Howard Stern

Well it is Thursday so I am back to this after taking a day off. That is kind of a difficult thing to get used to. I have only been doing this for a couple of months but I have gotten so used to writing at least a little bit every single day, regardless of how tired I am, that it just seems odd to not do it on wednesday. In fact yesterday I really had the urge to write a bit after watching the latest episode of South Park but I just didn’t, no real reason why or why not.

I will probably talk about the South Park thing a bit at the end, but for now I have to first give you the test that was promised Last Friday. Unfortunately I can’t ask how many gallons of water lake Mead holds because no one took the time to figure it out and send me the answer. I promised a test, though, so a test there shall be. It will be just a single question and if you get the answer wrong you will be taken behind the barn and shot to death. Here is the question:

There are 40 socks in a drawer. Twenty of them are blue, twenty of them are white. Without looking, what is the fewest number of socks that you could remove from the drawer to be sure that you had a matching pair?
A. 2
B. 3
C. 21
D. 40

I like to keep my tests simple. If you really feel the need, go ahead and email me your guess. Perhaps I will award a pretty gold star like my teachers used to. Or not, such an easy question probably doesn’t deserve such an award. I did at least keep my word and put a test up on thursday. Pity I don’t have the time/inclination to dig out my javascript dictionary and look up how to do radio buttons, as that would look a hell of a lot more professional. Oh well, you get what you pay for.

• It has been some time since I have put any news up here and I really feel the urge to do it again today. I am just sick and tired of the FCC trying to impose the moral view of the religious nuts on the rest of us. They of course pick really easy targets when they do, like Howard Stern. Back in the news again after an unprecidented fine is proposed against Clear Channel so they dropped him completely. It is not like Clear Channel carried him on many stations it appears that his show only ever aired on six of the stations, but still it just sickens me.

It is an AP story, but I read it Here. What I find the most disturbing is just how small the fine really is in comparison to how much money that station generates annually. No, strike that, what I find the most disturbing is that I am being forced to bitch about this, yet again, it is not like the show is being forced onto children in school. People who listen to the show have a thing called ‘Free Will’, I thought that Howard Stern had a thing called ‘Freedom of Speech’, guess I was reading a pamphlet from some country other than the good old U S of A. Stern had a quote in the article that I think was pretty dead on.

In a statement posted on his Web site, Stern characterized the fine as furtherance of a “witch hunt” against him by the Bush administration, which he says is punishing him for his criticism of the president.
“It is pretty shocking that governmental interference into our rights and free speech takes place in the U.S.,” he said. “It’s hard to reconcile this with the ‘land of the free’ and the ‘home of the brave.'”

To be fair, I suppose Stern has probably pissed off a lot of people with his show. People in high places. I don’t listen to his show at all, I find it to be a tad gross, but I have caught clips of it when he is bashing other radio personalities like Larry King. If he doesn’t care about pissing off people in his own business then I have no doubt that he probably does say things that would piss of the President and his cronies. The thing is that the president is not much different than about 99% of the religious kooks in the US so Stern would probably be getting this same treatment if he never said a word about politics.

This all really should be moot. Why is he not allowed to say what he wants to say? If he is not using profanity, or describing beating children, or raping women, what the hell is so wrong with it? I have listened to Larry King’s show a couple of times and have found what he is saying to be as offensive, if not more so, than Howard Stern. Then there is Rush Limbaugh, that guy can throw around hatred for black people, call the lower class the “scum he wipes from his shoes” and I am sure that he has said a lot worse things that I have just not heard about. Where are the fines for those guys?

So, is the FCC basically trying to say that it is absolutely fine to hate people based on their race and talk about it on national radio, but you can not talk about a vagina? I don’t get it. If I had children, I would like to think that I would rather have them hearing about sex than hearing about how to hate black people. After all everyone has sex at some point. While only some very small-minded people hold a grudge against people who have skin that is a different pigment than their own. The people who have a problem with the subjects discussed on the Howard Stern show are likely exactly the same people who preach abstinance instead of birth control, while they have a pregnant daughter, two sons in the KKK and absolutely zero base in reality.

Maybe Stern is right, what he is saying is not any worse than what some of the right wing radio kooks are preaching and he is getting the bulk of the fines for it. Almost half of the 4 million dollars in fines since 1990 imposed by the FCC (if the article is accurate).

The article goes on to say;

Stern’s nationally syndicated show features graphic sexual discussion and humor. It appears on more than 30 stations — most of them owned by Viacom Inc.’s Infinity Broadcasting unit — and draws millions of die-hard listeners.
Infinity spokesman Dana McClintock said the company has no plans to take any action against Stern.

Whether Infinity has cajones or is just making sure not to sour their cash cow is not really all that clear. At least they have not decided to take his show off the air, mostly because it would be all but suicide for them to do so. I doubt that people who listen to the Stern show would ever listen to that station again if they were to willingly cut his show. Again, this all should not be an issue anyway. We all have freedom of choice, if you don’t like it, don’t listen to it. That, I think, is how people like Limbaugh are able to get away with bitching about the plague that is ‘black people’. They believe it to be true, their listeners believe it to be true, and those who don’t want to hear it simply turn the dial. Yet, these Limbaugh-ites are exactly the same people that are making a big hubub about Stern talking about sex. The world is just going straight to hell.

To conclude, it is pretty clear that the FCC is only handing out viloations based on listener complaints, right?

Though the commission received no complaints from listeners to Infinity stations, it is looking into fining that company, too.

Your tax dollars in action. Fining people based on not having a complaint filed against them, but the possibility that maybe someone could have complained, but didn’t. I love this country (that was sarcasm, in this particular case).

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