The Daily Stern
: EVEN FROM THE RIGHT: A conservative religious broadcaster comes out on the side of free speech, the First Amendment and Howard Stern. Stuart Epperson, heade of Salem Communications, writes a long and impassioned warning to fellow conservatives that if Stern is taken off the air by government, they could be next.
Now conservative Christians and other conservatives too are being sucked into applauding measures that would have government again controlling content and shutting down stations that violate standards, just as many well-meaning conservatives supported the Fairness Doctrine….
Don’t get me wrong. I deplore the current state of this immoral and debased culture….
We may all cheer the demise of Howard Stern, who has lost many of his major markets because of impending government action….
Mark my words however, if impending government action can cause Howard Stern to be taken off the air, imagine a bill that would give the FCC power to so regulate content that after three fines for violating standards set by fiat, a station could lose its license. Let us suppose that Congress, reacting to the justified outrage over the Super Bowl halftime charade, passes such a bill. And let us suppose President Bush, in a tight re-election campaign and watching the polls that say the public wants action against the filth masquerading as entertainment, signs the bill. (After all, President Bush signed the McCain-Feingold campaign law even though he thought it was unconstitutional.)
Sure right now an FCC dominated by reasonable people wouldn’t do anything drastic. But let us suppose that with this bill on the books the nation has elected Hillary Rodham Clinton as President. And let us suppose – and it is no stretch of the imagination to believe this – that President Hillary appoints radical liberals to the FCC. With the precedent established that the FCC can revoke licenses over obscene content, these Commissioners determine that conservative views constitute hate speech – and hate speech is obscene. For example, we are strongly supporting a Constitutional amendment and would declare that marriage is between one man and one woman. Let us suppose that these Commissioners declare that such a position is against national policy and constitutes discriminatory hate speech.
Of course the homosexual lobby would organize itself to insure that there were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of complaints against the stations that took this point of view. Armed with that sort of ammunition, the FCC would have no problem finding the excuse for shutting down those voices that broadcast what they would call homophobic views….
We are conservative but we