Commentary by H.G. Listiak
Spanish Radio Shock Jocks and the FCC
Welcome to My World, where ever since the Janet Jackson wardrobe flop at the Super Bowl, the Federal Communications Commission, the watch dog that barks when radio and T.V. folk bite, has been cracking down on broadcasters who feel the only road to fame is through the gutter. As they launch against raunch, focussing on blue shock jocks, they've been kind of overlooking the azul shocko jockos on Spanish language radio. More and more the hispanic stations, once considered a wholesome alternative to some of the anglo airwaves, are using language and jokes that make even our notorious colleague Howard Stern seem like a long haired love child, a candidate for a new do and a boy scout uniform. Everything from bare bottoms to chastity belts to the use and misuse of genitalia, are popping up with an increasing frequency on the frequencies used by our latino brothers and sisters in the trade. The hispanic community is upset with the trend, with the national council of La Raza calling Spanish language radio raunchier than English, and there is no accountability whatsoever. The F.C.C., freshly given more teeth by Congress, kind of cops a plea, saying they are doing everything they can to get accurate and complete translations, but using English transcripts makes it hard to figure out if a program is actually indecent, since the vulgarity of many Spanish words can be lost in the translation. The Spanish speaking shock jocks, who could face heavy fines if the F.C.C. could figure out what they are saying, claim it's a cultural misunderstanding rather than intention on their part to offend, that has people all excited and upset. Now, I'm not really sure, but was the race card just played? I see lots of flaws in the F.C.C. that was originally established as a kind of traffic cop to keep air signals from being crossed and not a moral watch dog. But as the industry continues to grow, the F.C.C. seems to always be a couple of steps behind, kind of like the ambulance that arrives after the guy is dead, as I see it ... I'm H.G. Listiak.