Love Sponge's case has new twist


In defending Clear Channel Communications Inc.'s shock jock, Bubba the Love Sponge, from a
Federal Communications Commission indecency inquiry, Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP
attorneys tried a novel approach.

When the FCC asked the company to verify transcripts of 10 different Bubba
segments aired over four Florida stations between July and December 2001, Wiley
Rein lawyer John Burgett declined, instead asking the commission to specify which
portions of the transcripts were being questioned.

If successful, the move would have allowed the lawyers to rebut each charge
point-by-point. But FCC investigations chief Chuck Kelley declined, and in
late July, he ordered Bubba to stick with standard procedures: Confirm or deny the
broadcast, then refute specific sanctions on appeal.

Burgett says Sponge's initial response will be submitted by Monday (Aug. 5).