October 7, 2004

A WATERSHED IN THE CULTURE WARS:

Stern Vows He'll Rise Above FCC: The frustrated shock jock plans to move to nascent satellite radio starting in 2006. (Scott Collins, October 7, 2004, LA Times)

Shock jock Howard Stern, whose raunchy antics have redefined talk radio while placing him at the center of a national debate on media indecency, told listeners Wednesday that he was abandoning traditional broadcasting for satellite radio — a money-losing, unregulated, subscriber-only medium that reaches a fraction of his millions of listeners.

It's the perfect solution--let him peddle filth just not on the public's airwaves.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 7, 2004 9:41 AM
Comments

I'm in the money!

Posted by: Sandy P at October 7, 2004 10:11 AM

Sirrus Radio (siri) has gone from about 2.00 to 4.00 in the last 6 weeks.

About 2 years ago XM satalite radio (xmsr) went from 2.00 to 28.00.

Posted by: h-man at October 7, 2004 11:00 AM

Is this an attempt to get away from FCC jurisdiction? Wouldn't the FCC have jurisdiction over the satellite radio stations as well?

As for Stern I am not so old that I don't enjoy some dirty humour but his stuff gets tiresome after 10 minutes.

Posted by: AWW at October 7, 2004 11:45 AM

Good for Howard!

I'd rather have root canal without anesthetic than listen to 5 minutes of his show. However, the notion that Colin Powell's idiot son can fine him for his act is just repellent. My radio has an off switch and I can even change dials and bands. It is too bad that the obviously brain-damaged Powell Jr doesn't own such a miraculous device.

Posted by: Bart at October 7, 2004 11:45 AM

More young people are subscribing to satellite radio. The Stern deal - and 2 years notice - will only increase it.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at October 7, 2004 11:59 AM

Bart:

You fool. The issue isn't about you or other adults. The issue is about impressionable youngsters listening to adult content(I don't know why they call it adult content since it is usually people under 25 who find this junk attractive)on the radio. Now that Howard Stern is moving to satellite radio, that problem, at least for now, is gone. You can either subscribe to Howard Stern's program or not, and kids will not be able to do so.

Posted by: Vince at October 7, 2004 12:27 PM

Bart

"Idiot" and "brain damaged". Good strong arguments on the merits!

If the airwaves belong to the public as the law says, then isn't it the FCC's duty to protect the public? Why is that the act of an "idiot"?

Its nice that you, as an adult, can change the channel. Children can select channels also, perhaps that is whom the FCC is protecting?

Posted by: Bob at October 7, 2004 12:34 PM

Vince

Probably no need to call Bart a 'fool', but you definitely summed the thing up accurately. I agree that it's the perfect solution.

Posted by: D. L. Meadows at October 7, 2004 12:45 PM

D.L. Meadows:

You are probably right. It was not so much that I was calling Bart a fool, but it was more that I was calling people who use Bart's arguement fools. It is just that they are so self-absorbed that they don't even realize that sometimes things they like harm others--even innocent children.

Posted by: Vince at October 7, 2004 1:11 PM

The notion that Stern was anything but a mild influence in corrupting children is ludicrous.
Although I hate to jump on MTV again, the hip-hop videos on MTV2 are extremely salacious, and the reality shows on MTV showcase the most immature, foolish behavior imaginable. It's 24/7 Stern-like programming.
But, now that Stern will be off of the public airwaves, children will no doubt no longer be able to view pornography on the Internet.
Job well done !!

Everyone's safe now, go on back to your homes, nothing to see here...

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 7, 2004 1:12 PM

Michael:

It is all bad. We just so happen to be talking about Howard Stern. If Orrin posts another thread that deals with gangster rap or internet pornography, then I guess we will each have our say on that. But for now, Howard Stern is the topic, and it is good that he is going off the public airwaves.

Posted by: Vince at October 7, 2004 1:40 PM

Ah, I see. It's 'for the children.' That just makes me puke. If you can't control your kids, that ain't my problem until they hit me over the head and I have to pay for their jail time, or until they start pumping out little kids and I have to pay the welfare tab.

I grew up around pornography. One of our neighbors was in the business. My dad always had hardcore stuff lying around the house. And I 'm no criminal or sex maniac, primarily because I have parents who understood the difference between fantasy and reality.

Where did this notion that the airwaves are public property come from? The Congress just arrogated that unto itself so that they could get payoffs from people in the telecommunications biz. What part of the First Amendment don't you understand? What part of free speech don't you understand?

What precisely is the harm to kids of seeing porn lying around? If you don't want your kid to see it, just turn the G-damn channel. But don't limit the rights of others because 'it's for the children.' You could make the same argument to ban guns or booze or tobacco or fatty foods or just about anything that makes life worth living.

If Stern can now be freer from the Nanny State that so many alleged conservatives here seem to adorate, then that's just fine with me.

Posted by: Bart at October 7, 2004 2:16 PM

Bart says that he grew up around a lot of pornography, and he does not think it warped his mind. Yeah, I can really see that...

Again, it is all about Bart; it does not matter to him or others like him about anybody else--even innocent children.

Posted by: Vince at October 7, 2004 2:28 PM

Bart has some issues I guess. By the way, I understand free press and the First Amendment quite well, thank you. I think better than Bart. The Supreme Court has several times ruled that Congress can regulate radio and TV. The Supremes often make mistakes but as much as I could agree in theory with Bart, that is not the law.

Posted by: Bob at October 7, 2004 2:49 PM

What is so wrong with regulating radio and television?

Posted by: Vince at October 7, 2004 3:34 PM

Once again, the First Amendment (or, to be precise, our completely wrong understanding of the First Amendment) gets in the way of our actually discussing what the best policy would be.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 7, 2004 3:34 PM

Bart, you fool, it's not about us controlling our kids.

We can if we know it's coming. I do not want my 6 y.o. exposed to the word penis at 5 PM on a Sunday, which she was.

We can turn it off if we know it's coming, but sometimes we don't know it's coming.

It's bad enough we have 4-5 year olds dressing like streetwalkers.

Posted by: Sandy P at October 7, 2004 5:11 PM

Well, Vince, as it happens your position isn't any better than Bart's.

While I don't think that children (under 14) should view pornography, simply because they don't have the proper emotional context for it, I also think that those same children shouldn't be viewing the 20,000 or so acts of violence that the average American child sees on television before they're 18.

However, to ban everything that might adversely affect children is hysterical, unworkable, and discriminatory.
There are far more adults than there are children, for one thing, so why should children be a privileged class ?
Further, ultimately, Bart is completely right: Parents are responsible for the welfare of their children, and for what their children are exposed to.
That's even a central tenet of conservatism.

It makes more sense to legally ban children from watching television than it does to ban Stern from broadcasting, although in his case he's leaving voluntarily so that his "art" can be freely expressed, without restriction.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 7, 2004 5:16 PM

You'd be right, Michael, except that the majority of Americans don't want Stern to do his thing on the public airwaves. And, because the people own those airwaves, they can get rid of him. Just like you don't have the right to put a bumpersticker on my car, no one has a "right" to say whatever they want on the public's airwaves.

Posted by: Timothy at October 7, 2004 6:38 PM

Timothy:

As it turns out, during the wee hours of the night you may say anything that you want over the airwaves.

I rather doubt that the majority of people don't want Stern to do his show; my guess is that the majority have no opinion or don't care.
Given that Stern's show was wildly popular, and obsessively monitered by right-wing loonies, a few years ago, I'd further guess that Stern could get more votes for keeping his show on the air than his opponents could muster to remove him.

You're also confusing the meaning of private ownership, the way that one might own an automobile or house, with public ownership, which is in the sense of being a steward.
Even if 99% of Americans would rather put a bullet in their brains rather than listen to a minute of Stern's show, as long as he breaks no laws he's free to continue to broadcast, assuming that he could find a sponsor.
Think of the airwaves as being a national park.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 7, 2004 8:05 PM

Michael:

Children (under 18) are innocent and adults are not. That is why children are a privileged class and need to be protected. The tenet of conservatism is about God,families and society; the tenet of libertarianism is about atheism and selfish individuals who want to harm others in any which way they can.

And Michael considers himself not to be part of those "wacko Libertarians." Uh huh. Is it any wonder why these people never get more than 1% of the vote, and why so many would be Libertarians stay as far away from that Party as they can possibly get.

Posted by: Vince at October 7, 2004 8:10 PM

As there are over six hundred Libertarians in elected office across the US, I'd say that some Libertarians must get more than 1% of the vote.

But hey, I'm not a math genius.

Posted by: Michael "Wacko" Herdegen at October 8, 2004 2:43 AM

Bob: The Supreme Court is part and parcel of the same coterie of scumbags who've been running our country into the ground for the past century or so, dispensing with our rights willy-nilly as the mood strikes them. Just because they permit Congress to get away with a scam, doesn't make that scam constitutional, any more than Dred Scott or Plessy v Ferguson are correct law.

Sandy: So I take it you don't get a newspaper or have access to a TV guide? Unexpected affronts are just another part of life as anyone, with a working sense of smell, who has ever walked in a NYC subway tunnel can tell you. It is impossible for the law to protect all of us from all of them and that should not be our aim.

I don't have any 4 or 5 year old girls walking around dressed like streetwalkers, if you do that is your lack of discipline, discretion and taste, not a matter for the government to inject itself into.

David: I just don't see how allowing restrictions on speech is better than not doing so. If people act in an anti-social fashion, punish them for their acts. If someone were to burn a cross on his own lawn, that is his choice. If he burns a cross on my lawn, I'm pulling out the 12 gauge and he'd better run like Carl Lewis. Also, I would expect that person to be prosecuted for criminal trespass.

Posted by: Bart at October 8, 2004 11:20 AM

Bart:

What's the value of free speech if it requires you to allow cross burners?

Posted by: oj at October 8, 2004 11:24 AM

Michael:

Most Libertarian office-holders ran unopposed in many nonpartisan races, or they ran in local campaigns where there were no Republicans on the ticket. The people held there nose and voted Libertarian since it was, in their mind, the lesser of two evils.

Posted by: Vince at October 8, 2004 3:00 PM

OJ,

The answer to that question is quite simple. It has to do with the slippery slope. In this PC environment in which we are currently stuck, where my hero HL Mencken would most certainly be jailed for his indiscreet language, my fear is certainly well-merited. If we don't allow the cross burners and the Holocaust deniers, it is a small step for us to not allow people who think homosexuality is a sin from preaching(as occurs in Sweden and is about to occur in Tundra Covered Freeloader Land aka Canada), or to oppose affirmative action and race-based quotas(as is the case in many college speech codes in the USA). Do I really need to continue?

Nobody is more convinced of the essential stupidity and evilness of the cross burners than I am, nobody is more offended by many of the horribles on our mass communications than I am. However, the price of content-based speech restriction is just too high.

Some people here complain about how little girls dress, and they are correct to be offended. When my cousin's 6 year old showed up at my home with pierced ears, I went ballistic. However, that is a matter of my faith and my upbringing, not a matter for the government.

There are myriads of things out there that offend me such as tattoos, body piercing and cigars. However, if we are going to live in a free society there are matters which are the scope of private behavior which we must keep safe from government interference. If we ban tattoos, how long will it take for some jackass to push through a ban on male circumcision, for example? Such legislation has been introduced in North Dakota.

California has just passed a law banning foie gras, because of the way it is made. Can bans on kosher slaughtering and the sale of kosher meats as exist in Scandanavia, Slovenia and Switzerland be far away?

If we ban all the stuff which offends us, it leaves us with a pretty drab world.

Posted by: Bart at October 8, 2004 3:52 PM

States had flag burning and cross burning laws and the like and they didn't slide down that slope.

Posted by: oj at October 8, 2004 4:03 PM

Some states had laws against tattooing, and those laws never lead to outlawing male circumcision. And maybe outlawing male circumcision may be a good thing. I don't really have an opinion either way; but if the North Dakota legislature wants to do that, then they will do that. If they don't, then they don't. Either way, the people will ban what they want to ban, and they will not ban what they don't.

Posted by: Vince at October 8, 2004 5:14 PM

OJ,

That is simply sloppy. The record in other nations is clear. The record in our university community today is clear.

Vince,

As disgusting a practice as tattooing is, it should not be illegal. People should be free to dismember themselves as they wish.

The notion that you think it's OK to ban a Biblically-required practice of a major world faith for about 4 millenia is an absolute indication of your totalitarian mindset. The Constitution is just a nullity to you then, eh?

Posted by: Bart at October 8, 2004 8:44 PM

It is funny how conservatives whine about statism until they find people making their own decisions.

If parents are running their households, children need no protection from the government.

And if the parents aren't, no amount of government intrusion will be enough.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 8, 2004 8:49 PM

Jeff:

The public airwaves are the State.

Posted by: oj at October 8, 2004 9:04 PM

Bart:

The 1st Amendment doesn't apply in private settings.

Posted by: oj at October 8, 2004 9:06 PM

Bart:

The United States is really the only place on Earth where male circumcision is routine.

You don't think tattooing should be illegal, but some people do. If the anti-tattooing constituency gains enough supporters for their cause, they can ban tattooing. If you have enough people on your side, then tattooing will remain legal. It is very simple. There is no constitutional right to do with your body as you wish. You should feel relieved, however, to know that there is currently no movement to ban tattooing. Congratulations, Bart! You win.

Posted by: Vince at October 8, 2004 9:48 PM

Vince,

For Jewish males, it is more than routine. Circumcision is a requirement on the 8th day after one's birth, whether we live in the US, China or Vanuatu.

Your mentality is the one of a slave. You would permit the 'majority' as defined by 9 bozos in black robes to eliminate any one of your inalienable human rights. Quite simply, there should be no ban on any speech, on any form of private behavior which does not cause actual non-consensual harm to others, on any form of self-mutilation. That is beyond the government's purview period end of story.

Today it's the right to buy foie gras in California. Tomorrow it's your right to own a firearm or your right to practice your faith as you see fit or your right to express an unpopular opinion.

OJ,

Where am I talking about 'private settings?' Why are the 'public airwaves the state?' Wouldn't we be better off with a kind of Oklahoma Land Rush approach to the question of who gets a radio or TV station?

Posted by: Bart at October 9, 2004 6:41 AM

Bart:

No, you were talking about colleges.

Speech, by the way, isn't an inalienable right.

Posted by: oj at October 9, 2004 8:10 AM

If speech isn't an inalienable right, what is?

Posted by: Bart at October 9, 2004 11:35 AM

life and liberty

Posted by: oj at October 9, 2004 12:21 PM

Bart:

That is not what America is or ever was. It is a fantasy world, which only exists in an Ayn Rand novel.

Posted by: Vince at October 9, 2004 5:21 PM

Vince:

Careful! When you challenge their delusion and try to convince them this isn't Randworld they can have psychotic breaks.

Posted by: oj at October 9, 2004 5:31 PM

LOL!

Posted by: Vince at October 9, 2004 6:37 PM

OJ,

What is liberty without free speech other than a hollow word?

And Randworld would be a helluva lot better than this sorry rock we live on now.

Posted by: Bart at October 9, 2004 9:11 PM

Bart:

If you don't like America, just leave. I think Holland would be a good place for you.

Posted by: Vince at October 9, 2004 9:37 PM

Bart:

Liberty only requires that law be universal and not arbitrary.

Posted by: oj at October 9, 2004 11:35 PM

So, the Khmer Rouge practiced liberty in Kampuchea when they murdered half the people? They killed everyone with eyeglasses, so I guess that can be considered 'universal and non-arbitrary.'

Posted by: Bart at October 10, 2004 6:51 AM

Bart:

Yes, had they used an orderly political process to craft a universal ban on eyeglass-wearing then such punishments would not have been at odds with liberty. They didn't do so because people would not consent to a Khmer Rouge government, nevermind to such laws.

Posted by: oj at October 10, 2004 11:59 AM

I think that maybe you're using one of your special, Orrin-specific definitions of a commonly used word, in this case "liberty".

When you define "liberty" as something that doesn't include actual liberty, then you veer off into totalitarian territory.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 11, 2004 8:50 AM

Liberty is a classical concept, not a synonym for license.

Posted by: at October 11, 2004 9:05 AM
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