Tuesday, March 9, 2004
Maybe Led Zeppelin played too many solos on my eardrums, but I wouldn't know Alice In Chains from Marilyn Manson. They all thump and howl like cats in a clothes dryer.
WEBN radio's slight cleanup unlikely to last
Accidentally tuning in WEBN on the radio is like stumbling into the sloppy bedroom of one of those teen-Goth, hate-the-world, Columbine killers.
And the so-called music is the least of it.
"Warped enough that my mother wondered why I'm still alive," said one of the fan e-mails in a stuffed file of public comments at the Cincinnati station, 102.7 on the FM dial.
"I'll do anything for Metallica tickets," a teenybopper wrote.
"I have been listening to WEBN for four years," boasted Kyle - age 14. (Someone should report his parents for child neglect.)
If the stuff that's on WEBN were in a comedy club, they would check IDs at the door. If WEBN disc jockeys told the same jokes to kids on a playground, they'd be busted for contributing to the delinquency of minors - for starters.
But for years, they have been twisting the radio dial downward, sticking a grimy thumb in the public's eye. They could give Hustler a bad name if they weren't so busy promoting it by asking porn stars to describe their "work" on the air.
Nearly everyone has raised an eyebrow at WEBN billboards, such as "-CK You," or "Rock Hard in the Morning."
But that's Disney compared to the "Dawn Patrol" broadcasts. I can't repeat the X-rated stuff that has been recorded by Citizens for Community Values. But it would make Howard Stern blush - if he could.
Chris Kerber of West Chester, a CCV volunteer, has been listening and recording Dawn Patrol shows for a half-hour a week since last fall. "It was a shock," she said. "I knew it was not the kind of music I enjoyed, but I didn't expect the never-ending barrage of innuendoes and blatant representation of sex acts.
"I can be tolerant of a lot of different behaviors," said Kerber, 57. "But this crosses the line."
She often thinks of quitting, "But someone needs to do this."
Her letter is in the files at WEBN, too. "The treatment of women is continuously degrading," she said. "They are treated as something to be used." And she wonders what that teaches the 10- to 14-year-old boys who listen.
Fan mail far outnumbers complaints. So for years, protests were brushed off. But when FCC Chairman Michael Powell was disgusted like nearly everyone else by the Super Bowl halftime show, the FCC woke up.
A Clear Channel station in Florida paid a $755,000 fine for an indecent show by "Bubba The Love Sponge." Clear Channel president John Hogan said he was "ashamed" by it, and the company issued a "zero tolerance" policy: Anyone fined by the FCC will be fired.
Complaints are suddenly heart-attack serious at WEBN, owned by Clear Channel.
Kerber and three other volunteers have found WEBN has cleaned up a bit. Fans noticed, too. "- the FCC," said one e-mail. "This new family friendly crap sucks."
But CCV Vice President David Miller says, "As soon as everyone goes back to sleep, they will gravitate back, unless they see someone suddenly fired." He has cited 20 examples of WEBN indecency in a complaint asking the FCC to reject WEBN's license renewal this year, or at least fine someone.
If someone gets fired, "That's an unfortunate lesson they would have to learn," Kerber said.
Even a Def Leppard would get the message: Clean it up.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 768-8301.
Bronson: WEBN radio's slight cleanup unlikely to last
Kucinich loses Ohio big, and he's no Howard Dean
Paper sculptures impress First Lady
TOP LOCAL HEADLINES
Children's adding research tower
Ohio strapped for cash again
'Complacent' pat-downs missed gun
Police seeking vendor's shooter
Hill indicted in abuse case
Rainforest first expansion
Park & Ride - less park
Chase nabs FBI fugitive
Boone ready for VP
Casino gambling not likely in Kentucky, backer says
LaSalle seeks bond help from county
Anti-war groups plan joint protest
Soldier armored by dad
Sirens signal weather woes
This class not a bed of roses
Boone considers bus options
St. Ursula Academy hosts Mass for Schott
Ex-chief's stance backed
A battler, Hamilton man named honorary officer
Hourly workers at Miami get raises up to 20%
Deerfield sponsors annual cleanup days
Manuel C. Battle ran funeral home started by parents
Lt. Robert Evans rose through Clermont ranks