CNN reports that a talk show host has been fired for alleged obscenity. However, the radio host did this while criticizing local legislators who were taking action against a political group that, among other things, funded his show and were guilty of Speaking While Black. This provides further evidence for Lunchstealer’s contention that the FCC‘s new obscenity push is effectively rolling back the First Amendment to the U.S. constitution.
Note that the FCC never got directly involved. However, the station cited the FCC as the rationale for
firing “suspending” the talk show host. “‘I’m walking on eggshells with the FCC,’ [the station manager] said.” Due to the complaint-driven method the FCC uses to get around restrictions on “prior restraint” of publication, intimidating political opponents on the airwaves is easy: just find something marginally offensive to someone and complain about it. In the new climate, station managers will preemptively stifle the dissenting political speech.
If the FCC were to auction off the spectrum and charge a minimal fee to spectrum rights holders to arbitrate rights disputes, none of this would happen. To those who argue that dissenting political voices would be taken out of the picture, I’d remind you of two things. First, Clear Channel is now in the business of syndicating Air America content. Second, just how much diversity is the government-regulated scheme getting you? Even less today than last month.