Stern forced to cancel Schwarzenegger interview
: Thanks to the innane FCC equal-time rule — and to his company’s spineless lawyers and bosses — Howard Stern was forced to cancel an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger this morning.
This was going to be Schwarzenegger’s first major interview and it would have been informative. Stern is a great interviewer and he’d be asking the questions the voters would want asked. On the weekend gab shows, they tried to make fun of Schwarzenegger’s media choice but George Stephanopoulos got it right: He said Stern’s is the No. 1 show in California and Schwarzenegger is going where the voters are.
But the voters won’t get to hear what Schwarzenegger has to say under questioning because of the equal time rule. Stern’s dimwitted station manager and wimpy lawyers said that if he talked to Arnold, he’d have to talk to all 130 candidates. Stern begged them to fight and get an FCC exemption but they didn’t.
This is wrong on so many levels. Stern’s show is facing this fight because he’s not considered news (hey, there’s just as much fluff on three hours of the Today Show — and Stern makes a helluva lot more news than any other show) and also because the FCC has a hard-on for him. The FCC — the government — should not be in a position to determine what is news and what isn’t and what we can and cannot hear. As a result of this rule and its unfair enforcement, it’s the electorate that suffers. Instead of assuring that we are better informed, we are less informed. That is the government infringing free speech and the free market of ideas. That is wrong.
Email the FCC to fight for Stern
: Here is where you can email FCC Chairman Michael Powell.
Tell him you want the FCC to give Howard Stern an exemption from the equal time rule so Stern can interview Scharwzenegger.
Tell him that the equal time rule is doing the opposite of what it should and that it should be revealed.
Tell that that the FCC should not be deciding what we hear — we should. If he believes in a free market in media, then here is how he proves it!
Come on, all you libertarians on weblogs: Stand up for the rights of the people against government meddling. Email Powell. All you Republicans: Let your action here be heard: Email Powell. Democrats, don’t let this happen to Al Franken when he runs for President: Email Powell. Come on, Larry Lessig, if you really believe in freeing media, fight for Stern. Come on, Prof. Balkin, if you believe in the First Amendment, fight for Stern.
: And if you want to email the Stern show, here’s the address.