The Daily Stern:

The Daily Stern:

: PURITANISM HURTS PROFITS: Ad Age reports (it’s not online yet) that advertisers say the indecent indecency legislation and the FCC’s increased puritanism will hurt the entire broadcast industry:

…media buyers are concerned it could hurt broadcasters’ ability to compete with cable and satellite media and make it more difficult to reach a mass audience.

“It has the potential of raising the average age of the network TV audience,” said Allen Banks, exec VP-North American media director for Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi.

That is death to the broadcast business. You want to talk about how you want more voices in media? Well, this will only lead to deeper business problems and thus more consolidation.

“If there is a big crackdown, it could affect advertising,” said Rich Hamilton, CEO of ZenithOptimedia Group. “A certain amount of provocative material is material viewers are interested in watching.”

: FIGHTING BACK: Mancow Muller, the frighteningly intense shock jock and FoxNews fave, is suing a guy who has filed a bunch of complaints against him with the FCC:

The nationally syndicated WKQX-FM (101.1) morning personality is expected to file a $3 million lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court today against David Edward Smith, the Chicago man whose Citizens for Community Values has lodged 66 complaints about “Mancow’s Morning Madhouse” with the Federal Communicatons Commission.

Acting on Smith’s complaints, the FCC so far has cited Muller and Q-101’s parent, Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications, six times for indecency, resulting in fines totaling $42,000.

Among other claims, the lawsuit will charge Smith with business interference and filing “spurious complaints” with the FCC that are “repetitive, malicious, untrue, and designed merely for the purpose of harassment [and] to cause [Muller] economic ruin.” …

“Although I studied to be a minister, my time of ‘turn the other cheek’ has now ended. I firmly believe the ‘zealots’ have done numerous illegal things that will be revealed in the courts. I have garnered a massive war fund and will not quit until my First Amendment right to free speech is restored. I ask for everyone’s prayers during this tough time….”

: BACKLASH COMING: Expect a backlash against this resurrected puritanism. An ad newsletter notes such a ‘lash coming from advertising (pictures here). They call it “shockvertising.”

: CLEAR CHANNEL’S POLITICS: USA Today digs into Clear Channels’ political contributions today:

Clear Channel, rejecting Howard Stern’s claims that he was canned for slamming President Bush, says its radio network does not have a political agenda.

But new political contribution data tell a different story about Clear Channel (CCU) executives. They have given $42,200 to Bush, vs. $1,750 to likely Democratic nominee John Kerry in the 2004 race.

What’s more, the executives and Clear Channel’s political action committee gave 77% of their $334,501 in federal contributions to Republicans. That’s a bigger share than any other entertainment company, says the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

In contrast, Viacom (VIA) executives and its political action committee gave just 30% of their $545,650 to Republican candidates. Viacom syndicates Stern’s show.

: THE CHILL WIND SPREADS: Steven Bochco has made some of the best damned shows in the history of TV; he can be credited with bringing in the real golden age of television. But now they’re snipping at him, too:

For the first time in the show’s 11 years, creator Steven Bochco says, the network’s censors have breached an agreement that allows him to air the racy material that gives the TV drama its gritty appeal.

Bochco’s troubles began soon after Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl halftime show.

Three times since then, Bochco says, ABC has expunged racy scenes from “NYPD Blue,” including one that he describes as “a relatively brief, very tasteful sex scene.”

An ABC spokeswoman confirmed the changes but said they resulted from a “standard review” by the network’s censors. Bochco said he refused to make the changes voluntarily.

“It doesn’t mean that I can stop them from doing it,” he said. “But it does signal my unwillingness to be a co-conspirator. It’s very chilling. It’s a little intimidating, and it’s frustrating.”

: PREVIOUS DAILY STERN POSTS: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here.

  • I think it’s interesting how Clear Channel and Infinity Broadcasting seem to have forgotten about how much money they made off of Howard Stern, especially during the dot com boom. Any tech advertiser in the 90s knew that a live read from Howard Stern would bring their web servers to their knees from all the resultant traffic to their website.
    That aside, here in New York City, Clear Channel controls five of the top radio stations, with Infinity controlling another two. NYC radio is so hopelessly homogenized that I wouldn’t listen to it if you paid me.
    Consolidation has provided an easy way for those who want to crusade against “indecency” to exert pressure on only a few organizations to impose their will. Aren’t we supposed to be judging indecency based on community standards and not on some hypothetical standard that some people feel should exist for the nation as a whole?

  • Mike

    Maybe you should change the title of these posts to The Daily Mancow, and then update us on how Muller’s court battle goes. At least Mancow is doing something to bring this battle to court. All Howard does is whine about how he is leaving the airwaves if the Senate and then President sign this new legislation into law.
    For Stern this is not about you, it’s all about him.

  • John

    You know, if you’re going to do a Daily Stern round-up and include stuff about Clear Channel, I’m surprised you missed this story from Tuesday’s New York Daily News about a female disc jockey for one of the Clear Channel stations who was fired for saying on-air that she’s opposed to white women-black men interracial marriages.
    What type of political message this might send I leave up to you, but given who the No. 1 guy is at CC Communication, I found the ironic part to be the fact that the DJ’s last name is “Mays.”

  • KMK

    This is sheer brilliance on Mancow’s part.

  • MK

    I’m no math wiz, but it seems that the political contributions of CCC to Repubs and of VIA to Dems just about cancel each other out, right?
    Shouldn’t the rest of the media be about the same (i.e. Hollywood “stars” giving to Dems and Hollywood “corp. execs” giving to the GOP)?

  • Mike

    So what’s the point about the political contributions of the 2 companies? Why aren’t they framing Viacom as some leftist company with a liberal agenda?
    Clear Channel is a called a company with ties to the religious right and the Republican party because they give 77% of their money to the Republicans ($257,565 total), but there is no such association with Viacom and the Democratic party while Viacom gave 70% of their money to Democrats ($381,995 total).

  • susan

    How will Howard Stern respond to Clear Channel firing a female DJ for saying, while on the public airwaves, that white women should not marry black men?
    If Howard is so concerned with our First Amendment right to free speech then he should also be including the plight of his fellow DJ who was actually fired.
    In my opinion, for what it is worth, television cannot produce anything of value because it is inherently concerned with generating income. Creativity is the least of the television industry’s objective.

  • Donald P. Bellisario

    Steven Bochco has made some of the best damned shows in the history of TV
    Yeah…still waiting for me Cop Rock DVD set to arrive……

  • Sydney Carton

    Unfortunately, Mr. Jarvis has the story about Clear Channel’s political contributions ENTIRELY WRONG.
    Clear Channel is a corporation. It is illegal for a Corporation to directly give money to a federal candidate. It is illegal for a corporation to give money to a political party. Individuals who work at Corporations, like any other American, are free to give who they want to within the guidelines of the law. In fact, it is easy to search on the Internet who the donors are, since any contributions over 250 dollars per election cycle must be disclosed, including your place of work. Thus, if you hear a story like “Citibank gave 65,000 to Republicans and 20,000 to Democrats”, what that usually means is that a reporter is being LAZY and is aggregating the amounts individuals in such companies give. The Corporation itself has no political agenda, but individuals who work there who may have an interest in politics can give to candidates.
    Clear Channel has given NOTHING to ANYONE. However, its executives have given to people.
    The USA today article skirts around the truth by saying “the executives and Clear Channel’s political action committee,” a clear indication that it’s not “Company Policy” to give to a candidate or political party, and then the article goes on to list the donors.
    Maybe certain people think this kind of fine distinction, between a Company directly giving money from its own coffers (shareholder property) instead of executives giving money that they earn from their salary (wages), but that’s the way EVERYONE in America gives. It is disingenuous to report that Exxon gives a million dollars to Republicans just because 1000 of its gas-station employees give 1000 dollars to Bush.

  • PJ

    Well, sure, Puritanism hurts profits, but so does its obverse, which is what we have now.
    I don’t listen to the radio anymore because it’s either potty mouths or play lists of oldies but moldies. And I don’t watch much network TV either. I’m sick of turning on the TV and seeing flabby male butts or hearing the word “ass” tossed into every other line of dialogue to prove the edginess on the show, as in Alicia Silverstone’s late Matchmaker.
    I watch the Sopranos because it’s good, not because Tony talks dirty.

  • Puritanism?
    Compared to what? Hedonism?

  • HH

    I’ve looked at the numbers at Open Secrets and it’s obvious that USA Today’s problems didn’t end with Kelley…

  • HH

    Also it would be interesting to look at Viacom donors now that we know that the vanguard of television journalism, 60 Minutes, is being taken over by infomercials for Simon & Schuster… all books just *happen* to attack Bush. Where are Karmazin and company’s cash going? 60 Minutes could have a bigger effect on the election than a guy whose popularity is mostly in Dem-leaning states. But then, I forget we’re talking about the partisan mainstream press.

  • Trump

    So this morning, Stern:
    -Compared religious people to the taliban (something Jeff also does)
    -Said Bush was as bad as Hamas
    -Compared Bush and the Republicans to Nazis.
    -Said Bush knew about 9/11 but failed to stop it
    -Said the war was all for Halliburton
    -Said Kerry “volunteered” for Vietnam, in spite of his attempts to get a deferral
    -In the howler of the day, he said Kerry had “one of the strongest voting records on defense he’s ever seen”
    -Mentioned that Bush “lied” about WMD
    -Said the Iraq war was going horribly
    Sorry, defending free speech is one thing, defending rank willful ignorance is another. I refuse to do it. He has a right to his ignorance, but NOT ON MY PUBLIC AIRWAVES. His dubious right to free speech on regulated airwaves is as dust in the wind compared to the damage he’s doing to this country right now. I’ll make a deal here- lets have this clown’s “rights” be violated. I’ll join you in protesting when it happens to the next guy. I refuse to defend the ignorant, or worse, the willfully lying.
    In the meantime, Stern is all over ClearChannel, but funny how he didn’t have a problem with CBS promoting a book they owned on their news shows…

  • HH

    Hmm.. let’s see… Mel Karmazin has donated solely to Democrats according to Open Secrets… Daschle and Leahy to be exact. $11,000 to Democrats vs. $3,000 to Republicans for Sumner Redstone.

  • anti-stern

    I’ll do you one better- he shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
    Being an informed citizen is a responsibility of all voters.
    Reading Al Franken, Chomsky and all the other lefty moonbats and taking it as gospel is NOT being informed.
    No vote for Stern.
    And while I’m at it….why is CBS being treated as “press”? They’re nothing more than the PR arm for a book division of Viacom. Whatever “press freedoms” CBS has should be stripped, all credentials revoked, all status suspended. They should be regulated the way advertising is regulated, and even more, subject to STRICT factchecking and disclosure rules.
    This “free press” line you lay on us is a load of BS. WE DO NOT HAVE A FREE PRESS! We either have partisian press or bought and paid for press. So lets treat them as such. When we have a free press, then lets give them the freedoms they deserve. Until then, why should CBS get away with promoting their books under the cover of news? Why should admitted Bush hater Dana Milbank get away with writing his bile under the banner of “objectivity”? Why should the NYTimes be given even the veneer of respectability?
    Here is a list of what these “press” organizations have to do in the interest of full disclosure:
    All employees at the paper must be made to list on a company maintained website:
    -Their party affiliation (“independent” will not be allowed as it’s a dodge)
    -Their most recent votes
    -Stocks owned
    -Any political parties/candidates ever worked for in the past
    -Charitable contributions for the past 5 years
    -Political contributions for the past 20 years
    Next, all articles/pieces will be fact checked by an independent 3rd party for accuracy/editorial laziness (recycling from other stories. That’s how misquotes and other memes get started. 1 person says it, then it’s recycled). If a story is found to have lies or factual untruths in it- facts that could be verified,- the writer and all editors get fired immediately. The parent organization gets fined. HEAVILY. Opinion writers will have more leeway, BUT if they do a Maureen Dowd or Paul Krugman style lie, they will be immediately fired and personally fined HEAVILY. Reporters and press organizations will also be able to be more easily sued for slander/libel.
    The media we have now is not worthy of press freedoms. Lets treat them as such. When a true news organization comes along, lets treat them properly. But for now, CBS, CNN, NY Times etc- deserve to be bankrupted, disgraced, humiliated and the partisian hacks damaging our country with their lies and hatred bias under the banner of “objecrtivity” should be jailed.

  • Well, trump and anti-, you prove the point nicely: The last thing I want to see is a world were the likes of you has any role in deciding what I can and can’t say or hear. You are the frightening ones. Better go out to the shed and check to make sure your cases of beans haven’t expired.

  • susan

    What is frightening is the level of Stern’s barbarism which people are willing to defend.
    Why is racial indecency considered an unacceptable form of free speech while sexual indecency is considered acceptable?
    Jeff, are all you for restricting a women’s right to say on the public airwaves that white women should not marry black men? Are you for restricting her First Amendment right to free speech because of her words or because of the color of her words?

  • susan

    How do we know Stern had not planned all along to use his status as an ‘advocate for free speech’ shock jock as a ploy to attack a Republican adminstration.
    As I understand the situation, the FCC fined Stern for using indecent language all throughout the nineties yet, all of the sudden, it has become this gigantic, all important anti-Puritian issue and that Bush was the one who canned him.
    I am skeptical of Stern’s agenda because of his actions, not his words.
    Sure, he read an anti-bush book and, a week later, changed his mind immediately.
    Stern is manipulating the issue of free speech for an agenda not related to the issue of free speech.
    He is, after all, the one with the microphone.

  • anti-Stern

    No jeff- YOU are the frightening one. You call religious people “the american talaban”- real nice. When good, decent, hardworking religious people in this country start killing and oppressing on a level of the taliban, THEN you can say it. Until then, when you say it, it is a horrible vile slander on the character of millions of people. Oh, that fabled liberal tolerance! Tolerant of everyone….except those who believe or think differently than you do that is. Then they’re labeled “american taliban” and that is supposed to close the matter for you? Disgraceful.
    Equally disgraceful and frightening is your tacit approval of the biased media in this country….as long as it leans left. Clear Channel gets abused by you, but Viacom/CBS gets a pass? HMMMMM…..
    Also disturbing is your acceptance of the press in this country. Do you REALLY believe CBS The Times and CNN etc. are truly an “objective” press?

  • Trump

    Ok, Jeff, lets see you put your money where your mouth is. Suppose I got on this blog and made those ignorant/libelous comments about YOU? Would you defend my right to free speech then?
    Stern’ ignorance is NOT free speech. Sterns ignorance is political hate speech. And as such….is not protected speech. Bush and Republicans and religious people deserve equal time on the Stern show.
    Ignorance or hate speech neither deserves or requires our time and effort to defend it. It deserves to die on the vine. Let free speech be used by those who deserve it, not those whop abuse it.

  • As much as I tend to disagree with Jeff on much of his Stern platform, I agree that Trump is dead wrong. Stern can blow and pontificate and offer up all manner of tin-foil hat theories all day long. Contrary to what Stern will want you to believe, he has never been targetted by the government based upon anything other than explicit descriptions of sexual acts. This is because such speech is recognized by legal precedent as not protected under the First Ammendment and is explicitly prohibited by the licensing agreement under which broadcasters operate. As long as his content does not violate the license agreement the government will not, nor should they, have any comment one way or the other. He will, however, continue to loose more of his audience daily. It has been almost a week and I only just started listening again, as everytime I tuned in he was on another rant. My guess is he got wind he was loosing share, which is why he’s been limiting his “poor pitiful me” bits and getting back to the business of entertaining.

  • Doctor Slack

    Ignorance or hate speech neither deserves or requires our time and effort to defend it. It deserves to die on the vine.
    Trump just made Jeff’s point for him.
    Hint: if you think there are people who deserve or don’t deserve free speech, you simply do not understand what free speech is. When you’re trying to reclassify political opinions that don’t mesh with yours as “hate speech,” you simply do not understand what free speech is.
    Now, is Jeff always consistent about this? Nope. I’ve seen him endorse mentalities like Trump’s in other contexts. But I have to say he’s been dead right about the ramifications of the assault on speech that began with the Superbowl. This is the kind of sh*t that needs nipping in the bud, and now.

  • Ignorance or hate speech neither deserves or requires our time and effort to defend it. It deserves to die on the vine. Let free speech be used by those who deserve it, not those whop (sic) abuse it.
    If there are ideas that are widely rejected and ignored by the people, they will die on the vine by natural selection. The dangerous question implicit in your position is that of who decides if one is deserving of free speech or not? I am much happier in a country that recognizes everyone’s right to be as publicly stupid as they wish than one that wants to control and regulate to whom the “right” to speak is awarded.
    This, interestingly, raises what I have always seen as a silent hipocracy in many of Stern’s defenders. Some who most stridently argue that Stern’s free speech should be unquestionably supported regardless of content are the same who will readilly brand legitimate dissent on affirmative action, gay rights, abortion, etc. as “hate speech” and support legislative efforts to suppress it.

  • sol

    The only equivalent of the Taliban in the western world in the last 100 years has been all the left-wing totalitarian socialist and communist regimes.
    (Which is why the left are so upset about taking down regimes such as the Taliban…)
    Jeff, you’re a very intelligent person. Really. Keep up the good work. I’m serious. (Really, Jeff, I’m serious.)

  • Doc: I feel it is hyperbole when one equates outrage over a specific incident of live prime-time nudity or governmental oversight of non-protected sexually explicit broadcasts with the sort of Orwellian speech “rights” Trump espouses. The fact that celebrities can denegrate the administration freely and “anti-war” protesters can openly express support for our enemies and extol service members to mutiny, all without any reprisal at all, only serves to reinforce my feeling that this isn’t really a legitimate “free speech” issue.

  • Doctor Slack

    There is absolutely NO PLACE ON MY PUBLIC AIRWAVES for Stern to be calling Bush Hitler or Hamas.
    Guess what? The public is bigger than you.
    Call me wrong, but don’t fricking ever equate me with Nazis or terrorist murderers.
    Stern has the right to do exactly that. And if you think he’s wrong, you have the right to disagree with him. I don’t see why it’s so hard to understand that “free speech” means even people you find offensive get to do it.
    For example, supposing (hypothetically of course) that I think you’re a hypocritical arse, and that it’s absurdly hilarious for you to try to play the injured martyr over a few off-clour criticisms of Bush — I wouldn’t think you don’t deserve the right to speak like one. Speak away. I don’t need protection from your point of view.
    That’s the difference.
    I feel it is hyperbole when one equates outrage over a specific incident of live prime-time nudity or governmental oversight of non-protected sexually explicit broadcasts with the sort of Orwellian speech “rights” Trump espouses.
    Well, it would be different if what was happening here was the application of a consistent, defensible and community-approved standard of “decency.” That’s not what’s going on. What’s going on is a random lashing-out in an effort to appease a vocal religious right — and, if you believe that some regulation of the airwaves is necessary, I think you should absolutely be opposing the theatre of the absurd happening now. The whole idea of fair and effective regulation is being sullied by this mess.
    Moreover, cultural free speech doesn’t exist in a hermetically sealed vaccuum. A threat to one kind of free speech is a threat to any kind of free speech. It’s prudent to stop those kind of threats before they become a large-scale problem. That’s a simple fact, not a tinfoil hat oh-my-god-we’re-turning-into-the-Nazis sentiment.

  • Franky

    I look forward to seeing the posts by those who oppose Jeff on this theme demanding the government fine Rush Limbaugh, Savage and others for their irreesponsible speech.

  • sol

    This argument is sliding all over the board. Now the pro-Stern people seem to think that through their – now constant – use of the Big Lie tactic that what Stern was fined for was anti-Bush political speech. The left is pure babel now. The only tactic they have left is to engage in the Big Lie over and over on every issue. It’s either that or face the fact that they are bankrupt and/or evil. In other words the left has two choices: face up to the fact that they are on the side of darkness on this planet and change their ways; or engage in the Big Lie tactic and go further down to the depths of their filthy, dishonest, dark, evil hell.

  • Hey, does anybody know where I can get a burka that isn’t made of 1010% wool? Wearing this thing in Florida weather — it’s like wearing my own personal microwave set on “high.” Seriously, I’ll take another heavy-weight fabric, just so long as it isn’t wool. I asked my local Committee for the Preservation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice rep but all he did was beat me about the shoulders with a camel whip and call me a “whorish slut” for daring to ask a non-related male a question instead of having my father or husband ask it for me.

  • That’s 100% wool.

  • Franky

    “go further down to the depths of their filthy, dishonest, dark, evil hell”
    Well you convinced me: Yep, you’re exactly the person I want judging what I can and can’t listen to on public airwaves.

  • sol

    I don’t give a sh** what you listen to, ‘dude’. Fill your mind with all the crap you can find. FCC decency rules just sets a basic line. Stern makes his millions pandering to your desires to hear ‘naughty’ things on public airwaves. Go to it. The FCC actually heightens your pleasure. “Look!” you and Stern say, “we’re being naughty! Ah oh! Can mommy and daddy [FCC] hear us? We’re in trouble!! Oh, this is fun!!”

  • so trump,
    when your boy rush calls feminists “feminazis” you’re cool with that
    but when howard stern reminds us that the nazis were the type to kick people off the radio because of their politcal beliefs you get your panties in a bunch?
    the framers didnt reserve the right to free speech so the straight laced simple minded kool aid drinkers could smile and nod, they did it to protect those who needed to be protected: the fringe
    the ones who call women nazis because they disagree with rich white old men.
    i dont know if youve counted, but for every bush-baiting independent who has the gall to say things like the invasion in iraq isnt going well, theres 20 pasty right wing comb-overs like you with a radio show or a tv show or a corporation or a media conglomorate to say differently.
    the anger you have about stern though is he
    dare i say
    all of you self righteous self serving ignorant frat boys
    while showing how simple it really is.
    and i cant wait to hear howard the morning after the election this november clear his throat and say
    george w bush
    you friggin idiot
    youre fired.

  • I stopped by to see if anybody had anything new to say. I see some new cuss words, and fresh ad hominem. But that’s about it.
    It’s been a month now. Should somebody check to see if that horse is dead yet? Flog it a few more times and see if it moves.

  • Andrew X

    Here’s maybe something new, if anyone knows….
    How are Stern’s ratings right now? I say this as a big fan, who happens to support the Presdient overall, FCC nonwithstanding.
    So I find the Stern battle of clinical interest, but frankly, I’m just not interested in what he has to say any more. I totally understand where he’s coming from, and he has the right to do it, it just doesn’t interest me for a relentless hour every morning, so I tune out.
    I do love Howard, but he’s a political neophyte. Today he’s harping on “Bush is running against Clinton (9/11 commission, etc), because he (Bush) is so lame”, etc. Well, this of course is either idiotic or an outright lie, as Bush has not said a word, and yes, his people and supporters ARE talking about Clinton… they most assuredly would not be if Richard Clarke hadn’t thrown his hand grenade. But he did, so they are forced to respond.
    Howard also seems genuinely convinced that the entire reason that he got pulled is for criticizing the President. This, of course, is also absurd, because, as I have stated earlier, ‘If you shoot at the King of all Media, you’d better kill him.’ Well, those evil Republicans left him quite alive, thank you, to relentlessly hammer the President four hours a day, and to forthrightly and directly mobilize as much support for Kerry as he possibly can. Gee, that Karl Rove must be really stupid.
    No, Howard is off because of Janet Jackson, not Karl Rove et al. (History can turn on some astonishingly small things.)
    But maybe I digress. I’m wondering if his ratings are down in the remaining cities for the same reason I have started to tune out (but not totally, yet, I do love the man.) Does anyone know?