Open Mike - Broadcasting & Cable

Open Mike

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About That Orange…

Editor:
We're complimented that BROADCASTING CABLE placed our bejeweled orange on the cover (April 12) and highlighted its purpose on page 20 ("Capital Watch"). Given the FCC's present sensitivity to the underlying indecency issues, let me emphasize that the event during the NAB Convention, at which Enforcement Bureau David Solomon will appear, is sponsored by Garvey Schubert Barer, not by the FCC.

Erwin Krasnow, Counsel, Garvey Schubert Barer, Washington, D.C.

Wrong on 'Silent Media'

Editor:
Concerning your editorial "The Silent Media" (April 12 edition, page 68), do you have a clue as to where broadcasters have been since consolidation?

I've been in radio and television for over 30 years, made well over 10,000 broadcast commercials, and programmed thousands of hours of radio. So these comments don't come from an outsider.

To state that "those guilty of offensive behavior are not the network gatekeepers—every now-notorious act of 'indecency' in the news was live, unplanned, a mistake" shows you've either buried your head in the sand or are one of the guilty looking for a scapegoat. These acts are done for shock value, and virtually all are planned.

Broadcasters have always had a responsibility to use the airwaves for the good of the communities they serve. Tell me why Howard Stern, Bubba the Love Sponge, or a couple of morning disc jockeys in Atlanta who screwed up planning to play a sexually oriented interview backwards to "get around" the indecency flap do this. It's not just the individual cases that warrant fines for indecency, but the fact that, no matter what station you turn to, it is present. The public can't escape it.

What's happened to virtually all of broadcasting is that the creators of programming have become too lazy to think their way to creative programs. Shock, sex, and violence are so very easy to "create."

As for your statement of not understanding "why the media has not knocked politicians off the bully pulpit of indecency," it shows how those in control (which obviously includes you and your staff) truly believe they own the airwaves and to hell with your responsibility to the public. I'm disappointed in BROADCASTING CABLE's stance.

Ken Dardis, President, Audio Graphics Inc., Cleveland (received via e-mail)

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