L. Bird pkeets at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 21 01:13:07 CDT 2004

>I have to agree with the arbitrary FCC behavior, but Stern was fined just 
heavily during Clinton- more than once having to go to court over fines in
excess of a million dollars for jokes such as the description of a guy 
piano with his "member."  It seems Mike Powell at the FCC (appointed by 
is responding to increased complaints from busy-body activist groups, and I
would LOVE to argue for Stern and company over lack of proper notice of what 
and is not against the law.

As I said in another post, I gather that the fines have increased just 
recently, to the point where several Clear Channel stations have dropped 
Stern.  Stern (previously a Bush supporter) has blamed President Bush for 
his loss of income, and is now campaigning against him.

>All the other conjecture about the government holding Clear Channel hostage
unless they stop playing the Dixie Chicks is just that- conjecture.  And the
fact that Clear Channel didn't get what they wanted should speak volumes.

But they did get what they wanted.  After this huge demonstration of their 
support for President Bush, the FCC  rules changed in their favor.  This is 
what started the press enquiry into the possibility of a connection.

>However, my comment on Elton was that the baclashes he referred to over 
>artists speaking out against the war has been from non-government sources.

Once there's suspicion about Clear Channel's support and the FCC rules, then 
folks will tend to suspect that other companies are reacting in response to 
government pressure.  This administration already seems to have established 
a pattern of this behavior (e.g. Wilson-Plame), so it's easy for both 
companies and artists to believe it.   If the government is involved, of 
course, then it becomes a violation of constitutional rights.

Regardless of whether there was any government pressure, I'm personally 
concerned about a radio station monopoly that tries to dictate the politics 
of artists it plays.  You might make a case that employees represent their 
employers and might be terminated for saying things that reflect poorly 
(e.g. Ronstadt, Goldberg), but I think Clear Channel is asking for an 
anti-trust suit with its attempt to control The Dixie Chicks.

>I actually have no problem with the Dixie Chicks speaking their minds as 
>long as they don't
do it on foreign soil.  It's like athletes bad-mouthing teammates outside 
the lockerroom.  It's just a crappy thing to do.

Why is there a difference?  They get CNN in the UK, and they hear everything 
on the news we do.  It's not like we can keep our dirty laundry hidden in 
the US--the UK is involved in the same political split.  Any US artist that 
performs there will be faced with the politics.


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