A few weeks ago, Don Imus filled the press with delightfully stupid remarks on which every one felt compelled to debate, comment, yell, scream, make inappropriate comparisons, and issue death threats. Eventually, CBS fired Imus, which the jock had to gleefully endure since he filed a lawsuit, and will someday win a few bazillion dollars for calling a group of basketball players a derogatory name. I'm not sure why he'll be rewarded for those comments with a victorious lawsuit, but the world is a topsy-turvey kinda place.
But now, the reprecussions from said incident are bouncing their way toward satellite radio. I have thus far resisted the evils for satellite radio because I fear that it will soon be the demise of local radio. Instead of a country full of djs, we will soon have JACK-FM broadcasting without any personality, or we'll have one guy speaking to everyone. Blah.
The upside of satellite radio is that it is outside of the completely unnecessary watch of the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC likes to pretend that it can and should set the moral standard for every one, fining those it deems offensive and silencing the unpopular voice. You'll note that they did not have a peep to say about Don Imus and the system worked it's magic as the vocally offended managed to remove Imus without a government mandate. Yay for people policing themselves!
Back to the issue at hand, though, XM Satellite Radio has opted to begin policing itself. Moronic shock jocks Opie and Anthony who were kicked off of New York radio for sponsoring a contest that eventually led to a couple having sex in a church live on the air. Clearly not the kind of people you want your daughter dating.
Regardless, it cost them their jobs and they, much like Imus will eventually, cashed in on their newfound fame by signing a lucrative deal with satellite radio. Just last week, Opie and Anthony put a homeless guy on the air who promptly spewed forth sexual comments toward a handful of famous people. XM cared not for these remarks and suspened their bad boy DJs.
A commentary/newspiece (and boy the Torch still is the king of those) written over at CNN suggests that XM satellite, which operates outside of FCC regulation because it is a subscription service, decided to suspend the doofuses (doofi?) for more government reasons than would otherwise be the case.
The suspension also demonstrates how scared the satellite radio companies are of looking like the poster children for bad behavior at a time when XM and Sirius will depend on the goodwill of the government to green-light their merger.
So because Imus said naughty things, and because XM and Sirius want to merge, and because they want the government to smile on their combing forces, and because Opie and Anthony were at the wrong place at the wrong time, a non-government regulated company is restricting the free speech it so gladly advertised at its conception. I miss the first amendement.