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Censorship In Radio Essay

1356 words - 5 pages

Censorship in radio For the past several years Freedom of speech in America has had it’s meaning changed many times. Although the changes have gone unnoticed by most Americans, In the radio business they are felt day in and day out. radio personalities, programmers, and owners have to deal with this everyday but they too have no real idea what the Federal Communications Commission’s idea of free speech is. You see the rule seems to change depending on who you are. If you are tagged by the FCC anything the broadcaster does or says is monitored and picked over and fined.( Howard stern. King Of All Media.165-166 ) The FCC has been picking on Howard Stern for years, they singled Howard for doing “trash radio”. But according to Stern other programs are saying or doing the same if not worse things than he is. Stern tells of when Geraldo said (Stern Miss America. 526-530.) in a show about the Mennendez brothers being molested for doing something wrong. “Hell, I’m not for child molestation, but if I knew anal sex . . . punishment, I’d keep my room clean.” Geraldo goes untouched. but Howard got fined for saying “lesbian’s filled with lust.” (Howard Stern. Miss America.519). That seems a bit more tame to me but since Stern is tagged he gets fined. The First Amendment states. “congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” This rule, over the years has changed to “congress shall make . . .” as interpreted by the FCC (king of all. 165) this makes no sense the word freedom, according to Webster’s Dictionary means the state of being free from constraints, possession of political and civil rights, unrestricted access or use yet, the FCC is in charge of what can and can’t be said over the airwaves. The FCC is the god of the broadcasting industry, they do not have to answer to anybody they have all the power to do whatever they want. The basic rule for a deejay is that he/she may not use the seven dirty words, all know them and understand they can not use them, But what nobody knows is, what else can’t a deejay say over the air. The rules are not documented. Most stations go by their own policy, And if their policy is wrong and something goes over the air that isn’t supposed to they can get pulled ( off the air) or fined. Martin Espada is a person who got pulled from the air and his poem censored. ( all things censored. 20-22 ) Espada says, he wrote a poem for the radio program All Things Considered called “imagine the angels of bread” about an African American wrongly accused of killing a Philadelphia police officer. And with the heat the poem would have generated the program with some forceful help from the FCC type group called National Public Radio the poem was pulled and Espada was no longer allowed to read his poetry on the air. Now Espada was never fined from the FCC because his poem never made the air waves, but the real question is, If it had, would Espada been fined? probably not, Because so many deejays that do “trash...

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