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Howard Stern: the last free speech pioneer

  1. Feb 26, 2004 #1

    Kerrie

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    Having Howard Stern's controversial radio show suspended shows where America is headed when it comes to free speech and the ability to excercise the first amendment. I used to despise the Stern show as I took personal offense to his comments regarding women, but as I experienced some life changes that gave me a true sense of humor, I have come to appreciate his jokes and take it with a grain of salt. Personally, I am deeply concerned that a radio show such as his after several years of being on the air is now yanked. Will all forms of public media have the tight reigns such as this soon? I understand the need for decency for the children-I have two of my own, but I think this has gone too far. What I think needs to be controlled are the images on the news, such as the events of September 11th...back when the news channels highly broadcasted slow animation of the planes hitting the building, my then 5 year old daughter began having nightmares because she could comprehend the tradegy of it. She spoke of it for weeks and everytime she saw smoke or clouds in the sky, she paniced that a plane had crashed into a building -this is NO exaggeration.

    This all stems from the exposure of Janet Jackson's breast during the Super Bowl, which I admit was indecent, but my children weren't scarred for life over it either. Perhaps it's those politicians in Washington currently choosing to mix their "morality" with how their government should be run. After all, this is THEIR country and not the people's country any longer.

    (Zero, this may need to go into the political forum)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2004 #2
    Let's see where this goes...


    And how long are you going to continue to spell "tragedy" incorrectly?
     
  4. Feb 26, 2004 #3

    Kerrie

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    funny you should ask that zero...i lost a spelling bee in the 8th grade to that word, and I still can't spell it!

    (i thought you of all people would have something to say about this topic )
     
  5. Feb 26, 2004 #4

    Njorl

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    I believe in censorship at the consumer level. If you don't want to hear Howard Stern, don't listen. I don't like Howard Stern, so I don't listen. Believe it or not, this simple measure has prevented him from offending me.

    I suppose you could make arguments for protecting children, "won't someone please think of the children". Any kids willing to sit through Howard Stern already know about the "unnatural act" that got him suspended.

    The dirty truth is, we want the freedom to ignore our children's media consumption habits. It is understandable. The price of freedom not withstanding, constant vigilance is a *****. Parent's wishes to be free from monitoring every little thing their kids do should be weighed against the wishes of others to enjoy the entertainment they choose. The welfare of children should not be absolute in this matter - it certainly isn't in any other.

    Considering the size of Stern's audience, and the prevalence of oral sex in our society, I can't believe he was suspended. He was merely supplying the product that his audience wants.

    Njorl

    PS - for me, it's bagel. I usually spell it begal.
     
  6. Feb 26, 2004 #5

    Kerrie

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    thanks njorl...i used to hate the howard stern show, therefore i wouldn't listen either...simple as that. consumers have the freedom of choice, and they should excersise it, why should it be the government telling us what we can listen and not listen to?
     
  7. Feb 26, 2004 #6
     
  8. Feb 26, 2004 #7

    kat

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    I've never actually heard the Howard Stern show, actually I seldom listen to radio shows at all..nor have I really paid attention enough to really know what he even represents or any of the issues that surround his show being canceled. BUT, my understanding was that the station owners were the decidion makers and they had decided he did not fit their standards. If this is the case...I don't see how that's any different then say moderating posters and posts on this privately owned forum....am I misunderstanding the circumstances or?
     
  9. Feb 26, 2004 #8

    Kerrie

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    Clear Channel revised their standards because of the Super Bowl exposure and an attempt "clean up" tv and radio. However, Howard Stern has been a shock jock for years, and after 20 years, he gets suspended because of his regular show. I guess this is what I find is wrong. The rules were never in place, and because of the super bowl incident, now they are and it effects this show (which is listened to by millions). Here in the forum, our rules are well posted, so members know what to expect.
     
  10. Feb 26, 2004 #9
    I agree with you, Kerrie. It is ridiculous that because of recent hysteria, a host is suspended doing the things that he's done for years. It's bad when anything that can be considered controversial is shunned, limiting entertainment and possibly substantive discourse.

    Also, when are people going to realize that oral sex isn't evil?
     
  11. Feb 26, 2004 #10

    kat

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    Well...as a privately owned entity..they do have the right to change their content if they so choose. Not only that...I'm not sure it's a free speach issue...when they've been paying him to speak
     
  12. Feb 26, 2004 #11
    Let's not pretend this is solely a matter of a company choosing what it will carry. The governemnt is threatening huge fines for violations of their silly little rules.

    (And Kerrie, you've been misspelling "tragedy" for the past couple of years that I've known you...spellcheck, hun, for the love of Me!)
     
  13. Feb 26, 2004 #12

    Evo

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    "The move also comes a day before Clear Channel CEO John Hogan is to appear before a House subcommittee on broadcast indecency."

    I guess he wanted to clean house first.

    I've seen a bit of his tv show, usually channel surfing. Not really my thing, but I'm not against it being on.
     
  14. Feb 26, 2004 #13
    Clear Channel must be doing a clear sweep of their company, as not only Howard Stern was knocked off, but so was Bubba the Love Sponge in the Tampa Bay area in Florida. From what I know, both Bubba and Stern were fired for similar reasons (indecently, etc.)

    From a business standpoint, it seems like they are kicking themselves in the groin.
     
  15. Feb 26, 2004 #14

    Kerrie

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    yes, it's a horrible business move on their part, but i suppose their reputation is worth it...
     
  16. Feb 27, 2004 #15
    I'd say reputation has little to do with it..."Bubba" cost Clear Channel $750,000, and the fines go up from there.
     
  17. Feb 27, 2004 #16

    Kerrie

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    zero, i was referring more to Howard Stern...he's a lot more well known then Bubba across the United States...at least they only suspended him for now (thank goodness not in my state!) and not banned him-that would for sure be a bad business move because he has a huge following as he is the voice for many liberals in this society currently dominated by bible thumping moral politicians...
     
  18. Feb 27, 2004 #17

    kat

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    Actually, there's a large population that has quietly grown tired of hearing crude, lude and rude programing....they aren't neccesarily bible thumping...or politicians. Every so often the majority wakes up when pushed too far, maybe this will prove out to be one of those periods. Not always a good thing, not always a bad thing.
     
  19. Feb 27, 2004 #18
    Sorta my sentiments as well, listened to George Carlin waaay back (sorry George) and he pioneered some of the use of 'offensive' language, as humor, as well, but there is to me a limit, I have no need of having to consistently, and persistently, and constantly, repetitvely, re-check, and re-verify, that I am 'free' by attempting to "push the rules to the limits"...not that insecure, and certainly not willing to be just quite that offensive towards that many "unknown people" (that is, after all, what a 'radio listening audience' is, unknown to the broadcaster....personally!) inasmuch as I might just be feeding someone kids things that should be reserved for there later years in life...let them have some innocence cause, it goes, seemingly, fast enough....funny though, it is never gone, unless you fool yourself into believing it is, then it does. (seem to go)

    Anyways, a little is funny....sometimes even I go to far, and it just ain't funny, no more....

    Yes, I have listened to his show, years ago, then he was taken off of the air in that city, too regularily offensive....('un-reasonably' and 'un-fairly' so, perhaps)
     
  20. Feb 27, 2004 #19
    Let me start out by letting you all know where I stand. I do not appreciate the government telling me what is good for me. I believe we should all take responsibility for our own actions. This extends to how we raise our children. I have two of my own; my wife and I are raising them to be free thinkers, and to be aware of their surroundings. However, we do control what they are exposed to, and limit that which we do not deem appropriate. We take control of censorship within our household.
    I fall under the category where I could care less if Stern is on the air, because I exercise my right to not listen. I personally do not care for his entertainment style. That is up to me as a free thinking American to decide.
    However, how does the suspension of Stern constitute a violation of free speech? The founders of this country instituted free speech in order to protect citizens from government persecution for speeking out against elected leaders, unfair policies, taxation etc. Free speach ensures that you will not be thrown in a jail cell and left to rot if you speek badly of the President. Free speech is to keep you from harm by the government or anyone else who may not agree with you. Free speech allows us to disagree, and voice those opinions.
    However someone may feel about Stern, I am sure that he is not being targeted for political statements or views that he has. He is in the spotlight for the 'shock value' he creates with sex and vulagrity. Well, these items are covered by the FCC, and just as this forum has clearly posted rules about what will be tolerated, so does the FCC. As a professional broadcaster, he is well aware of the line he is not cross. Entertainers like him push the envelope because it is free publicity, not to exercise free speech.
     
  21. Feb 27, 2004 #20
    So many responsibilities and privilages can be defined by an age limit - drinking, gun ownership, fornication - but one must acknowledge that these limits are porous. One may drink in Church when God knows how young, one may shoot a gun when knee-high, and the average age in the U. S. for losing virginity is around 15 years old .

    Rules on freedom were made to be broken, and this quick fix by the FCC is liable to promote the cause of controversial speech in the final analysis. Perhaps this censorship will "progress" to the point where free air time is a chaste wasteland, but pay-for-view Johns can get most any smut for which they choose to lay out.
     
  22. Feb 27, 2004 #21

    russ_watters

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    I never, ever spell "cei" words (recieve?) correctly, but fortunately, MS word auto-corrects them.
    Pretty much: What they canceled him for was pretty stupid. I'm still not sure I'm seeing what they are trying to accomplish, but I know for sure it'll backfire.
     
  23. Feb 27, 2004 #22
    Well... do i want to make a long really nice post or just some bullets... without explanations...

    ok..

    • First this is basically NOT about children at all.
    • It IS about money.
    • If it was about the "children" then about 90% of TV would be banned from the stand point of shows on TV with sex, violence, drugs, etc.
    • Stern I believe was not only kicked because of this but also cause the gov doesn't want him to bash Bush, since his views are viewed by millions and people love him (I for one) and since the current administration doesn't really like free speech. Funny too since he used to be for bush when there was the "war on terror" oh well.
    • I also think.. protecting children is pointless and if people really wanted to then I have no idea why they [media] glorify war. Oh well.

    Ok I am getting bored, I probably won't follow up. Just feel that I have been over this issue enough this week on different forums and etc. blah.
     
  24. Feb 28, 2004 #23
    The points I was making regarding "children" was to illustrate the fact that I do not care for censorship. I take responsibility for ti myself, and do not condone the government telling me what is good for me or my family.

    The main point I wanted to make was that this should not be considered a free speech issue.

    The media should publicize war so that the reality of it will be brought home to people. If more people could personally identify with the horrors of war, far more would oppose it. We are too quick to pull the trigger and send our military to fight and die for others who won't do it themselves, and then turn around to spit on us when the dirty work is done.

    As for not having to protect children? You obviously are not a parent if that is your standpoint. One day you will understand...
     
  25. Feb 28, 2004 #24

    kat

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    I think there's probably more to it then what meets the public eye and I'm not sure at all that it's a bad business move. In fact, after reading a bit...it almost seems as though CC saw a long awaited opportunity to break their contract with Howard. My understanding is that he was syndicated with viacom and his contract was part of the parcel that CC bought and were obligated to continue. Apparently, his breaking their regulations allow them to release him from his contract...Viacom..btw is CC's largest competitor. Why would they want to carry a viacom syndicated show if they could get out of it, legally? (not meant to be rhetorical)
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2004
  26. Feb 28, 2004 #25
    There is something to the idea of "What the market will bear", (Pardon the pun, un-intented) that is (sorta) codociled by the idea of the reality that the market 'place' can also use the legal system to impose it's "bearance rules" that is an aspect of the legal system, whether, or not, you can afford the cost of supporting your views.

    It isn't supression, it's 'limited' tolerance...
     
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