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March 01, 2005


listener jon

Ken, you've done so much research into these issues. Is there anyone out there, besides the big broadcast networks, who is willing to challenge the FCC in court? Will the ruling that helps the big broadcasters help WFMU? I can't imagine our Supreme Court, even as conservative as they are, coming down in favor of the way the FCC regulates now.

One of the biggest problems you have described is the fact the FCC won't give out a list of words which cannot be used. Despite the orwellian or fascistic nature of a list, it would certainly make your job as a broadcaster easier in the short term. Avoid banned words. Make up new ones for the banned ones.


How about if you broadcast "Private Ryan" on fmu? Or maybe, language aside, there would be usage rights to deal with.

However, if it could be done...I'm thinking a Kenny G a capella version. Yikes!

listener mark

I agree with Brian, broadcast Saving Private Ryan on air. Heck, in true Kenny G style, speed it up to fit it in an hour - 21 F's in an hour.


"Americans ... are fed up with being ambushed with content at times and places they least expect it."
What next, speaking citations? I can turn off the tv/radio. It's a whole other story to tell someone whose cussing in public to "kindly stop." (Not that the latter is my goal.)

"'Fuck' is OK as long as it's swaddled in patriotism and it's won an Oscar."
Born Free, as the fucking wind blows,
Free as grass fucks and grows,
Born free so take fucking heart.

Live free, it's fucking beautiful,
The word "fuck" astounds ye,
Every fucking time it's heard

(Stay free -- fuck the walls that divide)
You're rip roaring, fucking pride,
My friend, needn't fucking hide.

Born free, and "fuck" is worth saying,
but only because you're born fucking free

Station Manager Ken

We've already started working on an epic dramatic radio production of the invasion of Grenada. It will be gritty, bloody, heroic, muddy and filthy. And it will have great sound effects. Starring Andy Breckman as the Grenadian Marxist strongman that the US must overthrow to protects the lives of American citizens in that tiny island nation. We will have it introduced by Mayor Jeremiah Healey of Jersey City and Mayor Healey will be accompanied by a veteran of the war on Grenada.

We will interrupt it repeatedly with disclaimers to try to make sure that children dont stumble into it.


Rob S.

You should insert a disclaimer before each swear, something to the effect of, "The following word is a curse would. If there are little children in the room, please use parental guidance and/or puncture their eardrums."

listener dave from nh

There's really no way to directly contest any of the FCC's rulings, is there? They hand down fines and if you don't pay, you get your license revoked, and none of this is contestable in a court of law, correct? It's sort of up to congress to fight this one (which isn't entirely unreasonable given how much big media contributes to their elections) or for those pesky judicial activists to extend the beatdown of the FCC past the digital broadcast flag and into fines.

Station Manager Ken

Dave - That's not correct actually. Any United States district court has jurisdiction over the FCC's right to enforce indecency rules. And then there is the Supreme Court which has jurisdiction over ALL FCC matters.

But the problem is that broadcasters are cowed from contesting any FCC decision, because while any challenge to the FCC is pending, he FCC could retaliate against the complaining station by taking their license away or holding up any other applications / transactions they have pending before the FCC.

This is exactly what happened with Infinity a few years ago. They had millions of dollars of Howard Stern fines piling up, which they were contesting. As that argument dragged on, the FCC simply refused to let Infinity purchase any additional radio stations. Guess what happened? Infinity paid the fines, the FCC let them purchase their additional radio stations, and Howard started racking up the fines all over again.


Golevka Helin

'Private Ryan' is only the first fictional account of a historical moment that will be aired uncensored and at all times of the day, including 'Disney Hour' on Sunday night. I have seen this coming like a snowball ever since the popular radio stations started playing The Who's 'Who Are You' with the line 'who the fuck are you' instead of the singles version 'who the hell are you'. Another sign of impending cable blackout at my house is the broadcasting of prime time dramas at all hours. These shows were "cutting edge" in the battle to get more sex, skin, swearing on TV in the first place. Why are they allowed at 3:30pm when the only people watching them have just got home from grade school. My local paper won't publish my letters to the editor because they always contain exact quotes from TV or Radio that seem to them to be a violation of free speech. If they just put a disclaimer on the letter then I am positive they would be protected from those 'certain' people and groups. You know, the ones trying to uphold the American way, prevent the onslaught of perversion and reverse the decline of civilization. Like me.

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