This just in. Clear Channel announced a few hours ago that it would permanently pull The Howard Stern Show from its airways and has been fined $495,000 for indecency stemming from the Stern Show. Clear Channel who last month temporarily pulled the show from its roster of stations after the FCC began its witch hunt for indecency, pointed to the fact the “congress and the FCC are even beginning to look at revoking station licenses, that's a risk we are just not willing to take.”
I've been outspoken about Clear Channel and how it is the largest contributor to the sterilization and homogenization of radio and the music we hear for well over a year. To be sure, I'm no fan of the Howard Stern show which I find sophomoric, silly and a waste of time, but personal taste aside, I think this is sad message communicated by both Clear Channel and the FCC about restriction of personal liberties, freed speech and is simply an end around move to censor. And for this I cannot sit silent.
I'm not going to jump on the blog and mainstream press bandwagon that have been active since Clear Channel temporarily pulled the show in raising the conspiracy flog. Stern has publicly accused the Clear Channel folding under the pressure of the Bush Administration because Stern, a self-admitted republican, has been extremely harsh and outspoken about Bush and his performance as president. Yet one can't help but wonder why Stern's successful radio show that has been on the air for nearly 20 years is now the subject of such scrutiny about decency. Good god, did Janet Jackson inspire all this? Even The New York Post finds hypocrisy in Clear Channel's effort to clean up its act.
Whether Clear Channel is spineless and not interested in fighting for personal liberties or free press or is a political gunslinging assailant or victim is beyond the scope of this post. But one thing is for sure, this is another nail in the coffin why Clear Channel ought to be taken off the air instead of Howard Stern.
You can read my past posts and criticisms of the Clear Channel machine here, here, here and here.
Plus, check out this good article from Reason on media consolidation.