Here’s the passage where Stern tries to blame Powell for the fact that Viacom seems not to want to sue the FCC for Stern’s indecency fines:
STERN: Fine after fine came and we tried to go to court with you to find out about obscenity and what your line was and whether our show was indecent, which I don’t think it is. And you do something really sneaky behind the scenes. You continue to block Viacom from buying new stations until we pay those fines.
You are afraid to go court. You are afraid to get a ruling time and time again. …
POWELL: First of all, that’s flatly false.
STERN: It’s not false. It’s true.
POWELL: I’m afraid it is. There’s no reason why Viacom or any other company who feels that they have been wrongly fined can’t sue us in court. We have no basis whatsoever to prevent them from going to court.
STERN: Stern: You’re lying. I’ve lived through your fines, Michael. And Mel Karmazin came to me one day and said, Howard, we’re gonna have to pay up some sort of cockamame (sp?) bunch of fines that we don’t we’re wrong because we can’t get our paperwork done. We are finding it increasingly difficult to buy radio stations. …
I hate to admit it, but Powell is right. Maybe Stern doesn’t want to face it, but apparently Mel Karamazin, head of Viacom, would rather pay the fines and get on with business than stand up for ol’ Howie and have to put a hold on the business of amassing even more radio stations.
Yes, at Viacom, it’s profit over Howard’s fight for free speech. Like bribes to gov’t officials in corrupt regimes, indecency fines are just the cost of doing business when you rely on a potty mouth cash-cow like Stern to rake in the radio ad dollars.