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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No Age censored by CBS over pro-Obama shirt

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Welcome to 1984! According to The Arthur Blog, Last week No Age drummer Randy Randall was told by a random stage employee at CBS that he would not be allowed to wear a a pro-Obama T-shirt, just minutes before he was to perform for "some sort of Craig Ferguson/CBS TV thing that was to be broadcast October 27."

According to Arthur editor Jay Babcock's story, "...the CBS person said, the Obama shirt was on-air editorializing--a possible violation of some FCC edict which this person claimed called for equal time to be given to opposing political viewpoints."

But CBS person was wrong.

Babcock continues, "One problem: the last remnant of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" was repealed in 1987; the repeal was upheld by court ruling in 1989.

Since then, corrollary rules of the Fairness Doctrine--the "personal attack" rule and the "political editorial" rule--have also been struck down in the courts, with the last court ruling (and subsequent FCC order) coming in 2000.

In short, there is no fairness rule. Randy's Obama shirt was perfectly broadcastable under every existing law.

But neither No Age nor their people at Sub Pop were aware of the Fairness Doctrine's long-ago demise, and took CBS at their word.

After much deliberation, Randy put on another shirt, which said 'Free Health Care,' the band played, and the show will, apparently, air."

Read the full story here.

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