I'm a DJ for a very large college radio station (broadcasting all over the Boston metropolitan area in the middle of FM dial) and the most disconcerting facet of the post-wardrobe malfunction FCC crackdowns is the fact that even a single incident would result in my station being shut down. We got one complaint a few years ago (in the more tolerant era), so now, if we were to become a repeat offender, the fine--several hundred thousand dollars--would completely bankrupt the station. SInce we're independently funded through ad revenue, there's no way we could pay, and we'd be off the air--just if somebody complained to the FCC because a late-night DJ slipped up and said "Fuck" on air, even when we're actually allowed to play music containing the same word.
To me, at least, it seems incredibly obvious that the punishments are beyond the limits of sanity. The FCC is trying to look out for the standards of our community? Yes, my station plays underground rock and hip-hop at night (I DJ for those programs), but during the day, it's exclusively jazz and classical. If, at 3am, a hip-hop DJ curses, leading to a complaint and the end of the station, who really loses? I suspect that the thousands of classical and jazz listeners would be more on the losing end than the asshole who called in the complaint or any of the other people who happened to hear the word "Fuck" in the middle of the night.
The FCC is just one manifestation of how colossally fucked up governmental regulation is becoming. I'm all for the government trying to help out the people, but not when there's clearly no understanding of how the real world actually operates.
Nonsense. Space is blue and birds fly through it. -- Heisenberg