....LMB: "Conglomerates Smash!"....

January 27, 2004

FCC proposes $755,000 fine against Clear Channel- yes, the American radio behemoth (coming your way, Brits, watch out) has run afoul of government regulators and face their wrath. What was the crime? Monopolistic practices? Political bias? Censorship? No no. The FCC was angered that four Clear Channel stations in Florida aired "indecent material" of some sexual nature 26 times on their show "Bubba the Love Sponge." (they didn't specify what they found indecent, exactly, but perusing Bubba's page, I would guess perhaps it was the segment where he had women call in while masturbating with dildos. From the look of it, Bubba is an asshole)

Corporate Radio Doesn't Suck- an LA Weekly columnist discovers a new "indie" station in Los Angeles, 103.1 FM. Sounds like it's college meets hipster meets aging alt-rock snob, which is probably enjoyable to listen to. But "indie" it's not. Surprise surprise, it's owned by Clear Channel Inc., and run by Entravision Communications Corporation (which oddly is a Spanish-language-centric media corp). Don't know why you'd listen to 103.1 when you could listen to 104.7... sometimes.

Fox News: Attention, Wal-Mart Shoppers- not content to destroy the world in their own respective fields, Wal-Mart and Fox News have formed a partnership in which Wal-Mart will play Fox News segments on the TVs in their stores. In other news, Sauron and Cobra Commander are throwing a barbecue this weekend, and you're invited.

Media ownership: Deal loosens limits, but less than FCC wanted- I really should've covered this story better. I knew it was going down, but didn't write about it. Long story short: in the spring, the FCC changed broadcast regulations so that it was legal for a single company to own media that reaches 45% of Americans, up from the previous limit of 35%. Amazingly, Congress took them on, threatening to pass bills that would drop the limit back to 35%. Then, a "compromise" provision got snuck into the recent Spending Bill (y'know, the one that if not passed shuts down the entire federal government), which knocked the limit down to 39%. Coincidentally, News Corps (Fox) and Viacom (CBS) reach 38% of Americans...

Posted by Jake at 09:03 PM | TrackBack (0)

Please tell me Clear Channel does not own 103.1, I thought radio was finally back. Now I'm depressed.

Posted by: at January 28, 2004 04:36 PM

I remember Wal-Mart broadcasted war coverage in one their stores once. Oceania, you never been?

Posted by: Eric at January 28, 2004 09:23 PM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

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November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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