Jim in Stewart Florida asks why I’ve not written on the Howard Stern thing. I’d not been paying attention to it because frankly, I thought it an open and shut case; the guy should have been jailed years ago. But this response of his to Clear Channel’s canning him is beyond he pale:

“This is not a surprise. This is a follow up to the McCarthy type “witch hunt” of the administration and the activities of this group of presidential appointees in the FCC, led by “Colin Powell Jr.” and his band of players. They and others (a senator from Kansas City to a congresswoman from New Mexico) are expressing and imposing their opinions and rights to tell us all who and what we may listen to and watch and how we should think about our lives. So this is not a surprise. It is pretty shocking that governmental interference into our rights and free speech takes place in the U.S. It’s hard to reconcile this with the “land of the free” and the “home of the brave”. I’m sure what’s next is the removal of “dirty pictures” like the 20th century German exhibit in a New York City Museum and the erotic literature in our libraries; they too will fall into their category of “evil” as well.—Howard Stern, April 8th 2004

(Cue the flag wavers, cue “America the Beautiful”….Rah-rah, freakin’ rah.)

Stern old sod, this isn’t a free speech case.  Should I sue Clear Channel because they won’t hire me, and that thereby they’re infinging on my right to free speech? If that argument won’t fly, how can yours?

Granted that free speech is in fact part of the constitution. That’s not the issue at hand here, however. What you’re looking for is not free speech, but a guaranteed audience, which the constitution does not provide for, particularly in a publicly owned venue, which the EM spectrum decidedly is.

You want to sell tapes of your show?
Great. Good luck to you.
Want to put it on satellite radio?
Yeah, that’ll work.
Cable TV?
That works, too.
Caberet shows?
If nobody’s stopping you from doing any of these… and they’re not… then your free speech isn’t being violated.

But radio, and it’s cousin, broadcast TV are a different matter, for several reasons, not least of which being they are owned by ALL the people, not just those seeking your show. You knew that going in, and to bitch about it now is utter nonsense.

You’re not the victim Howard, America was.
Quit making it out that you are. It doesn’t wash.
Your firing was long overdue.
I’d like to say nice knowing you, but it wasn’t.
Don’t let the door hit you in your fat ass on the way out.