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Hometown: TN
Home country: US
Member since: Thu Jun 17, 2004, 09:22 AM
Number of posts: 18,186

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Black and White TV and AM Radio

I know that a lot of you don't give a flip about AM Radio. You feel the same way about black and white TV.
But some of us like B&W TV, the same way some people enjoy driving vintage cars and living in mildewy castles.

AM Radio is the truckers', the travelers and the poor person's night time diversion and entertainment. AM Radio is the programming rich and poor people listen to in times of emergency and disaster. Of course it crackles and fades in and out. This drives my kids crazy. But they just don't get it. I grew up in the sixties listening to stations broadcasting up and down the east coast late at night on my chunky, waterproof, indestructible transistor radio. The sputters and fade are part of the charm, kids.

You're as likely to pick up a crystal clear station from Chicago or New Orleans as you are one from the big city nearest you. This used to mean that radio was a great way to "see" the country, through local programs that highlighted the style and concerns and weather and activities of people in cities where I'd never been. Now that a few corporations own most of those frequencies, the majority of AM stations sound the same whether in the Midwest, the Northeast or the South. The programming is centralized (funny how much Republicans hate centralization of power in government, but adore it on public airwaves.) The same answers are presented as solutions whether in Nashville or New Haven; the same voice mimics the voice before it and the voice before it.

To listen to our national airwaves, one would think we are a nation made up completely of regressive republicans, loser libertarians and cranky conservatives. One would think the majority of Americans believe that Democrats are evil, liberals should die, that it's time to take up arms and start shooting Democratic politicians. How is this possible at a time when the Republican Congress has a 9% approval rating and the Democratic President has anywhere from a 35 - 91% approval rating? How is this legal?

How is a corporation like Clear Channel acting in the best interest of 800+ stations' communities when its stations broadcast blatant lies from one party, zero information from the other party, and actual calls to violence against the latter?

The hardware for AM Radio is cheap. If you're in a car, there's probably an AM receiver. If you're homeless, a small battery-operated radio from the dollar store will get you tuned in. In a power outage or while out camping, a hand crank or solar radio will pick up AM Radio no matter where you are and no matter how many other utilities and services and media are down. AM Radio used to be there in times of crisis. I recall hosting my own AM radio show during storms, providing a place for people to call in with up-to-the-minute road conditions and to share their stuck-in-the-dark fears. AM Radio was a medium people looked to for information and reassurance.

But don't count on today's AM Radio to help you. It's a virtual unchecked Clear Channel Gangland of violent rhetoric, fear-mongering and falsehood. In the next weather emergency, you'll tune in only to hear one of the sycophantic blowhard talk hosts being broadcast in Chicago and New York and Miami and Kalamazoo and Chattanooga and Oklahoma City and LA and Seattle telling you whom to hate today, but not a thing about whether it's safe to drive downtown or what made the power go out in your neighborhood. Your local emergency is not Clear Channel's problem.

The FCC may not care that Clear Channel is not living up to its licensing agreements. To me, the FCC's negligence and tacit approval of violent rhetoric and political discrimination is a betrayal of all of us, especially the citizens who most rely on AM Radio.

For those who don't understand the passion over AM Radio, this is a meager explanation. Those who love AM like me please feel free to add your own illustrations.

Please help Occupy Clear Channel. Monday. Every day.


And Welcome to DU3!!!!!!!

Occupy Clear Channel - Take Back OUR Airwaves 12/12/11



Join us Monday, December 12th for a national action to "Occupy" Clear Channel stations and demand our rights as owners of the radio airwaves.
Clear Channel stations across the country are abandoning progressive talk in favor of even more right-wing stations on our airwaves - in anticipation of an election year. We will let them know that eliminating progressive views and further promoting right wing pro-corporate views to the exclusion of any other thought is not acceptable on our public airwaves.
This will be in conjunction with a physical protest in Sacramento. We will meet at 1440 Ethan Way at Clear Channel's offices in Sacramento Monday morning at 10:30. Then we will go inside to inspect their public files.
And we are asking other people around the country to do inspections of Clear Channel stations on the same day. Can you help in this action to start reclaiming our public airwaves?
It's easy: Just visit your local Clear Channel station on Monday, during normal business hours. Politely tell them you are there to inspect their public files. Because we are the owners of the airwaves, they legally must let you in. If they do not , get their names and write down what they tell you, and let us know. (Details of our rights are at http://transition.fcc.gov/mb/audio/decdoc/public_and_broadcasting.html . We suggest you print this and carry it with you in case the stations do not well understand our legal right to conduct such inspections. Refer to the section, "The Local Public Inspection File."
Find out where your local Clear Channel station is here: http://www.clearchannel.com/Radio/StationSearch.aspx? (You may need to cut and paste into your browser.)
They may ask you for your name and address, and may charge a reasonable amount for photocopying files. They also may observe you as you do your inspection. They may NOT ask you to identify your organization or reason for doing an inspection, and they cannot refuse to provide you with a copy of the file.
Once inside, we suggest you start by looking at the letters file. You will (should) find complaints there; see who is complaining and about what, and how the station is reacting to the community. Also, look through the political files; find out who is buying political ads and for how much money.
You will be amazed at what you find, and you'll find it enormously empowering. Take notes and tell us what you discover.
If you plan to join us, please reply to this email or post on our facebook page before Monday, and we will add your city to our publicity outreach. If we can have people in many cities inspect Clear Channel's files on the same day, we will send a powerful message to Corporate radio station owners that WE own the airwaves, and they must serve our interest - the public interest.

Helpful links:
Occupy Clear Channel Facebook page:
Stories on Clear Channel flipping stations here:
The New York Times just did an article Sunday about our rights, and how stations can be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for refusing public entry at will : http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/nyregion/at-radio-and-tv-outlets-a-little-known-trove-of-kudos-and-complaints.html?_r=3
Broadcast Law Blog http://www.broadcastlawblog.com/2011/12/articles/general-fcc/what-the-ny-times-article-on-the-broadcast-public-inspection-file-says-about-the-fccs-public-file-requirements/index.html
Full details about public files inspections:


This is reprinted from the website at the first link above.

If you are in a city where you have a Clear Channel station (they lease over 800 of our frequencies so chances are good that they lease a station in your town), please pay the station a visit. After this week's airing of a call to violence against progressives and our elected officials aired on 1510 WLAC AM, it has become apparent that Clear Channel intends to deny access and discriminate on OUR airwaves against Democrats, progressives and liberals.

Please visit a station near you and follow the above procedures. These are YOUR airwaves. Hold Clear Channel accountable for their blatant bias and for their violent rhetoric.


You should also contact Sue Wilson (Now a DUer SueWilson) and let her know which city you're in and which station you're inspecting.

You can contact her at sue@mediaactioncenter.net

Thanks to all who take part in this National Action Day!

And thanks to bfealk and SueWilson for directing us to this great organization: Media Action Center

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