In the wake of an FCC crackdown on indecency inspired by Janet Jackson's Super Bowl exposure on the half-shell, radio giant Clear Channel issued a Stern warning to its on-air personalities. It dumped shock jock Howard Stern (above) from some stations, fired Florida DJ "Bubba the Love Sponge" (subject of a $755,000 FCC fine), and threatened immediate suspension of any announcer who airs material the FCC sees fit to investigate.
That seems harsh. If all you have to do is file a complaint, it may not be long before no one's left on the air. If this sticks, the pendulum has not only swung away from sleaze, it's become wedged on the squeaky-clean side. But we doubt it.
"I think there is a sensitivity at this time for this type of programming," said Darryl Parks, director of AM operations for Clear Channel Cincinnati, which sounded an awful lot like "Pssst! Wait 'til the coast is clear!"
Maybe it's time to cut the game-playing. An industry task force to develop specific decency standards, suggested by Clear Channel, might be a common-sense way to chart a middle course between trash and prudery.
Role of Rose
ESPN said last week that it will produce a film about fallen Reds great Pete Rose. An exec says it's part of an effort to make films that "transcend sports - a morality tale with complex, conflicted characters struggling to do what is right." We'll just bet.
On the Enquirer Web site, you can vote for the actor you want to portray Rose. The list doesn't include Jim Caviezel, fresh off his lead role in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Maybe there's only so much flogging one actor can take.
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