Rehr, Cuomo, Karmazin Weigh In Against Indecency Regs
June 20, 2006 at 6:15 AM (PT)
After a lukewarm start calling for more regulation of the industry's satellite competitors, NAB Pres./CEO DAVID REHR is now voicing stronger opposition to the recently enacted indecency law and general crackdown on broadcast speech.
BROADCASTING AND CABLE reports that REHR appeared on BILL O'SHAUGHNESSY's WVOX-A-WRTN/NEW ROCHELLE, NY talking about content issues with O'SHAUGHNESSY and former NEW YORK Governor MARIO CUOMO, with REHR warning that "there is not that much of a span between what is considered indecent and something that people should dare not talk about. And when you get into the idea that there are certain things that people in AMERICA should not talk about, then that is bad for the country." CUOMO agreed, scoring Congress for its "palpable hypocrisy" and calling legislative spending in "arcane, invisible bills that nobody gets a chance to see" more "obscene."
...when you get into the idea that there are certain things that people in America should not talk about, then that is bad for the country
Karmazin "Embarrassed" By NAB Position
But in an interview with the magazine, SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO CEO MEL KARMAZIN said that he is "a little embarrassed to see where the NAB is today" on indecency, saying that "the NAB is spending more time talking about who should be regulated as compared to defending the industry against regulation. I feel sorry to see what their viewpoint is; I think it's misguided. I would've hoped the NAB would have been talking about why the content shouldn't be regulated and where the government should go the other way, rather than pointing fingers and saying, 'But why aren't you regulating all of these others?' It just is a silly argument for an organization to make.."
Calling the NAB's complaint of satellite receiver "bleed-through" "a totally lame argument," KARMAZIN told B&C that "I think the government is causing more harm to AMERICA" with its attempts to regulate indecency "than a view of JANET JACKSON's top for two-tenths of a second." KARMAZIN said that the radio industry did a horrible job in using its political capital.... when broadcasters want something to happen, they do a pretty good of lobbying. On this subject of decency, I guess people just don't care that much about it. And now there's lip service talking about, yeah, we're going fight it in the courts and things like that. But I don't think there is as great an effort speaking out for free speech as there once was on the part of broadcasters."
Upton Plans Roundtable With Pols, FCC To Hash Out Indecency Definitions
And Rep. FRED UPTON (R-MI) told the magazine that he intends "to have a roundtable discussion with members of the subcommittee and some of the commissioners to better define the parameters that the broadcasters operate under, or should operate under. I hope to do that next month. It could be a constructive discussion, and we'll see whether it prompts any further action."