Claws Come Out Over Indecency
At long last, the U.S. Court of Appeals (in both the 2nd and 3rd Circuits) is examining the FCC's shape-shifting indecency standards. Major TV networks joined together for a court battle after the last round of indecency decisions raised much confusion (the commission flip-flopped on their policies regarding profanity, nudity, and even pixelation). Broadcasters feel that these nebulous standards violate the First Amendment, and have thus filed appeals for the indecency fines they were dealt earlier this year. The courts recently granted the commission additional time to reevaluate some of their controversial decisions, an opportunity the FCC used to inadvertently strengthen the TV networks' case: they changed their minds. Arguments in the 2nd Circuit will take place on December 20.
Several groups have voiced opposition to the FCC's schizophrenic indecency enforcement, including the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Progress & Freedom Foundation, the ACLU, Screen Actors Guild, Writers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America, and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Not to mention the venerable FCC FU Guild. Let's hope all of this star power (and brainpower) will convince the courts that the FCC has gone overboard.
Radio listeners give up baby for PS3
A DJ on KDWB asked listeners to call in if they were willing to give up their child for 24 hours in exchange for a PS3. Much to the DJ's surprise, quite a few people called in, seriously ready to trade their baby for the video game console. The callers were disappointed to discover that the DJ was only kidding and that they'd have to shell out $800 on eBay and find a babysitter to live their dream.
Radio Legends Pass On
This past month, John R. Pepper II passed away. He was co-founder of WDIA in Memphis, the first nationwide radio station to target a black audience. BBC legend Alan "Fluff" Freeman also died recently.
Other notable radio news from the past month:
- Is there a future for the now-bankrupt Air America?
- The nation's defective Emergency Alert System strikes again: this time it broadcast a GOP campaign ad on non-commercial stations. Accidentally, of course.
- WFMU recently won some awards from College Music Journal (CMJ), even though we dropped out in 1994.
- Download some great dial scans from The Professor's AM and shortwave radio posts.
Thanks to Kenzo, Brian, and Bob Brainen!