America, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down

4th of July Parade, Monticello, IA (2018)

Nothing is ever perfect, and things are always changing. This much I know to be true each and every day, whether it’s at work or life in general.

The one thing that I have a hard time accepting is when something goes backwards. When we give up on ways of doing things that were functioning relatively positively or just generally working pretty well due to some illogical voices of reason or lack of effort on how to make the big picture work for the sake of the greater good.

That makes it hard to convey any happiness about any freedoms or independence.

No one escapes the FCC inquisition

The FCC is pushing the pursuit of cleaning the airwaves even further. Going beyond live broadcasts of award ceremonies of the world’s rich and famous, sports programming is next.

In its continuing crackdown on on-air profanity, the FCC has requested numerous tapes from broadcasters that might include vulgar remarks from unruly spectators, coaches and athletes at live sporting events, industry sources said.

Tapes requested by the commission include live broadcasts of football games and NASCAR races where the participants or the crowds let loose with an expletive. While commission officials refused to talk about its requests, one broadcast company executive said the commission had asked for 30 tapes of live sports and news programs.

“It looks like they want to end live broadcast TV,” said one executive, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. “We already know that they aren’t afraid to go after news.” [reuters]

The article goes on to say that live sports events will come under an almost, “no-slip” rule, meaning that accidents will come with consequences.

Indecent or not, how are broadcasters supposed to police ambiant noise from the crowd in a live event? Go to an Iowa Hawkeye football game some time and pay attention to what is coming from the student section. Sometimes, those chants can be so loud that the mics in the announcer booth can be pick it up, and that’s in an outdoors venue.

7-second(perhaps even more than that) delays or just not putting a mic on the crowd will be the only answer. Or else you have to have some one listening for “bad stuff” on the ambiant audio as well as another person listening to the main content for more “bad stuff.” That means seperate delays for each, costing more money for the broadcaster.

I might be pushing the idea, but the tighter things get about this, the more that will need to be done to stay out of hot water. Kinda makes having 5.1 dolby-digital surround sound not worth it if the FCC cracks down so hard that you can enjoy what you thought you were paying for.  Rediculous.

Largest Payola Investigation Since 1960

The L.A. Times is reporting that the FCC is launching yet another probe into pay-for-play violations at radio stations around the U.S. There is part of me that is over joyed at the fact that something is finally being done, but I also have to hold my breath because there has been talk like this without any action before. Most of that has come from politicians and not the FCC, so I’m used to the hot air.

The FCC’s action comes amid New York Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer’s pay-for-play probe, launched in 2004, which has alleged wrongdoing by both music and radio companies. In February, Spitzer sued Entercom, alleging that high-ranking executives had implemented scams to trade cash for airplay of songs by such artists as Avril Lavigne, Liz Phair and Jessica Simpson.

Payola, plugola, or whatever you want to call it, these things happen every single day. Ever hear of record promoters? These are the players in the middle that skirt around those payola laws that resulted after Allen Freed went down for taking money to play music on his massively popular radio show in 1960. Continue reading “Largest Payola Investigation Since 1960”