Tuesday, March 13, 2007

License challenges to FCC fall on deaf ears

The efforts by disgruntled listeners who have petitioned the FCC regarding political bias on conservative talk radio stations have met with indifference by the governing body.

In a clearing of the docket yesterday, the FCC rejected five informal objections to the license renewals of Clear Channel talk stations KFBK and KSTE in Sacramento. The objectors claimed that the stations' content is politically biased. However, the Commission pointed out that it does not involve itself in such matters.

Likewise, Clear Channel's renewal for WISN in Milwaukee was approved over the objections of a listener complaining about host and frequent Rush Limbaugh fill-in Mark Belling's derogatory use of the term "wetbacks" on his show back in October 2004.

In their decision on WISN, the FCC said the First Amendment and federal code "prohibit the Commission from censoring programming material or interfering with broadcasters' free speech rights. This holds true even if the material broadcast is insulting to a particilar minority or ethnic group in the station's community." Furthermore, "if there is to be free speech,it must be free for speech that we abhor and hate as well as for speech that we find tolerable and congenial." Apparently, raunchy language, provocative programming and 'wardrobe malfunctions' are not protected in this manner, though offensive racial slurs are.

Finally, an individual's complaint against the renewal of Clear Channel conservative talker WTVN in Columbus on the grounds of a "rapid qualitative decline in the programming and broadcasting" on the station was also dismissed.

3 comments:

Emacee said...

Are you saying only right wing talk is "biased?" Progressive talk is - what - "fair and balanced?"
Bias is bias - even when I happen to share the bias. That's objectivity.
These bias suits are two edge sword that can come back to bite liberal talk stations in the ass.

ltr said...

Where did I say that it was a conservative vs. liberal thing?

And there were no bias suits. This was merely complaints to the FCC, public file stuff, etc.

Aeris Gainsborough said...

KSTE can reach, in the afternoons only, the whole San Francisco Bay Area.

The programming lineup includes:

12 P.M. to 3 P.M. PST: Sean Insanity (this is bad news for KSFO, because KSFO has the NAZI doctor on the radio live, instead of Insanity, and as I mentioned, KSTE has the reach of the SF Bay Area).

3 P.M. to 7 P.M. PST (station powers down at 5 P.M. PST, and can only reach Sacramento): The Whinning Whinner

7 P.M. to 9 P.M. PST: Thy lying liar on the radio.

9 P.M. to 12 A.M. PST: The NAZI doctor on the radio.

KFBK, a sister station of KSTE (stupid Crappy Channel): has local talent, plus The Pig Man, live at 9 A.M. to 12 P.M. PST.

In the night, the station can reach the SF Bay Area.


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