Free speech ain’t free anymore

Free speech ain’t free anymore

: When Viacom spinelessly settled with the FCC, they agreed to suspend personalities if the FCC filed a complaint against them. I knew this would cause storms in the company.

This morning, Howard Stern says that when they told him he could be suspended or fired if the FCC merely complained (without the slightest due process), he demanded to know what the rules are. “What’s the wrong thing?” he asked. “You know what the wrong thing is,” the executives said. The FCC, of course, has unconstitutionally vague rules they inconsistently enforce and so no one knows what wrong is. Only some biddy working for King Prig knows, apparently (see the link to the story about Brent Bozell below).

Stern demanded that they who hit the dump button also get suspended or fired. They won’t do that.

They told Stern that he should do a show with no mention of sex.

So he said then you’re telling me I should play German chamber music.

Well, then, the execs said, then you would not be performing your show the way it should be performed.

Well, said Howard, I can’t perform the show the way it should be performed because you and the FCC won’t let me.

Welcome to Orwell’s world, folks. This is what happens when speech is chilled: Everybody is afraid to say anything so they say nothing.

Tom the general manager comes in and they talk about a particular segment. Tom says it’s OK. But Howard says, if the FCC complains, will you suspend or fire me? Well, yes. So Tom said it was OK but if the FCC says it’s not OK, Howard takes the fall. “You didn’t hit the button and so why am I being suspended or fired?” Howard asks. “Can’t answer that,” says the boss. Right. “It’s not fair. It’s not honest. It’s wrong,” Howard says.

Yes, Orwell’s in charge now.

Fuck the FCC.

How long will it be before I’m fined for saying that?

: CNN’s report here.

: Stern says he doesn’t want to leave Viacom early. Viacom says, publicly, they don’t want him to go early. But if he is at risk, he’ll play music. Then Viacom will say that’s not his show. Then negotiations will begin. And now Sirius now says they’d take Stern early. Here, Viacom says they are “feverishly” looking for a replacement.