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-   -   Howard Stern and the FCC (http://www.thewarpath.net/showthread.php?t=838)

JoeRedskin 04-20-2004 11:29 AM

[QUOTE=skinsfanthru&thru]I'm going out on a limb here and saying there seem to be quite a few democrats on the Warpath.[/QUOTE]

While a life-long Republican, I have been very, very disappointed with many of the policies of the current administration. Philosophically, I lean towards Jeffersonian politics with its emphasis on devolution of government and focus on individual liberty. With that said, and for a nation with the great diversity ours has (no - not the pc diversity. Real diversity - actual differences in culture, economic interests, thought and ideology), these Jeffersonian principles should be balanced against the Hamiltonian policies of centralization under a federal system.

As my father so accurately puts it, and as it seems to me, Bush is a "greed Republican"; he worships at the foot of Milton Friedman - free market guru extrodinaire. In doing so, and despite his "compassionate conservative" claim, Bush forgets some of the traditionally essential elements of real "conservatism". As well put by traditionalist thinker Russell Kirk in 1954, "Conservatism is something more than mere solicitude for tidy incomes. Economic self-interest is ridiculously inadequate to hold an economic system together, and even less adequate to preserve order."

With that said, I agree with Matty - Bush is the lesser of two evils. Kerry is essentially an old style liberal who will attempt to reinvoke the failed economic policies of centralized economic planning and wealth redistribution. As for his foreign policy - well, that seems to depend on which way the wind is blowing.

A friend of mine put it this way "I know both the Dems and Republicans lie, I just prefer the Republican lies."

As for the main subject of this post, I am basically with you Daseal in that parental involvment is a must. As a relatively new parent, however, I have noticed that the level of graphic, violent, or other "objectionable" info floating around for general consuption is pretty high and quite prevalent in our society. While I can try to inform and help my children to discern the difference between acceptable and non-acceptable behavior, and I do not believe the rest of the world should be forced to watch the disney channel 24/7, I have come to the belief that their needs to be some safe harbors for families. For example, if you are watching something in primetime and reasonably expect it to be a family event, then you shouldn't have to explain why the lights went out when someone's tit gets exposed.

As for Stern - nope, not something I would let my kids listen to or if they do so, hopefully they would understand enought to not adopt his language, attitudes as their own.

But let me ask you this - Regardless of everyone's prior knowledge that it is unfit for children, is there a level at which something becomes so objectionable that we as society should say "No - we will not permit that to be put into the public awareness through the mass media. We find it so unacceptable as to be unable to endorse it as a society by permitting it to be presented through a regulated medium. You are free to present it in your own manner and at your own expense, but we will not permit it to be presented through a medium regulated by and responsible to the general public?"

If yes, where is the line? If no, what right is there to for the general public to regulate the public conduct or expression of an individual?

JoeRedskin 04-20-2004 11:57 AM

[QUOTE=skinsfanthru&thru]I can't be the only one who hates it when actors speak out about political topics can I?[/QUOTE]

I have no problem with celebrities speaking about political topics unless they do so out of some half-informed, trendy, self-rightousness. Well informed political discussion is absolutely necessary to the continued existence of the republic. I may disagree with them and believe their perspective to be somewhat out of touch by the nature of their lifestyle but, on occasion, some of them do say intelligent things which cause an unexpectedly relevant discourse.

skinsfanthru&thru 04-20-2004 01:02 PM

i just get tired of the ones who make it seem as if whoever disagrees with them in the slightest(and this isn't just celebrities), your part of the "machine" to them or even inferior. i appreciate hearing different viewpoints on topics and sometimes debating them to try and get someone to see and possibly understand a different view point. i think the thing that gets me about some of celebrities speaking out about the "injustices" of the world while their living the good life making millions of dollars for pretending to be people they aren't. i just get tired off the news only covering the part of a story they want to show and certain people who speak out only telling half-truths. i don't really consider myself republican or democrat cuz my opinions on topics sway from one to the next and my course of action and beliefs may be a complete opposite from the topic before.

JoeRedskin 04-20-2004 01:16 PM

Well I just reread your first post Daseal - <sigh> Where to start??

[QUOTE=Daseal] I totally respect their first amendment rights and feel that the FCC is violating that. [/QUOTE]

Well, First - under the 1st Amendment, the nature of Stern's speech is subject to regulation. As part of its guarantee of free speech, the 1st Amendment simply does not guarantee that all forms of speech shall be unregulated. Regardless of his attempts to couch it otherwise, Stern's radio show is plainly "commercial speech" as that term is legally defined. There is a longggggg line of Supreme Court cases discussing what types of speech may be regulated and, in doing so, what is permissible regulation for the various types of speech (commercial speech, political speech, etc). Of the various types, "commercial speech" is the one least given to constitutional protections.

Apparently, Stern's actions are being deemed to be in violation of certain regulations previously adopted by the FCC and approved by Congress (Civics 101: administrative agencies propose regulations based on their authorizing statutes, these regulations must then be approved by Congress). These are not regulations which sprang up over night (enforcement of them may differ from administration to administration) and Stern knew of their existence prior to entering the radio business. As such, Stern knew or should have known he was acting in a manner which, at the very least, was touch and go with conduct prohibited by regulation and which Stern should have reasonably guessed could cause problems for him if an administration with less tolerance towards his form of entertainment came to power.

Stern is free to go find a nice public place, get the appropriate permits, and put his show on for anyone to come see it. As long as he conforms to with the appropriate regulatory controls, he will not be arrested and jailed soley on the content of his speech. Radio, however, for legitimate public interests is a regulated medium and speech using that medium is subject regulatory control by the FCC.

[QUOTE=Daseal] Here's a novel idea, fucking be a parent! [/QUOTE]

Daseal, fine. But, in being a responsible parent, can we ask for some support from the society in which we live and from our fellow citizens within that society? Is it to much to ask that we, as a society, be aware that parents, even the most responsible ones, cannot protect, teach or otherwise be there at all times for our children? And, in order to assist responsible parents and further the legitimate public goal of children's welfare, shouldn't society consider reasonably regulating the content of information which will be placed into the public stream? (I emphasize "reasonably" and recognize that a wide breadth of opinion will exist as to what this means.)

Your various suggestions essentially assume that unsupervised children will make the right choices if properly instructed and taught. At some point, that should be the case. Further, I would generally agree that it is reasonable to expect teens and "tweens" to have such discernment. However, is it too much for parents to ask of their fellow citizens that they assist in limiting the free availability of this junk to children prior to the time that a child could reasonably be expected to have such discernment, regardless of the responsible nature of the parent? Why should I have to explain erectile disfuncton to a seven year old? Because information is so readily available to all children, should responsible parents attempt to educate their third grade child about sexually transmitted diseases in attempt to preempt erroneous and possibly harmful misinformation learned in "the schoolyard"? Is this really the goal we wish to set as a society??

I am not a religious fanatic, but I do think the level of public discourse in this country has reached a point where legitimate societal concern exists (well, actually, I think we reached it a while back). Through no fault of their parents, children are being confronted with information that is totally inappropriate for their age and for which they are unequipped to deal with either emotionally or intellectually. Ignoring this societal problem or blaming it on religious fanatics, forces responsible parents to address adult issues with children sooner rather than later and, in some small way, robs these children of their right to BE children. (But, hey, I wouldn't want that to interfere with your right to create or consume trash).

There is a very selfish undertone to your criticism Daseal - "Why should I have to limit my unrestricted access to information which I like but which may be damaging to your kids? It's your responsibility as a parent, not mine, to restrict their access and teach them what to do when confronted by this stuff!"

To which I respond
"Dammit, we live and exist in this society together. I accept and will take primary responsibility for raising my child, BUT, as we are both members of this society, I may need you to make some reasonable sacrifices so to assist me in raising a well-adjusted member of OUR society. One of those sacrifices is to consider reasonable restrictions on the availability of material inappropriate for children which may, in turn, affect your unlimited access to the same."

[QUOTE=Daseal] Not to mention the current FCC is a puppet for our current administration. A guy named Michael Powell runs the FCC... Yeah... Powell... Colin's son. That explains some things. [/QUOTE]

OMIGOD - You mean the Federal Communications Commission - an arm of the executive branch of the federal government, an administrative body whose members are appointed by the chief executive, and whose purpose is to execute and administer the nation's laws and regulations in concert with the policies of said chief executive - is <<GASP>> doing just that!!!

(By the way, did Clinton have any "puppet" agency heads while he was president? or did he just try to personally administer each of the agencies subject to his constitutional authority?)

Daseal 04-20-2004 07:02 PM

JoeRedskin, I'm not going to even bother putting your responses in quotes, but I'm sure you'll be plenty aware as to which subject I am referring to.

As far as the first amendment rights, the Constitution was left to interpretation. I interpret it a lot looser than you do. Yesterday I worked in the morning, and the person I worked with listened to Howard Stern. I am personally not a fan and I think most of his material is immature, but honestly, there wasn't anything that bad. I definitly didn't see any fineable material. They had insults on there that are tame to a 3rd grader's standards. The launguage is a bit rough, but the programming is designed for adults, not the young audience. I think that as long as he is not coming out and decimating someone with slander (things that aren't true), using totally inappropriate language or talking about sexual details too much - that it's fine. There's a reason this guy has more listeners than any other radio show, people find him amusing. If he hasn't broken the FCC's rules for years, yet all of a sudden decide to fine him heavily all of a sudden, that's not hour our country works.

As far as the parenting issue, I think that network TV (anything you can pick up with an Antenna should be family based programming, at least till 10 o'clock or whenever the current limit is. It's not fair for families to be watching a network TV show and have to wonder if there will be violence and sex thrown around like a male cheerleader in a holding cell. I don't see that as a problem, I think the Janet problem wasn't the worst thing in the world, but it was inappropriate. Had the media not made such a huge deal, I don't think the problem would be what it is right now. The family networks I have no problem with, it's when they start censoring Cable and if Rumsfeld has his way, HBO, Cinemax, etc. Which is absolutly ridiculous. I don't want programming I find entertaining or funny taken off (like last weeks Southpark episode was forced off air, I WANTED TO SEE TIDDLYWINKS!) because people can't control their children. First of all, if your kids don't see a show like Southpark, they'll hear about all the good parts at school. People try to shelter children too much nowdays. I think that the big networks ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, etc should be clean till at least 10 oclock, but after then it can get a bit rougher (otherwise their ratings will plummet)

Yes, I know that since Bush took over his friends will get cush jobs such as that, or being like the Ambassador to Jamacia. I can think of worse jobs! The problem is that Michael Powell isn't even that smart of a guy, he's a pipsqueek riding his fathers coat tails and coasting by with the family name. The FCC is currently lobbying Congress for unreal amounts of both political pull and that's what I'm upset about. Our television system is damn near communist now. We still have independent networks (although they may as well be aligned either liberal or democrat the way they're split) but the government has so much control over what they can show it's sickening at times.

I hope that helps clarify my position on the matters.

JoeRedskin 04-20-2004 07:28 PM

Yes. it does to some degree and, as is life's wont, I think we still have some reasonable disagreements which we will most likely never come to terms on.

- As to Stern (and I admit I haven't followed it to closely), if he is being subjected to random sanctioning and "abuse of discretion" by the FCC, he will have his day in court. I don't know specifically what regs he is being charged with but I assume they are fairly vague "don't say bad things" regs. If so, he probably has a legitmate shot at winning in any appeal.

As to your assertion that your interpretation of the 1st-A is looser than mine, understand that I am firm believer in Voltaire's statement that "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." The 1st -A is a necessary and vital part of our democracy. Yes, obviously, the 1st Amendment is subject to interpertation - The Supreme Court has been doing it for two hundred years and their interpretation of it is THE law of the land.

But Stern's case isn't about his right to free speech, it's about the FCC's enforcement of regulations adopted pursuant to the 1st-A and the FCC's exercise of executive discretion. I HATE when people scream about their 1st Amendment rights being violated when, in fact, they are really arguing that either the government or a corporate entity has said to them "you can't say that here". It is not Stern's freedom of speech that is being challenged it is his right to exercise that right through a regulated medium. A medium which he entered with full knowledge that the content of his shows were subject to regulation.

I won't pick nits about you on the clean till 10:00 rule and then all (well most) bets are off. I do find it interesting that your concern seems to lie with media conglomerates being able to maintain their ratings. : )

As to M. Powell - I don't know anythng about him. Is it your assumption that because he is C. Powell's son that he is unqualified or have you researched his background and determined, based on his prior lack of experience, that he is unqualified? What is his edudcation and employment background?

JoeRedskin 04-20-2004 07:47 PM

Daseal - Just looked up M. Powell's resume. Seems like he isn't necessarilly a pipsqueak riding his father's coattails - Graduate of Georgetown Law Center, clerk for a judge on the premier federal appeals court. Also, I am familiar with the law firm mentioned in his resume and they are a top regulatory firm - no slouches in that place.

Oh, by the way, he was originally a CLINTON appointee (can you say "DOH!!").

Check it out:

Before reaching nice, comforting, broad conclusions which agree with your perception of events, you really should get your facts straight.
(Okay, that last was a bit over the top, but you gotta admit - your "pipsqueak" remark appears to be completely unfounded)

Daseal 04-20-2004 08:19 PM

I don't doubt Powell has those references. However he still hasn't done anything in his pathetic life. Everything he did he got via Daddy, just look at our President, runs two oil companies and Texas's economy into the ground but still has a Yale education. Went MIA during his military action and still get's credit.

Both of these men have extremely influential fathers who can get them in places. IE Georgetown, Law firms, etc. You are right about the Clinton appointee, but I don't care who appoints them. I'm not a huge Clinton fan, which you seem to accuse me of being. I think he did a great job with the economy and he was sure as hell charismatic, but he did very little for the environment. I think the whole scandal over a blowjob is god damn crazy. Kennedy fucked anything with two legs but that doesn't seem to tarnish his reputation (only because he's dead I think.)

My thoughts aren't only mine. Recently I've read over some of M. Powells material on the FCC, not just censorship, and he just regurgitates things that were already said.

Yes, I'm worried about ratings on TV. Without ratins, Ad prices drop, if ad prices drop the stations go out of business. Get my drift?

JoeRedskin 04-20-2004 09:45 PM

First, I did not "accuse" you of being a Clinton fan. It just appeared to me that you considered M. Powell to be a Bush lackey. As such, I thought the fact that he had been appointed by Clinton to be appropos.

Second, undoubtedly influence and money open doors for individuals. Whether or not the individual takes advantage of them is a different thing. I simply have not read over M. Powell's stuff to intellligently discuss the soundness, or lack thereof, of his positions. It does seem, though, that your criticisms of M. Powell, e.g. that he has led a "pathetic life" and that "everything he did he got via Daddy", seem exceptionally personal and harsh condemnations of man whom, I assume, you have never met.

I just did a quick search, here is a link which seems to indicate that M. Powell is not simply a hack towing the party, or anybody's, line: [url]http://slate.msn.com/id/2078879/[/url]. If you have an article with a counterpoint, I would (really, just to be sure to get both sides) like to read it.

Finally, I really was just ribbing you about the conglomerates stuff. But, oh please. Barring a complete takeover by the government of all media outlets, TV stations are not going out of business regardless of the restrictions placed on their content. First, they would simply find some mindless inoffensive pap to fill in the space between their commercials and someone would watch. Second, by the nature of the licensing restrictions, the demand for any properly licensed TV station well outstrips the supply of hte same. Even if a corporation couldnt air certain content or get a wide range of sponsors, it would still use the station as a loss leader - taking a loss in one part of its corporate structure to offset the tax liabilities created by its other more successful companies.

Ghost 04-21-2004 02:37 AM

For me, elections are always about choosing the lesser evil. I see Kerry as the clear lesser of evils because you can't get much worse than what we have right now. The Bush/Cheney administration has succeeded in weakening our constitutional rights, owes much to corrupt corporations such as Enron, and its foreign policy is sociopathic; they lied and manipulated the facts so that we'd attack Iraq and I suspect that Cheney in particular believes the world is not safe until the U.S. is in charge and in control. That's not the sort of America I believe in or want to be a part of.

Which would you rather a President lie about: getting blowjobs in the Oval Office or the reasons for going to war and risking the lives of thousands of American soldiers and millions of regular Iraqi people? The 90s were pretty good for a lot of people. Clinton can accurately be called a liar, a bad husband, perhaps even an asshole, but he was not a bad President, at least not when you compare him to George W. Bush, who's the worst we've had in a long time. This is not America's finest hour by a longshot. In the eyes of the world, we are a selfish bully who flouts the UN and invades other countries unilaterally and preemptively, on erroneous evidence no less, then asks the UN to come and help when things turn ugly, just as predicted by anyone who took a moment to consider the situation. Is everybody ready for an Islamic revolution in Iraq? That's what happens when you topple a dictator with no realistic plan to fill the resulting power vacuum. Bush/Cheney probably expected cheers and parades like those held for the American liberators in Europe during WWII. It actually seems that they didn't envision the current situation or where it is likely to go from here (downward), and even more incredibly, we might have made the situation in the Middle East even more unstable than it was before. How embarassing and sad. In my opinion, Bush/Cheney need to go ASAP ... at this point, I'd elect a ham sandwich to our nation's highest office before I voted for Bush. Hello Kerry.

Matty, if you went so far as to vote for Nader, I'm amazed that you'd think of Bush as the lesser evil, or even consider voting for him. At least I think that's what you were getting at ... I may have misunderstood your post.

skinsfanthru&thru 04-21-2004 03:06 AM

in my opinion we could also be viewed as a nation still very much pissed off and tired off being a passive country waiting to be attacked again. plus didn't clinton also screw up our military and intelligence with quite a few cut backs? can you honestly say without a shadow of a doubt in your heart that the world isn't a better and safer place without hussein out of power? and do people think sadam wouldn't have, and possibly already has, sold weapons to anyone with the means to use said weapons? i'll admit Bush is anything but a great president but i think the administration has done a decent job given the tragic events of 9-11. I for one think we need to be more of a selfish country and start fixing the problems within our own country before trying to fix the rest of the world and be hated for our help.

plus i can't vote for a candidate like kerry who wants to add an additional charge or something to that extent to gasoline to dissuade people from driving as much. i haven't really heard much about his politics and viewpoints other than pretty much "bush is an oil-hungry war-mongerer(sp?)." plus, come one, botox?

and until someone gives irrefutable proof the current administration created and/or falsified information then i don't want to hear this "bush lied" crap. has anyone paid attention to the 9-11 investigative commision? i've heard very little in discussion and questioning about the actual event and more about what we are going to do in iraq. its a farce and too much finger pointing political bs at a time when our country needs to be atleast somewhat unified and not bickering back and forth like children. it's in the past and nothing can be done to put things right. i am not old enough but i'm fairly certain the debate about intel over pearl habor didn't come about until atleast a couple decades later.

man i hate talking about politics cuz its never going to be something many people are going to agree upon whether it be through stubborness, stupidity, faith, or a combination of the three. and everyone takes it way too personally.

Ghost 04-21-2004 03:25 AM

Hey I'm not taking it personally, skinsfanthru&thru ... we live in a country where we can debate and disagree ... I don't have to agree with you to respect both your opinion and your right to state it. My opinion is that Bush/Cheney have used 9/11 to make a power grab in Iraq, which makes the whole thing all the more unforgivable. I also believe that we've been misled by the current Administration about the danger Iraq posed. Yes the world is safer without Saddam but it would also be safer without Kim Jong Il, Yassir Arafat and Ariel Sharon ... should we invade their countries too? And I agree that we should start fixing problems here at home before we go plundering abroad: better schools, affordable healthcare, etc.

Did Kerry really get botox? That is lame, if true.

skinsfanthru&thru 04-21-2004 03:39 AM

i understand and appreciate u not taking my opinion as a personal attack or anything. i wish it was that way with my family who are all die hard republicans where as i see myself without an official party but rather i'm a person who's opinions vary from topic to topic. i agree with what u say about iraq and i don't like it either but it's not like how some people r making it seem with us going into the country, stealing and pillaging everything in sight. a lot of the damage that's been done to iraq has been done by it's own residents. and too be honest i've been more worried about north korea the past year and half than i have been with iraq. the iraq thing with suddam should have been completely taken care of during the persian gulf war which makes it even worse for bush making it look like he's finishing his father's war which it may in fact have been. of course if the UN had some balls and actually backed up its laws things may have had a chance to be a little different. and i strongly agree with you on fixing our school system because more and more teenagers are coming out into the world with the IQs of rocks. i'm sure we all have stories about kids working at the registers of places miscounting small amounts of change. healthcare will remain a joke until we r able to purchase drugs from other countries like canada and social security is taking big chunks of money out of the pockets of those who'll never see a penny of it when they get older.

skinsfanthru&thru 04-21-2004 03:43 AM

[QUOTE=Ghost]Did Kerry really get botox? That is lame, if true.[/QUOTE]

it may have been a hoax but i remember them showing a picture from a year or so ago I think and put it side by side with a recent picture and he was remarkably less wrinkled which is saying a lot for a guy as worn out and wrinkly as he is.

JoeRedskin 04-21-2004 10:10 AM

I am with SkinsFan in that I would like to see some proof that Bush/Cheney lied, i.e. they had false intelligence, knew it was false, and yet presented it as true.

The UN had issued ultimatum after ultimatum after ultimatum to Hussein, he flaunted them again and again. At the same time, the entire world reasonably believed that he had WMD's. I believe that France and Russia were relunctant to act at least in part because they were profiting (quite handsomely) from the oil for for food program.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, president of the American Society of International Law, proposed that the Security Council pass a resolution saying force would be justified if three criteria are met:

1. Be in possession of weapons of mass destruction or clear and convincing evidence of attempts to gain such weapons;

2. Grave and systematic human rights abuses sufficient to demonstrate the absence of any internal constraints on government behavior; and

3. Evidence of aggressive intent with regard to other nations.

Prior to the use of force in Iraq, Iraq fit all three of these criteria.

Believe it or not, with all that said I have very mixed feelings on the Iraq action. Saddam was undoubtedly gaming the west and playing the UN for fools. BUT whether or not he would have actually taken offensive action in the region is debatable.

Also, I agree the situation in Iraq right now is bad but, please, give it some time - Rome wasn't built in a day. This is a country whose entire infrastructure has been wiped away with the removal of the B'aathists. Of course there is going to be unrest, of course there is going to be factionalism, this is a country which has not experienced the "rule of law" in several generations. That does not mean it is doomed to fail. From all that I have read, I don't think the long term outlook is as bleak as you make it Ghost.

Regardless of how we got where we are today in Iraq, the situation presents an opportunity, just as the end of WWII did, to cultivate a democracy where none existed before and to create a stable and peaceful country. I, for one, am not yet willing to pass judgment on our success or failure of this goal.

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