Posts from January 4, 2005

Viacom deep throat, please

Viacom deep throat, please

: Howard Stern said this morning that everyone on his show had received a 56-page memo outlining what can’t be said on Viacom in the wake of the company’s ridiculous consent decree signed with the FCC, which requires this memo and training in indecency for employees, who also received an email quiz on do’s and don’t’s.

Hello Viacom employees: Will one of you please send me the memo and the quiz? I won’t reveal your identity, even if the FCC puts me in thumbscrews and makes me watch Pat Robertson. Email me, please.

Here’s a CNN story on the memo.

But in two live broadcasts since returning Jan. 3 from a two-week vacation, Stern has been just as feisty as before. In addition to the employee quiz, he detailed a company description of the words and sounds that might run afoul of FCC rules. Stern said possible profanity includes ‘go to hell,’ ‘goddamn you,’ and any “personally reviling epithets.”

As for sounds, Stern said banned intonations include flatulence and heavy breathing. His staff then played a few examples….

Stern’s overall take on the matter? “I would so love to be thrown off the air for saying ‘go to hell,'” he told listeners.

FCC follies

FCC follies

: The FCC launches a federal investigation of Jay Leno’s New Year’s Eve show, in which Motley Crue

Blog assignment desk

Blog assignment desk

: Jay Rosen challenged a blogger to do some reporting and the blogger met the challenge. It’s about my complaints with Real:

Few months ago I’m cruising around and come to a weblog on “the social customer manifesto” where I find this post linking to what Jeff Jarvis said in complaining about the Web company Real Networks, maker of Real Player: “Real Audio sucks. Real Video sucks.” The blogger, Christopher Carfi, quotes Jarvis and adds a lame joke, “So Jeff…get off the fence. How do you really feel about it?”

I leave a comment at his site saying what a lame post! (I despise Real) “I’m surprised you don’t have something worthwhile to say,” I write. “This is your beat! Isn’t Real the opposite of everything you stand for? I depend on a blogger like you to get to the bottom of Real Networks and the origins of their ‘abuse the customer’ philosophy.”

That led to a reply post, where Carfi promised to investigate and “see what, if anything, Real has done to address any of the issues raised.” Bravo, I said in comments. That was on Dec. 6. Now comes his post Real Jumps the Shark (Jan. 2), which is full of interesting stuff about Rob Glaser’s aggressively anti-social company. I commend it to you. Someone needs to do a business school case study on Real, the use of force, and the mind of Glaser. (See this Slashdot Q & A with him, and this hilarious and cynical attempt by Real to create a community site. No comments permitted, of course.)

The blog-paper merger

The blog-paper merger

: Jay Rosen covers the brave new world of merging blogs and newspapers being explored in Greensboro.

So much for democracy

So much for democracy

: Last night on my new satellite radio (more on that later), I heard the most obnoxious interview with author Willilam T. Vollman on Chicago Public Radio’s Worldview. He doesn’t like Bush and that’d be fine; hey, it’s a democracy. But he doesn’t like democracy, either:

He called Bush “an idiot” who “can’t read” and is “a foolish, wicked person.” He said that Bush should be brought up before the world court on war crimes charges. The interviewer (finally) asked, “If he’s such an idiot, what does that make the American people?… They reelected him.”

Vollman replies: “I think that half of Americans are very uneducated as well.” He says he tells people in the rest of the world that “Amreican people aren’t educated… they don’t have the education or the mental tools to judge other cultures…. I blame the self-referentiality and the shallowness of the education system and the mass media.”

I wonder if I can get a refund for that hour.