It Grows Because We Let It
This CATHOLIC LEAGUE for Religious and Civil Rights embodies my frustration and fears.
Last week was particularly scary for me, partially because of Clear Channel's decision to drop Howard Stern from six of its stations. Now, I'm not worried about Howard Stern himself. He'll be fine. He'll probably end up running out his contract and then making a gigantic deal with Sirius or XM and becoming the savior of satellite radio -- cementing the struggling new non-commercial form as the radio equivalent of HBO, which has become a bastion of creativity and barrier-pushing in the good way. Or this FCC-appeasement period will, hopefully, pass and he'll sign a fat new contract. (Although, I can't help but feel a bit bad for him; I often think that I owe Howard Stern something for providing me with 25 hours of the most consistently sharp comedy for the last 12 years of my life. No one can match that. Those numbers are amazing, when you think about it.)
The reactionary tone in the country right now worries me a lot; the notion that satire is something to ban and focus on and we freak out about a boob during the Super Bowl as the biggest problem we have. The Pentagon itself released a study last week about the worst-case scenarios of global warming -- The Pentagon -- and yet we're focusing on a boob.
The saddest thing is that I can no longer listen to 103.1, the awesome new station that calls itself "LA's independent radio" -- because it's owned by Clear Channel. If you think media consolidation is not dangerous, think again.
But in better news, I won the Oscar pool at my party last night, so that's something.