Dennis & Callahan criticized for "election postponed" joke

Garrett Wollman
Wed Nov 5 14:00:39 EST 2008

<<On Wed, 5 Nov 2008 13:23:16 -0500, Sid Schweiger <> said:

> We didn't come this far to start making exceptions to the First
> Amendment just because someone is (gasp) OFFENDED!

Let's please stop this nonsense about "making exceptions to the First
Amendment".  The freedoms of speech, and of the press, have *never* in
the history of this country been absolute, and broadcast services,
using licensed spectrum, have always been subject to stricter
government regulation than unlicensed media, as confirmed in a long
line of Supreme Court decisions.

> The public does not own those frequencies,

Yes it does; that is the entire basis of the FCC's regulation; the
broadcast spectrum -- all of it -- is a commons, belonging to the
public as a whole.  Licensees receive only a right to use it; they do
not have any legal entitlement to, much less ownership of, spectrum
beyond that given them by the public through the FCC.  (My libertarian
friends would like to change that, but it hasn't happened yet.)

> If the "public" really owns the "airwaves," try walking into your
> local radio station and demand to be put on the air.  After all,
> you're a member of the "public," right?

Don't trip over the strawman on the way out the door, Sid.


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