SHOCK JOCKS: SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT CONTROL RADIO? | 2004-03-20
During all the talks about "shock jocks" like Howard Stern, people keep saying, "The government shouldn't be in the radio business." They say the government should keep its hands off because radio stations have rights.
Well, what about MY rights? I got my first amateur radio license over fifty years ago.* This gives me the right to use the airways, but I can operate only on amateur radio frequencies.
But I could just turn that old output dial around to a broadcast frequency and I would be a radio station. WhitakerOnline would be WOL, and I could easily broadcast to a population of a million people from right here.
Only one thing prevents WOL from going on the air today. That one thing is the fact that I would be arrested. Howard Stern would approve of my arrest. All the Free Speech advocates would cheer as I headed off to jail.
Commercial radio stations make billions of dollars each year using the broadcast frequencies. The government protects them by jailing anyone like me who tries to use those frequencies. Commercial radio owns them, courtesy of the government..
Isn't that government intrusion into the radio industry? I've never heard anyone complain about THAT.
Radio stations don't want the government to stay out of their business. They just want all the rights and none of the responsibilities.
* My call sign was K4ACV. Only another ham radio operator will realize how OLD a call sign like that is.