The Daily Stern

The Daily Stern

: FIRST, LET’S BLEEP THE LAWYERS: Now if nothing else has frightened you about the FCC’s mauling of the First Amendment, this should:

Now lawyers will be deciding what you should and should not hear. Lawyers.

Adding an additional safeguard against anything actionably indecent getting out on the air, Emmis plans to hire at least two paralegals to augment existing indecency protections. While no hires have been made, the company is looking to add paralegals in Chicago (for Mancow’s Morning Madhouse on WKQX) and in St. Louis (perhaps for The Howard Stern Show, which KPNT carries).

“We already have a layer or two – this would be a back-up system – an added measure,” Emmis spokeswoman Kate Healey tells FMQB. The extra layer would augment existing precautions by giving a person with a legal background access to the dump button.

: BROTHERS IN BATTLE: Ira Glass, host of the NPR show This American Life, comes out as a strong ally of Howard Stern in the fight for our First Amendment:

I’m the host of a show on public radio, and when my listeners tell me they don’t care for Stern, I always think it reveals a regrettable narrowness of vision. Mostly, they’re put off by the naked girls. But Stern has invented a way of being on the air that uses the medium better than nearly anyone. He’s more honest, more emotionally present, more interesting, more wide-ranging in his opinions than any host on public radio. Also, he’s a fantastic interviewer. He’s truly funny. And his staff on the air is cheerfully inclusive of every kind of person: black, white, dwarf, stutterer, drunk and supposed gay. What public radio show has that kind of diversity?…

Sadly, lots of smart people shrug off the recent government crackdown on Howard Stern — and on other ”indecency” — as if it were nastiness going on in some bad neighborhood of the broadcast dial, one that doesn’t concern them, one that they’d never stoop to visit.

But the recent F.C.C. rulings make me Stern’s brother as I’ve never been before….

: JUST LIKE AFRICA: The Nairobi Standard sees too many parallels between government control of media in Kenya and in the U.S., based on the FCC’s vendetta against Howard Stern:

Even in US Press is not so free after all

The media in Kenya may be forgiven for feeling a little bit besieged, what with a promise by the Government to institute more oversight to keep it on the straight and narrow. The media is crying foul and is loudly proclaiming that what it needs is more freedom not control.

If the Kenyan media thinks it’s in a particularly bad place, it should cast its sights across the Atlantic and witness what is happening to the American media, at any rate the radio part of it….

Stern occupies the centre of the brewing debate on freedom of speech in America. In the meantime, the FCC continues squeezing him. This being America, the matter is far from over. At some point, the matter will go before the courts. Maybe the media in Kenya can take solace in the fact that they are not alone.

A fine example.