The Daily Stern: Viacom fights back

The Daily Stern: Viacom fights back

: Well, at long last, media is fighting back against the rush to government censorship.

Today, Howard Stern went up in the markets where Clear Channel dropped him and in new markets.

And CBS boss Les Moonves said they’d fight any fine over Janet Jackson:

“We think the idea of a fine for that is patently ridiculous, and we’re not going to stand for it,” said Leslie Moonves, co-president and co-chief operating officer of CBS’ Viacom Inc. parent. “We’re going to take that to the courts if it happens. That’s our attitude toward it.” …

“We hope this rush to judgment settles down,” Moonves said. “A media free of government censorship is essential to our democracy and our business. Some of the developments coming out of Washington are coming dangerously close to infringing on First Amendment rights.”

  • Walter Wallis

    I suppose that if a football player’s suit tears, the network will be sued?
    Next year’s Superbowl will be on 24 hour delay to permit lawyers to check it for objectional material. In fact, why not just a delay on all broadcasts to allow time to review?
    That guy who said “Oh, the humanity” for instance. Was that a veiled curseword?

  • Mike

    Are they really fighting back or merely making another in a long list of investments in their number 1 money maker? Come on Jeff, these markets were ripe for the picking, this is purely a business decision, and a very good one at that.

  • daudder

    great news…creativity needs support and Moonves is at least standing back up for reason. Has the world suffered more through an exposed breast or unexposed wmd

  • Andy

    Oh-Goodie-!
    Another example of decisions being made by judges while the elected representatives run and hide.
    Rather than take on Congress for writing the law; CBS will find a convenient judge to work their magic. Then the case will be appealed and appealed for years.
    What happens if CBS wins? Boobies Galore-!
    That should serve their audience demographic well.
    If nipples are allowed, will we get the Full Monty, Whole Enchilada, with a slice of pie?

  • shark

    Well, at long last, media is fighting back against the rush to government censorship.
    Today, Howard Stern went up in the markets where Clear Channel dropped him and in new markets.

    Editorial judgement Jeff….and a poor one at that.
    Is the purpose of Viacom putting Stern in new markets to “fight back” against the FCC, or simply to make a business decision they feel will net them a profit?
    Why hasn’t Viacom “fought back” by hiring Bubba The Love Sponge?
    You’re pushing this a little too hard in the wrong places. Unless you care to back up your assertion?

  • Gerard Van der Leun

    You know there are so many, many *issues* in the world, you just have to put some into the DGAS column. This is one of them. Not that any many can’t ride the hobby horse of his choice right down the middle of the King’s Highway.
    Call me if they start shutting down newspapers.

  • http://thedragonflies.blogspot.com thedragonflies

    Moonvies is right on the principle of freedom of speech, but he is wrong in the focus of the culture of the country. The country has, or very soon will, become much more conservative and serious because of the war.
    After 9/11 there were a few months where frivolity was anathema because the mood of the country was too serious and operating in crisis mode. That will happen again if we are attacked again, and it will happen even without an attack pretty soon as the half of the country that is in denial about the war being waged against us wakes up and realizes that we are in a survival mode.
    Bare boobies become much less important and interesting when the country’s survival is up for grabs. The public mood, not government censorship, will push the “Roaring Twenties” off the screen. See “The Fourth Turning” by Strauss and Howe. A huge cultural transition is upon us.

  • mm

    dragonfly: “The Forth Turning” is a lazy, simplistic, un-enlightened piece of junk history. Their polemic makes even Moore look good.

  • http://www.tonypierce.com tony

    if Viacom is smart they will dig in and fight this all the way up the ladder
    the only way that I can see Viacom being fined is if someone has proof that they knew that Janet was going to do what she did.
    After seeing the footage from a handheld camera in the stands minutes after the flashing (via the E! show “Celebrities Uncensored”) you can see Janet cowering, giving me reason to think that it really was a mistake/accident.
    its also selective/curious that the FCC is only fining the Viacom-owned CBS outlets who broadcast the Super Bowl and not EVERY station who showed the tiny lil nipple.
    For if Viacom was responsible, why arent the others, who could have put delay on their broadcasts and thus nixed the nip in the bud.

  • http://thedragonflies.blogspot.com thedragonflies

    mm,

  • Andy Freeman

    > Well, at long last, media is fighting back against the rush to government censorship.
    Really? CBS is going after political censorship?
    No, they’re merely arguing for their “right” to broadcast boobies. They continue to advocate and support govt censorship of political speech by not media.
    While the personal may be political, waving your privates isn’t significant, let alone essential, political speech.
    The media continues to be the biggest threat to free speech.

  • http://tomgrey.motime.com Tom Grey

    What are the limits to free speech? Surely you don’t want S & M hardcore porn on Sat. morning TV — but making it illegal is certainly an abridgement of free speech. (And some would say Tom & Jerry violence is worse than any sex, anyway.)
    If there is any line, then there will be two points, close to each other, on either side of the line.
    Like driving. Whether the speed limit is 55, 65, or 75 — folk will drive some 5-10 mph faster. But cops will, in theory, be able to write a ticket for speeding at 56, 66, or 76, 1 mph too fast.
    Either there IS a line, or not. If there is, it will be tested (humans are like that), so it must be enforced, at times. Similary, it won’t, can’t be, fully & consistently enforced — although this is a good goal (too often violated). To oppose enforcement is dishonest opposition to the line.