Thursday, February 26, 2004

Janet Jackson fallout: As my old friends Clear Channel Communications get ready to do the high-morals two-step before Congress, Howard Stern gives them a chance to show just how serious they are.
Clear Channel Communications knocked Howard Stern's radio show off stations in six cities yesterday as the nation's largest radio chain announced a crackdown on "indecent content" on its 1,200 stations. Clear Channel executives were responding to a segment of Stern's Tuesday broadcast in which they say he used sexually explicit language and graphically discussed a pornographic videotape.
I didn't hear the show (it's not available here, anyway) but I'm pretty familiar with his typical content. I worked for a Clear Channel station for several years and one of our sister stations carried Stern for much of that time. I had to hear it every morning at work, while having coffee and talking to clients on the phone, which made for the occasional spit take, to say the least. I can't imagine that anything unprecedented was said in the interview, and if a "racist (unspecified) word" was used, is that really grounds for booting him off the air? It was a caller, after all, who used the word, not Howard or one of his staff. But it's just too much for CCC president John Hogan.
"Clear Channel drew a line in the sand today with regard to protecting our listeners from indecent content, and Howard Stern's show blew right through it," Hogan said.
No, Mr. Hogan, it looks like Howard walked the same path he usually does, and you snuck up and drew a line behind him.

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