Alibi V.13 No.11 • March 11-17, 2004 

Thin Line

Indecent proposals. A fax, supposedly from radio behemoth Clear Channel, made the rounds to local media last week informing us that two local radio personalities had been suspended as part of Clear Channel's crack-down on indecency.

The broadcast giant's "zero tolerance" policy went into effect last month and is meant to "protect" the public from naughty radio content. The puritanical policy happened immediately after a few uptight politicians (Heather Wilson, we're looking at you) and members of the religious right went into hysterics over this year's Super Bowl halftime show, in which Janet Jackson's breast was exposed for less than two seconds. Clear Channel executives were called to testify before Congress on the matter of broadcast indecency (and were slapped with an industry record $775,000 fine for 26 indecency violations and failing to properly file government documents). The company's subsequent crackdown has meant that a broadcaster called Bubba the Love Sponge, whose broadcast was responsible for $715,000 worth of the aforementioned fines, has been fired and shock-jock Howard Stern has been canned at six major stations. (To be clear, I'm not exactly a fan of Stern's show but hate censorship as much as the misogynistic crap that Stern spews forth.)

So after reading the Clear Channel fax that claimed Young Marc and Buck of 104.7 "The Edge" had been suspended as part of the new indecency plan, it appeared that the witch-hunt had spread to the Duke City. That wasn't exactly the case. It turns out the fax was part of a political statement the morning DJs were making against Clear Channel's iron fist. The DJs also announced on their show that they were being suspended by Clear Channel (they weren't) and used the bogus suspension as a platform to examine the company's actions.

"We feel it's inappropriate to make the air talent responsible for fines levied by the FCC for behavior considered to be indecent," they said. "Our job is to entertain, and if our particular brand of humor isn't appealing, the public is free to change the station."

We say, good for them for sticking it to their giant, lame-ass corporation of a boss by standing up for what they believe in and for creating some dialogue about the issue. Now if only other local media had realized the announcement was a hoax. The Albuquerque Journal reported it as such, but KASA-Fox Channel 2 missed the real story and fell for the bogus fax and radio broadcast.