Howard Stern has been doing what he has been doing, vulgar as it can be, for 20 years. I?ve searched to the ends of the Internet and as many of Nebraska?s best weekly?s as I could, and I have yet to turn up one story about one single human being anywhere in this vast country of ours who was in any way harmed by anything they heard from a radio dialed to Stern. Not once have I heard even whispers of a situation where a Howard Stern broadcast violated any individual?s right to life, liberty or property
The FCC (Federal Censorship Commission) is on a roll, radio station owners are in a state of near panic, and broadcasters are losing their livelihoods. Some FCC commissioners, most notably Michael Copp, (a Democrat, by the way), have decided that the FCC has a much broader roll to fill in monitoring and managing the content of radio and television broadcasts than previously imagined.
Americans suffering from AHD (Acute Hypersensitivity Disorder) are fueling the situation, eagerly writing letters and voicing complaints whenever they hear something come from their radio that offends them. A new right is being claimed, the right to not be offended. Politicians anxious to retain their positions of privilege and power in an election year goad the FCC on.
Pat Boone, a musical icon of the ?70?s has chimed in. Still smarting over the failure of the keepers of the community standards to derail the rise of that fanny-wiggling upstart from Tupelo, Boone shares with us his belief that government is just grand.
It is not the role of the government to determine what we can or cannot listen to on the radio. For adults, it?s a matter of choice. For children, it?s a matter left up to parents. Every modern radio I have ever seen has a minimum of two knobs. Votes for or against programming can be cast with a simple twist of either one. And please spare me your concerns that our precious children might inadvertently hear something ugly while out of your control. Believe me, nothing they hear on the radio is going to match today?s lunch line and playground whispers and snickers at the local government school. Besides, just how many simulated murders did you child watch on television the last week? Isn?t it time for you to schedule a parenting priority check?
Today the government censor?s target is language judged to be obscene. Tomorrow? Who knows? We already have heard that some think the FCC censorship crusade should be expanded to satellite and cable. Somehow Tony Soprano saying ?darn you? doesn?t seem all that realistic. What?s next? Comedy clubs?
To some, foul language is offensive. For me there are political ideas that I find far more offensive than any dirty joke I?ve ever heard. The phrase ?President Hillary Clinton? immediately comes to mind. That very idea disturbs me far more than any scatological or sexual reference I could imagine coming from the dashboard of my car. In fact, I had to write this particular paragraph in the early morning to give my mind time to purge the idea of a President Hillary before turning it into nightmares at the end of the day.
So ? If I find talk of the political heroes of the left to be offensive, even dangerous, why should I be subject to that drivel on the radio? Where is my government protection? Do you think I?m overreaching here? I don?t think so. In the current climate of censorship it is not such a stretch to imagine the government exercising censorship of political thought in broadcasting. In fact, it?s already here. Remember, please, that the U.S. Supreme Court, in one of its most dangerous and vile decisions ever, has decided that the provisions of the Campaign Finance Reform act prohibiting certain political advertising on radio or television in close proximity to elections is quite Constitutional, thank you very much (for nothing). So, for those of you who don?t believe that the role of FCC censorship could expand to expressions of political thought, why don?t you take a shot at explaining to me why, if it is legal for the congress to pass a law restricting political advertising, politicians couldn?t pass a law restricting the expression of certain political ideas immediately prior to an election altogether?
This threat extends even beyond sexual and political thought. If it is appropriate for the government to protect us from the expression of offensive sexual matter, why not extend that protection to thoughts on any social issues that offend? My expressions of disagreement with affirmative action offend those who benefit from this system of government mandated racial discrimination. Should I be forbidden from expressing those views? Some would certainly support that idea. And nowhere is the negative listener reaction stronger than when I accuse the millions of parents who have replaced effective parenting and discipline with Ritalin of child abuse. Maybe that topic should be forbidden also.
Americans have bought into the ridiculous concept of ?public ownership of the airwaves,? an idea created by politicians for no purpose other than to legitimize government control. We are now at the point where the vast majority of people in the United States get their daily dose of news and information on just what the government and politicians are up to from agencies that are licensed by that very government! We are now seeing that control over those licenses can and will be used to control content. Today the concentration is on content of a sexual nature, but the seeds for control of political content have already germinated. Do you feel any funny vibrations coming from the graves of our founding fathers?