How did WMFO get away with that??

Donna Halper
Sat Dec 16 01:59:01 EST 2006

At 01:24 AM 12/16/2006, Hakim Madjid wrote:
>Tuned in WMFO in the wee hours of Saturday morning, 12/16/06
>approximately 1am. As sign off music they played Steve Earle's song
>F**k the FCC. 'MFO did *NOT* bleep out the 'F' - word.
>How did they get away with that, in this era of Congressional and FCC
>crackdowns on this sort of thing?

Years ago, there were inspectors and they actually dropped in at 
weird and unexpected times.  I recall being in college and they 
trained us about what to do if an FCC inspector knocked on our door 
(if he produces ID, you let him in, show him around, be very polite, 
and you call the PD immediately).  We also took bad language very 
seriously-- we either edited out the bad words or the record company 
gave us a clean version.  In fairness, many college stations are 
still very careful about using un-edited versions of songs.

But these days, unless somebody complains to the FCC, there are not 
many investigations nor are there sudden inspections.  When an 
investigation of a station does take place, it is often the results 
of advocacy groups with a lot of time on their hands and a particular 
agenda about "broadcast indecency," who have sent hundreds of letters 
and e-mails to the FCC.  There really are some folks who spend their 
lives taping stations they think are about to be offensive (this was 
done to Howard Stern often) and then sending the tapes along to the 
FCC with a request that they "look into it".  If you were offended by 
WMFO and if you sent the complaint to the FCC, chances are they'd 
investigate, but unless a listener initiated the request, I doubt any 
such investigation will occur.  As a public service, however, you may 
wanna leave voice-mail for the station's PD.  There is always the 
chance an underwriter might be listening and that can cause all sorts 
of problems... a few years back, a member of Emerson College's Board 
of Directors (or whatever it's called) was listening and heard a rap 
song with many many F bombs, and it became quite a scandal, with 
assorted people losing their show and the PD getting in trouble...   

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