NPR's Ira Glass defends Howard Stern

Dan Strassberg
Sun May 9 17:36:06 EDT 2004

Did anyone else see the full-page opinion piece by Ira Glass, host of NPR's
"This American Life" in today's (5/9/2004) Sunday New York Times Magazine?
Glass feels that the FCC's new rules on obscenity are a serious threat to
free speech and points out that, in his opinion, Howard Stern has properly
sized up the problem. Glass ends the piece by pointing out that, in an
interview he conducted after the new rules had gone into effect on the
subject of the rules with a strong advocate of the rules, the advocate used
a phrase that is banned by the very rules the advocate favors. Use of the
phrase could have caused the FCC to levy half-million-dollar fines against
NPR and its affiliates.

There can be no doubt that the rules are--and have to be--arbitrary. OTOH,
back in the days before cable TV and satellite radio, the broadcasting
industry imposed similar rules on itself, and I must say that I can't think
of any instances in which I believe freedom of speech suffered as a

Dan Strassberg,
eFax 707-215-6367

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