No Censorship Age

As the election nears, CBS executives try to pull a fast one by reinstating the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" for a No Age performance.

Election years tend to put a strain on the relationship between the media establishment (at least its old-school incarnations) and entertainers/artists (to say nothing of the strain between the media and the candidates, or between entertainers/artists and the candidates). The executives for the major television networks, especially, may feel besieged as hundreds of watchdog groups search for any shred of what could be negatively interpreted as media bias. Granted, it's the kind of bias that ethical journalists should avoid, but--let's be real, people--can never be completely excised. Take this Digest post, for instance.

When so-hot-right-now, Sub Pop group No Age went in to record a segment for CBS's Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson last week, one of the producers, presumably, told guitarist Randy Randall that he couldn't wear a shirt with Obama's image on it because it violated the FCC's "Fairness Doctrine," which essentially said that equal airtime must be given to both candidates. "Said" being the operative word, because the doctrine was repealed in 1987. Randall was told that if he did not remove the shirt, No Age would not play. He compromised by turning the shirt inside-out and writing "FREE HEALTH CARE" on it, but the argument is moot. The CBS executive(s) had no legal reason to demand Randall's compliance. Furthermore, legal substantiation or not, this was a clear act of censorship, and it's up to We the People to stand up to these First Amendment violations through Election Day.

TMN Editor Erik Bryan is living the dream. He grew up in Florida, but he’s from all over. He likes playing chess, making cocktails, smarting off, and not freezing to death in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. More by Erik Bryan

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