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Re: Jackass,Viacom&CBS

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Pappalardo" <joepappalardo2001@yahoo.com>
To: "Dan Billings" <dib9@gwi.net>;
Sent: Saturday, June 02, 2001 1:00 PM
Subject: Re: Jackass,Viacom&CBS

> Wasn't this the way it has been for 60 years or so with little or no
> problems?

No.  It led to many stations finding ways to meet the letter of the rules
without serving anyone by running "public service" shows at 5 AM on Sunday

It also led to regulations like the "fairness doctrine" that discouraged
stations from discussing issues because they could be forced to give time to
the other side.

> B'casters were required to prove, substantiate and be held accountable
> the were operating in the public interest and not shirking their
> responsibilities within the community.

Many of those requirements were on the books when I first got into radio and
they were a joke.  There were paperwork requirements and hoops to jump
through, but they accomplished little.  There is no way a bureaucrat in DC
can accurately judge whether a station is serving the public interest.  All
the bureaucrat can do is make sure the right boxes have been checked on the
forms and the right hoops have been jumped through, or respond to an
organized license challenge against the broadcaster.

> If I understand your argument...if operated a radio station advocating
> hatred against Jews, Blacks, Gays....that would be fine with you...as long
> as he got a big market share.

It's OK by me even if they don't get a big market share.  I wouldn't listen
and would encourage others to do the same, but I wouldn't have the
government shut them down.  That's the price of a free society.  The
alternative is a system like Canada where Howard Stern can be censored
because one group or another is offended by him.

> What I'm pointing to is your extreme position (it's either one way or
> another.)  Isn't there some reasonable middle ground here?  Or do we all
> have to hold fast to an extreme ideology that may not always be
> appropriate to the circumstance.

What you call extreme ideology, I call principles.  Principles that our
forefathers fought to defend.  Principles that people today take for granted
and are too willing to see eroded.

In my opinion, free speech rights should apply to broadcasters in the same
way they apply to newspaper and magazine publishers.  I would limit the
government's role to regulating the limited spectrum through licensing.

-- Dan Billings, Bowdoinham, Maine