The FCC may have stopped fining stations for indecency, but they've never let up on another favorite area of enforcement: their rules against putting people on the air without their knowledge (the reason why all on-air phone calls start with "you're on the air").
Just in time to establish their pro-Turkey Thanksgiving stance, the FCC has fined a station in Montana $4,000 for putting a turkey-rights activist (not pictured at left) on the air without her permission. But this wasn't a morning zoo situation. The station (KZMN in Kalispell) was conducting a Thanksgiving food drive in November 2003, and they had hung a dead turkey (or a replica thereof) outside the station's studios. During a program which was soliciting pledges of food, a caller was put on the air with the host, Paul Gray. Gray dutifully told the caller that she was on the air, and she proceeded to complain about the dead turkey hanging outside KZMN's building. The trouble started when the first caller handed the phone to a co-worker, and Gray neglected to notify the caller's co-worker that she was also being broadcast. Gray told the caller's co-worker to "quit complaining, and listen to the station." She filed a complaint with the FCC, who originally fined KZMN $6,000, then lowered the fine to $4,000. Still no word on whether the turkey was real or rubber. via FMBQ
All media outlets, WFMU included, get their share of crackpots complaining about all sorts of things. Since I can't share the complaints that we receive, here is a voice-mail reeived by a TV station that had aired a program which dared to question the true nature of crop circles. MP3 for download via del.icio.us/tag/audio