing that since indecency regulation applies to expression "by means of radio communications," and satellite radio is, well, radio communications, it should be subject to the same content restrictions.

NEXT: CSPI: Still Flinging Shit

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  1. Isn’t content only restricted after airing, not before?

    Also, I have a tiny FM transmitter attached to my ipod so I can listen to it in my car. Some of my files have nasty words in them. I guess Mount Wilson wants my ass regulated, too.

  2. Thank goodness we keep electing free market Republicans!

  3. “Also, I have a tiny FM transmitter attached to my ipod so I can listen to it in my car. Some of my files have nasty words in them. I guess Mount Wilson wants my ass regulated, too.”

    You do realize that you’re inviting “reductio creep”, don’t you?

  4. i didn’t think the decency standards applied to paid services, like HBO or SPICE for that matter. If not, then isn’t HBO sent to all the local markets by way of a satellite using radio communications? Isn’t my cell phone call?

  5. I was in Amsterdam a couple of years ago, walking around the Red Light District, and at one end of it there were a number of theatres advertising ‘Live Sex Shows’. In full view of passerby were vivid lighted posters depicting all manners of sexual activity in the most graphic and ostentatious fashion imaginable.

    As I stared at these illuminated posters displayed for all to see, my attention was drawn to a small child, perhaps 6 or 7 years old, who was traversing the raised border around a flower bed in front of the theatre, balancing to stay on the narrow concrete beam a few inches above the ground. As the child made her way around the perimeter of the flower bed she would occasionally reach out and touch the facade to steady herself. At one point her hand grazed one of the posters, and she looked up at it for just a second, giggled, then returned her attention to her feet and the steady progress around the flower perimeter.

    The next time around she didn’t even have to look up, because she now knew by memory where the facade of the building was and could navigate without having to touch the posters. At no other time during the course of her journey around the flowers did she even glance at the posters. To her, they were simply another pane of glass that one shouldn’t smear by touching, and functionally less useful steadying points for her endless journey around the flowers.

  6. w: Here, according to the Broadcasting & Cable article, is what Mount Wilson is arguing:

    But isn’t the issue, as with cable, that satellite radio is a subscription service? (Cable uses radio frequencies too.) No says Mount Wilson, pointing to language in the 1997 FCC rules governing digital audio radio satellite service (DARS).

    The FCC anticipated that the service might be a mix of subscription and free services, Mount Wilson’s attorneys point out, interpreting that as meaning that “whether DARS operates either as a broadcast or a subscription service is not a relevant consideration to the imposition of programming/public interest rules.

    Those rules already hold digital radio to similar equal employment opportunity requirements, similar treatment of political speech, and reserve the right says.

    Will the argument fly at the FCC? Beats me.

  7. Thank goodness we keep electing free market Republicans!

    And thank goodness that American businesses are run by rugged individualists who would never ask the government to intervene against their competitors!

  8. It’s nice to see a corporation stand up for good, old-fashioned family values.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha …

  9. Yeah, thoreau, I imagine Mount Wilson is run by a blond, blue-eyed guy with chiseled cheekbones, who smokes cigarettes to symbolize the burning ember of the human mind, and breaks fireplaces, and all that shit.

    You know, Jim Taggart.

  10. I’d like to think that the distinction between free and subscription would be enough to ring the caveat emptor bell, but I also know those bitches at the FCC like to make sure what we’re exposed to is tame enough not to offend Republican senators or the page boys who fellate them. I knew security was important to D.C., I just didn’t know it was job security they were talking about.

  11. Come on now, did anyone really think that someone would attempt to get it’s grubby hand into subscription-based broadcasting wasn’t inevitable?

  12. Ick… edit that:

    Come on now, did anyone really think no one would attempt to get its grubby hand into subscription-based broadcasting? It was inevitable.

  13. Thank goodness we keep electing free market Republicans!

    Why is it Republican politicians’ fault that Mount Wilson Broadcasters is filing a petition with the FCC?

  14. Nice Trio reference.

  15. Does this apply to 802.11? Better clean up my posts when I’m on my wireless network.

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