Listener Files Petition For FCC Rehearing on Indecency Cases
March 15, 2004
Fed up with FCC fines against Clear Channel and Infinity for broadcasts deemed "indecent," as well as Clear Channel's decision to take Howard Stern off the air, a New York attorney says he has filed papers with the FCC to intervene on behalf of himself and millions of other listeners. Civil rights attorney Carl E. Person feels that if the public doesn't intervene now regarding fines for Bubba the Love Sponge and WKRK/Detroit's Deminski & Doyle, then Stern will be the next casualty. "If Howard Stern is taken off the air, I feel that my First Amendment rights are being violated too," Person said.
Person issued a press release saying his "intervention" relates to FCC penalty proceedings against Clear Channel and Infinity. He's getting involved because he claims the radio companies are unable to appeal the fines themselves out of fear that the FCC will strip their licenses away if they do. The papers Person filed with the Commission claim that he, as a listener, has standing to assert First Amendment rights to have shows such as The Howard Stern Show available for him and the other 18,000,000 listeners, unless the federal courts hear and determine that it and other shows meeting a properly-adopted, specified obscenity or indecency standard are barred from radio broadcasting.
"Clearly, this is a violation of the First Amendment and Due Process rights of Infinity Broadcasting, Clear Channel Communications, Howard Stern, myself and Stern's other 18,000,000 listeners," Person said of the FCC's indecency crackdown. "A policy which imposes a prior restraint on the broadcasters and prevents them from having access to the courts to obtain any relief, and also appears to be a highly selective, discriminatory and arbitrary enforcement of newly-created FCC obscenity and indecency standards, for use against Stern or other targeted radio personality, to curry favor with the religious right."
Person served his intervention papers to the FCC on March 8. To see the detailed legal documents, visit www.lawmall.com/hs.