Wednesday, January 11, 2006

AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION WANTS THE FCC TO SILENCE STERN ON SIRIUS

Not content with running Howard Stern off of terrestrial radio, Don Wildmon and his band of Merry Men at the AFA are now looking to expand governmental censorship and go after obscenity on the Stern channel on Sirius.

According to an article by Josh Montez on the AFA website: "Others are wondering if the sexually explicit talk show should cause the Federal Communications Commission to begin regulating satellite broadcasts. Robert Knight with the Culture and Family Institute is one of those." The thinly veiled "others" no doubt means the AFA and other censorship champions.

Says Knight: "I’m kind of wondering what Howard Stern is going to do to promote his show, because he’s already scraped the bottom of the garbage pail on his regular FM radio show, so to attract new listeners via shock, he’s going to have to turn the garbage can upside down and beat on the outside I guess."

Knight fails to mention that Stern has not yet, to date, come to Knight's house with a gun, held it to his head and forced him to listen to his radio show, terrestrial or satellite, one single time. Or anyone else's for that matter.

Knight is lobbying the FCC to expand its jurisdiction. His colleague Pat Trueman of the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal group that actively pursues conservative Christian interests and cases, joins Knight in this plea, though Trueman favors a more extreme response. According to the article, he states: "The Justice Department has regulatory authority over all obscene material. The FCC has authority over indecent material; a lesser standard and so the FCC is not likely to go after Howard Stern who will be broadcasting obscenity. That’s a matter for Justice Department."

So since you can't get him through the FCC, you're going to turn him over to the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT??? Um...wow?? I guess the Justice Department won't have enough to do prosecuting terrorists or taking care of the rest of the country, so sure, let's drag a RADIO TALK SHOW HOST in front of them.

I'm getting just a bit tired of having to continually defend the reputation of Christianity when these bozos are constantly bringing reproach on us. These are the kind of people that give us the reputation as wackos and nutcases.

Let's look at this pragmatically. If we were to believe them in their stance against Stern's original terrestrial radio show, all they really wanted was his obscenity to not be available over freely accessible radio waves, such that a young kid could listen to it or whatever. Ok, fine. But now he's on Sirius, a service which requires a fee to access plus a lump of money to buy equipment to receive the signal. If I'm not greatly mistaken one has to be of a certain age to subscribe to the service in the first place, or at least be able to use a credit card. Each channel that might contain obscenity is CLEARLY labeled. There are also options to block channels. At any rate, there are HUNDREDS of channels, so one need not look too far for an alternative.

All in all, it would appear that the situation is pretty well in hand.

Unfortunately, the AFA, Mr. Knight, and Mr. Trueman will never be happy until Stern is completely silenced. They've sought after him long after he's been an actual threat.

What's the truth in all this? Is it that they want to clean up everything? I say it is not. Rather, I believe that they wish to control everything that anyone hears. It's not enough for them and those close to them to make the personal decision to not listen. They have to force YOU not to listen, and not only that, but they also have to force others not to speak.

Therein lies the same slippery slope that I discussed in my post about The Book of Daniel. If Knight and Trueman use the FCC and the Justice Department to silence opinions that don't support their beliefs, then the time will later come when those are not sympathetic to the beliefs of Christians can use the same tactics to silence us. Unfortunately, infringing on the rights of the purveyors of obscenity carries with it the tools that could ultimately lead to the demise of organized Christianity and widespread oppression of Christians.

Do we really want our media to turn into the Pravda or other state-controlled media typical of Communist and Fascist nations??

It's quite ironic that, elsewhere in their site, they mourn the fact that the Indiana Senate banned Christian references in prayers conducted in the Indiana House. Meanwhile, they express their happiness that Air America radio has been a commercial failure and encourage harrassment of Reader's Digest for carrying an ad for the Better Sex video series. (No, it's not porn, it's a video guide meant to enhance the sex lives of married couples. There's a pic of the ad here. I find it incredibly hypocritical that in protesting the ad the AFA had to actually post the ad on their own website.) By the way, Reader's Digest had to block emails coming from the AFA site, since they were such a nuisance. According to C-Net, email harrassment such as this may be illegal. How do ya like them apples?

Maybe you don't like Howard Stern. I understand that. I don't always like what he has to say. But I know where the dial on my radio is, and I know how to use it. I silence him in my life the best way there is: by turning him off. If you don't like him, don't listen to him. If you don't want your children to hear him, don't subscribe to Sirius. If you MUST subscribe to Sirius, call their customer service department to check into getting the Howard channel blocked. You can always get an XM radio. And if that doesn't suit you, take the radios out of your house and listen to CDs and tapes instead. The fact that you don't like Howard means that he should be banished from your house, but it does not give you the right nor the permission to force everyone else to abstain from listening if they so desire.

We don't need more governmental control over our venues of expression. We have too much as it is. The fall of democracy starts when the freedom of the press and freedom of speech are vanquished. Please, don't follow these people as they carry their torches to storm the castle. They may just end up burning down their own palace by mistake!

2 Comments:

At 10:15 AM, Anonymous michael said...

I fall under the category of a non Howard Stern fan. But I feel extremely uneasy having the feds regulate private means of communication. Even cable TV (which they don't).

Of course we all know that Stern abides by the FCC's warning about his content, don't we?

Oh wait...

 
At 10:46 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

Allowing them control of obscenity also allows them to control religious expression. They both work on the same mechanism, so by taking away someone else's rights, you take away your own.

 

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