Based upon what the Love Sponge imposed upon the airwaves of Florida, I’m sure it’s good riddance; and neither do I think his case is one of free speech – the airwaves are finite and correctly regulated for content. But leave it to Clear Channel to respond with nukes to what should have been a surgical strike:
- One day after firing controversial Florida radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge, Clear Channel Communications Inc. said Wednesday it adopted new “decency” standards to make sure that material its radio stations air conforms to local community standards.
The San Antonio-based company, the largest U.S. radio station operator with more than 1,200 outlets, said it will amend existing contracts with all on-air personalities to hold disc jockeys financially responsible for uttering indecent material on air.
On Tuesday, Clear Channel said it fired the popular Bubba the Love Sponge, who legally changed his name from Todd Clem, after federal regulators accused him of airing sexual material on Tampa’s WXTB-FM and three other Florida stations.
….Clear Channel said it would conduct in-house training for employees and mete out automatic suspensions to anyone alleged by the Federal Communications Commission to violate indecency rules.
The policy changes are the latest in a wave of actions taken by broadcasters to address decency concerns following the Feb. 1 Super Bowl halftime show, when pop diva Janet Jackson’s right breast was exposed on live television.
Chief Operating Officer Mark Mays said the changes reflect a “zero tolerance” policy for indecent content at Clear Channel.
In a statement, John Hogan, chief executive of Clear Channel Radio, said: “If a DJ is found to be in violation of FCC rules, there will be no appeals and no intermediate steps. If they break the law by broadcasting indecent material, they will not work for Clear Channel.” [Reuters]
See, the biggest problem with Clear Channel’s massive size and bureaucracy is that there is no such thing as reasonableness: on the one hand they are airing the most reprehensible vile shit, because no one said, “Hey, that’s unreasonable – Bubba, tone that shit down, you fucking moron.”
And then now, on the other hand, we have the draconian reaction: “automatic suspensions to anyone alleged by the Federal Communications Commission to violate indecency rules,” and irrevocable firing of anyone found in violation. Talk about a chilling effect – I would imagine the decency quotient at Clear Channel stations will go way up, but jocks will be on pins and needles. Again, no one saying, “let’s be reasonable,” so the company lurches from one extreme to the other with no sense of scale or grounding. Grandstanding, ass-covering dicks.