DJ Johnny Silver Scheduled for Friday’s Radioshow

After a few weeks of hard policy analysis on the radioshow, it’s time to get back to pirate radio. I’m scheduled tomorrow night to talk to DJ Johnny Silver from Nyack’s Iron Action Radio for broadcast on Friday.

nyack_pirate_radioIt looks like Johnny plans to broadcast the interview live on Iron Action, which also has a webstream. So if you’re in Nyack, NY you can tune in 102.5 FM at 7 PM EST. If you’re elsewhere, try to catch Iron Action’s webstream at nyackradio.com to hear the unedited interview action.

In addition to being a prolific unlicensed broadcaster, Johnny Silver is also the star of a short film triology, dramatizing the DJ’s previous experience with the FCC. Johnny says that part 3 is too big for him to host online, but the trailer is posted for download at nyackradio.com. Johnny’s promised to send me a copy via snail mail, so perhaps I’ll be able to host it at here if the bandwidth load isn’t too incredible.

The mediageek radioshow airs live Fridays at 5:30 PM on community radio WEFT 90.1 FM in Champaign, IL. The program is posted for download by midnight Sunday Central time at the radioshow site, and is also heard on eight other stations across North America.

Read some previous posts about DJ Johnny Silver and Iron Action Radio.

18 Responses to DJ Johnny Silver Scheduled for Friday’s Radioshow

  1. George February 23, 2006 at 8:36 am #

    My view on pirate radio may surprise you. I have known radio pirates, and even went to college with one, so I’m personally familiar with the perspective.

    I find it hypocritical for grass roots advocates to complain about a weak FCC or a corrupt Congress, yet support pirate broadcasters. Pirate radio is in itself its own corruption…not for money but for ego. Public interest groups complain that commercial broadcasters twist the rules to suit their own goals, and that’s exactly what pirate radio people are doing. On the surface, they say it’s “for the people,” but it’s really for the ego and the thrill of breaking the law.

    It’s also unnecessary. Pirate radio may have had a place in the 60s, when radio frequencies were limited. But today, just about anybody can obtain a legal LPFM license. One of the biggest problems about LPFM is that few of the groups who complain the loudest about commercial radio are taking advantage of these new frequencies. As a result, most end up in the hands of religious broadcasters, who are involved in their own corruption.

    In addition, internet broadcasting is alive and well. I read dozens of articles that report how internet listening is hurting terrestrial radio. It’s cheaper than broadcast, and with wifi and other new technologies, it seems like the way to go. So why break the law, when you don’t have to? Except for the thrill and ego of breaking the law.

    It’s interesting to me that the recent creation of the Jack format is built around the phrase, “playing what we want.” The image is that of a bunch of pirates, who have hijacked a commercial radio station, and is now playing the music they want to play, as opposed to the corporate playlists mandated by the owners. Sure, there is a kind of romance to all this, and these stations are pretty popular. But it demonstrates just how fake the whole image of pirate radio is.

    Generations of grass roots actvists have campaigned for numerous changes in broadcasting that they said would benefit the public interest. Whether it was public radio in the 60s, or LPFM in the 90s, those changes have taken place. Yet, in my view, the activists have failed to actually utilize those changes, leading me to believe that wasn’t actually their point in the first place. If the real purpose is non-licensed broadcasting, then just say so, and quit the charade that you’re trying to improve licensed broadcasting.

  2. Paul February 23, 2006 at 2:10 pm #

    My intent is not non-licensed broadcating, nor to improve licensed broadcasting. My goal is the greatest amount of communicative freedom for individuals of all kinds and stripes. And by individuals, I don’t mean corporations, organizations, or governments, though they might serve as a means towards that end.

    We have layers of laws, philosophies and policies that interact in all sorts of ways that get in the way of this goal. But that intent is most important to me.

    To the extent that local broadcasters really do serve the needs of a community for information, culture and safety, then I would like to see them do that as best as they can. If they don’t, then I think they ought not have the monopoly, they ought to share, or they ought to get out of the business.

    Like commercial broadcasters, pirates are all over the map with regard to service. But to call all of pirate radio and non-commercial radio ego-driven is reductive and has no basis in fact. That might be your opinion of your experiences, but there’s nothing empirical about that.

    So, George, please enlighten us as to how Public Radio has failed. How has community radio failed? How has LPFM failed? Can you site particular stations and instances? Can you site more than one — that is, I’ll admit there are bad apples, but are there more than a majority?

  3. George February 23, 2006 at 4:03 pm #

    First of all, and I know you’re going to have trouble with this, but no one elected, appointed, or decided that you or any grass roots political action groups represent “the people” or “the public interest.” You are not the one who gets to decide who the airwaves belong to. And they don’t belong to everyone, just as we pay for the water we drink, and the profit making water company makes money on providing that service.

    Specifically in looking at the programming offered by Johnny Silver, I don’t see a lot of serious public discussion of issues that matter to the residents of Nyack. Perhaps it’s not listed at his web site. But to run a pirate radio station that merely plays rock & roll doesn’t serve the public interest any more than Jack or any of the corporate stations.

    I am not opposed to all pirate radio, and not all of it is ego-driven. There are some folks in NYC who run some very good pirate radio for some Central American immigrants. They do a good job in communicating the information these immigrants (many of whom are illegal) need in order to live. I’ve suggested many times that these people apply for LPFM frequencies, but they’re afraid of dealing with the government because they’ll get deported. Their situation is far more interesting than that of Johnny Silver.

    For the most part, I don’t feel public radio has failed, although most stations do no more local public affairs programming than the commercial stations. The problem with LPFM, as I mentioned, is the groups who should be applying for these licenses, namely political and cultural groups who could really do a lot with these station, have chosen to instead attack and criticize commercial stations, rather than teach by example.

    as I said, we live in a far different world than that of the 60s. The revolution is over. You don’t have to fight the oppressor any more, all you have to do is put an internet station on the air. I see that Johnny Silver is also doing that. So what’s the point in interfering with others on the dial? There are many ways for people to express themselves. I’ve often said that a time will come when we all have our own radio station, each with an audience of one. We’ll all be talking, and no one will listen. How much better will the world be then?

  4. Paul February 23, 2006 at 6:16 pm #

    Not everyone has the internet, and you can’t listen to the internet in your car. A radio costs less than $10 and can run on a few dollars of batteries. How much does a computer cost? How much does internet service cost?

    Yes, internet radio is great, but it isn’t exactly as revolutionary and liberatory as you make it out to be.

    So who does get to decide what is best for the airwaves then? Obviously, in our world, the FCC and the federal government take that right. But I believe that system is fundamentally corrupt. I really don’t believe in more regulation — but when I see the FCC roll over for corporate interests, I don’t like it and will do what I can to oppose.

    As regards the public interest, it commonly derives from the notion that a democracy requires an informed public. In the American experiment, the founding fathers wrote the first amendment to help ensure the free flow of ideas and information, to help educate that public.

    From this standpoint I believe the public is done a massive disservice by the majority of commerical broadcast media, even channels supposedly dedicated to news and information.

    You say: but no one elected, appointed, or decided that you or any grass roots political action groups represent “the people” or “the public interest.”

    That’s true, but I never claimed that anyone had. I express my opinion, and I also believe in direct action, that if no one is harmed in breaking bad law or policy, then it can be defensible to do so. It doesn’t require any popular or divine mandate.

    You also say: “So what’s the point in interfering with others on the dial?”

    Who’s interfering? You’re making a leap of logic unsupported by fact. I just got off the phone with Johnny Silver, and he’s quite certain he’s not interfering and even asked around to his neighbors to double-check.

    And, yes, we do have to fight the oppressor. The internet we know today may not be the internet we know tomorrow, though you spend quite a bit of time trying to refute this with scant evidence.

    Further, the internet does not provide total freedom for radio. In fact, there are MORE restrictions for internet radio than broadcast radio. If you have an internet station there are more restrictions on what artists you can play and how often you play them, on top of royalty fees that must be paid directly to the RIAA. All of these restrictions and fees do not exist for broadcast radio.

    I wouldn’t call that oppression-free.

  5. Paul February 23, 2006 at 6:22 pm #

    One last thing, George — since you tend to pack a lot into your comments — about LPFM you say: “The problem with LPFM, as I mentioned, is the groups who should be applying for these licenses, namely political and cultural groups who could really do a lot with these station, have chosen to instead attack and criticize commercial stations, rather than teach by example.”

    Where’s your evidence for that generalization? Mediageek is carried on 7 LPFM stations, all run by citizens’ and arts groups that lead by example. At the WRFU barnraising here in Urbana last year I met people from at least a dozen others. I’ve read press accounts of maybe a dozen more — and that’s just off the top of my head.

    Sure, there are no LPFM stations in NYC. Know why? Because Congress gutted the LPFM standard so that no new stations could go into major markets.

    Really, George, my impression is that you have a big chip on your shoulder about radio, especially public and noncommercial radio, and yet your arguments are based mostly on assertion, not reference or fact.

  6. George February 23, 2006 at 6:47 pm #

    “I believe the public is done a massive disservice by the majority of commerical broadcast media”

    So what service is Johnny doing? Other than expressing his own personal taste in music. How many children has he fed today? How many elderly shut-ins has he entertained? How many poor people has his station helped? I don’t see a lot of evidence for that at his web site.

    “I also believe in direct action, that if no one is harmed in breaking bad law or policy, then it can be defensible to do so.”

    No one is harmed by big corporations making billions with the airwaves either. Yet you don’t approve. It sounds like a double standard. The rights of licensees don’t matter.

    “All of these restrictions and fees do not exist for broadcast radio.”

    Sorry, but royalties must be paid by broadcast radio. Broadcast radio has no shortage of restrictions and fees to pay, including those to the regulatory agency you feel is corrupt. Just today, the FCC is considering how it will punish broadcast radio for what it considers indecency. Others might claim freedom of speech. And broadcast radio also streams on the internet, and they must pay additional fees when they do. I’m not familiar with laws about what artists you can play or how often you can play them. Perhaps you can educate me on that.

    “7 LPFM stations, all run by citizens’ and arts groups that lead by example.”

    That’s great. I wasn’t aware. On the other hand I know that most of the biggest media watchdog groups, based in Washington, do not operate LPFM stations, there or any place else. But they love to tell other people how to do their jobs.

    “your arguments are based mostly on assertion, not reference or fact.”

    Does that make them any less worthy? Would it change your mind if I listed references for every line?

  7. Paul February 23, 2006 at 7:50 pm #

    “So what service is Johnny doing? Other than expressing his own personal taste in music. ”

    I asked Johnny just that in my interview, you’ll have to listen for his answer.

    “No one is harmed by big corporations making billions with the airwaves either. ”
    Um, yes, people are harmed. They suck up valuable licenses that could be used for much better things. They spread misinformation and focus themselves on selling rather than informing. Bullemia and Anorexia were not diseases before the media age — the island of Fiji never saw them before they had TV. There is harm in a relentless drive to profit and commercialize. Yes, that’s a value judgement, but that’s my arguement. It’s not a double-standard — the corporations oppose my view at least as much as I oppose them, but they’re winning. Posing this as some sort of equal match is a joke.

    You say: “sorry, but royalties must be paid by broadcast radio. ”

    You are correct in that ASCAP AND BMI royalties must be paid. Broadcast radio does not pay RIAA royalties which internet stations must pay. Broadcast stations do not have to obey the rules that keep them from airing blocks of artists that internet stations must obey.

    I’m not arguing that broadcast is better. YOU’re the one who argued that the internet is the savior of radio, and I’m just arguing that it’s not, that it’s at least as crippled as broadcast radio in the US.

    If internet radio is so free and freeing, can you tell me how much it costs to reach 1000 people with an internet broadcast radio stream 24 hours a day? What would that bandwidth bill be? Now how much would a radiostation transmitter that does the same thing cost? Which is cheaper?

    Sure internet radio doesn’t (yet) have to abide by indecency rules. But neither does broadcast radio when the broadcasts happen before 6 AM and after 10 PM. Why is it that this last fact gets left out all the time? I’m no fan of indecency regs, but in fairness, it’s not an all out ban.

    And finally, why do “media watchdog groups” need to have LPFM licenses? I don’t get the connection. It sounds like you just don’t think there should be media watchdogs. Maybe they don’t have LPFM licenses because they think it’s a better idea for actual community-based organizations to have them.

    If it weren’t for these groups, we wouldn’t have LPFM in the first place.

    Finally, it’s not a matter of your arguments being “worthy.” Rather, if you want to convince people, facts and references help. I don’t find a lot of what you’ve posted to be convincing, and I say so. Where you have posted things that are factually correct, or I find logically correct, I admit it freely.

    But mostly you fail to convince me because you have no deeper justification for your arguments — they seem off the cuff, and I call it that way.

    So, fire away, because I know you will, and I know you will be sure to get the last word in, since you apparently have more time for this than me.

  8. George February 23, 2006 at 11:35 pm #

    “you’ll have to listen for his answer.”

    Very good…the broadcaster in you! :)))

    “They suck up valuable licenses that could be used for much better things.”

    Oh come now…the history of broadcasting, from 1922, gives me no reason to expect better things. In 1964, the Charman of the FCC decsribed commercial television as a “vast wasteland.” That was over 40 years ago. Commercial broadcasting is based around money. Has been since AT&T owned WEAF and sold the first commercial.

    “selling rather than informing”

    They actually do both. Multi-tasking! It’s easy to do. We sometimes call them info-mercials.

    “Bullemia and Anorexia were not diseases before the media age”

    There are historians who believe Cleopatra was anorexic. Just because it didn’t have a name doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.

    “the corporations oppose my view”

    They don’t oppose, they disagree. Different things. They don’t do anything to interfere with what you do, while grass roots groups are hell-bent on stopping corporations.

    “rules that keep them from airing blocks of artists”

    I’ve never heard this…could you give me a reference?

    “YOU’re the one who argued that the internet is the savior of radio”

    No, I just think anyone can start an internet radio station. Which gives all people the opportunity to broadcast to the world. And if someone is willing to break the law and start a pirate station, I’m sure he has no qualms about refusing to pay RIAA fees or follow any other laws.

    “why do “media watchdog groups” need to have LPFM licenses?”

    As a former college professor, I believe those who can, do. Those who can’t complain about those who do. I think if these watchdogs had to make their living as broadcasters, they’d be as bad as those they criticize. Just my opinion.

    “If it weren’t for these groups, we wouldn’t have LPFM in the first place.”

    Not exactly true. LPFM was proposed before most of them existed. LPFM makes it possible for the FCC to hold spectrum actions and actually make money. Republicans love that.

    “they seem off the cuff, and I call it that way”

    As I said, I’m a former college professor, and so I throw ideas around pretty freely.

    “you apparently have more time for this than me”

    Actually I don’t. I timed how long this post took me to write, and it was about ten minutes. It would have taken much longer if I needed to provide references. Which is why I haven’t.

    I enjoy corresponding with you, and I appreciate the fact that you have maintained a friendly and professional approach through this entire thread. Thanks for the opportunity to discuss something we both are passionate about.

  9. ironaction February 27, 2006 at 12:49 am #

    That’s why living in the country is so beautiful, we have all these diverse opinions, and rightfully so, as it would be boring and noncondusive to advancement of our society if we didn’t, now when is someone right and someone wrong? Let me tell you why i run my station here in Nyack. Nyack is a small village on the hudson river about 30 miles north of NYC. I was born in Nyack hospital and grew up here. I love my town, i love the people, i love the river..I patronize all the stores and restaurants, I also run community group website where i post different events and issues that arise in Nyack. Now i wanted to share a little background to help with your decision. I started my station because of my love for radio, getting hooked on about 15 years ago, and started building my first low power transmitter right after that. At the time i lived in Florida for 2 years, and when i learned about pirate radio down in Florida, I thought that my old home town of Nyack would have been the best place to have a pirate station, Because of

    The tight knit community..

    The Small area that Nyack Covered, being surrounded by water on one side and mountains behind it, mad it ideal for coverage just in Nyack

    My relationship with shop owners and most of the residents, before i moved to Florida for 3 years i was the Mailman for 8 in Nyack.

    And a needed service it would provide..more on this later. and combined with my love of the subject, i felt the need to move back to Nyack to set things in Motion

    I moved back to Nyack partly knowing i was going to start up a Pirate Radio Station, be able to serve the community in a better way then i had done in the past, i also knew that Nyack had no community station and I also in my preparation in starting did a search for open frequencies in the Nyack Area. There wasn’t any because of the over-saturated dial due to the close proximity to NYC.

    I didn’t start the station because i wanted the thrill of doing something illegal, But that said there is a edge about it that contributes i believe to the overall enjoyment mostly for listeners, but DJ’s also.

    Now as the station has grown in popularity over the years, The issue of the legality is still there, in the beginning i knew the risks, and back then i was actually more worried about being shut down then i am now. Back then i had didn’t have really anything to loose, i had not many listeners, i was new to broadcasting, and i probably would have shut down, and been scared off if i got a visit.

    Now (Today)i realized the importance of the radio in a community like Nyack, How the community embraced it as a source of information first and entertainment second. We all know how easy it is to hear good music these day, everything seems to be available on the internet these days. We live in an age of instant gratification. So now comes my situation, I believe that i share the urge of most of my peers in the community that i would like to have an way of gathering instant information about things that are local to my area. The radio serves that point and more. Myself like many others in town, find it hard in our schedules to attend town meetings that are scheduled each month, so the radio has started covering them by sending a rep to the meeting to report about the meeting on the show at different times of the day as a community update. this combined with local news reports, community bulletin board post, and announcements of any shop or restaurant specials. These i gather by visiting the merchants in Nyack and finding out what’s happening. The Listeners love this and i found out by feedback that they actually like it more when i discuss events then listen to music ( as music is something they can get on there own)

    got a little side tracked there for a sec, but this is part of the reason i know that what i am doing is right, and if and when the FCC comes i will keep coming back on the air.

    There is no open freq in my area for LPFM license.

    I am not interfering with anyone or thing, or causing any harm.

    After 2 years now the station now has become an active part in the community, and is excepted and backed.

    There are different types of pirates i feel. You have the ones who are for “free speech” Hey we have free speech, i don’t understand the radio connection there. You have Anarchist type of pirates who use Pirate radio as a form of media warfare, and just to be Anarchist. Then you have a true pirate one who takes over the frequency of another station and plays there own music and programming. Well I don’t want to be lumped into any of those, i just want to give a service to my town.

    I am not interfering with another station, I cannot get a LPFM license. I bring important info to people that the corporate station will not do, There comes time when you need to forget about why you shouldn’t do something, and think about why you should. I feel this a fight worth fighting, and if i can bring a service to a town where they find it valuable , then just maybe i will have some backing when they come for me.

    The truth is i am a little man in this whole scheme of things, things are not going to change much because little ol me is believing he can change the system. No i don’t have that much faith in society for that belief

    “So what service is Johnny doing? Other than expressing his own personal taste in music. How many children has he fed today? How many elderly shut-ins has he entertained? How many poor people has his station helped? I don’t see a lot of evidence for that at his web site.”

    I read statements like these and wonder what’s the point, you already have a predetermined view of what i stand for, and who i care about. You are looking to point out what is wrong and what hasn’t been done, Instead try to imagine a station like mine who is helping a community in an age where things are so big and grand, cost so much, and where the little guy gets overlooked, And maybe that little guy is the senior citizen who finds out why her lights are out, and where to get help with Blankets and shelter in her town. I guess it is what you believe in and what’s important to you, no there’s not to many illegal immigrants in my town, but if there were i would hope they would benefit from the station.

    Now i ask you the question.. what would you do?
    If you believed in something like a community station in your town and had no way of getting a LPFM License, but started one anyway, and now became a part of the community with hundreds maybe thousands of listeners. Your station doesn’t interfere with anyone or anything, and you use an fcc certified Transmitter. That is where i stand today.

    Some laws are meant to be tested, that’s how change takes its course, My Community Pirate Station is a thankless job, they expect me on each night, it takes dedication and personal money, But i love it, and feel good about it, i am no longer scared, You get scared when you are not sure of something, especially the outcome. I am sure i know this is the right thing, The LPFM law is not perfect and in those situations a pirate has a duty to perform if you are so lucky to have one.

    This is just to give you better information on myself and my station, No I don’t have a informative website yet. I am finding it hard to keep everything up to date and continue to keep the station going. 2 in the afternoon till 2 in the morning each day. I been slacking actually and taking some afternoons naps.

    And i don’t only play my music taste, i take request by phone and email, and play any local musicians music i can get my hands on, I am also very proud of my Monday work farm and prison blues show.

    I run the station by myself rarely inviting guest on or dj’s (1 so far). I do not want to bring added attention to the location. Even though it seems the station has had a lot of publicity in films and news paper. I kept the location pretty secure.

    I hope this makes your view of pirates a little better

    And Paul thank you for your interest in my station and Taking the time out to interview me, i am sure a lot of this info s new to you too, as i was a little nervous on the interview and wasn’t as elegant or thorough as i would like to have been.

    DJ Johnny Silver

  10. George February 27, 2006 at 10:34 am #

    In a way, this discussion reminds me of the scene in Wizard of Oz, where they are “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” The fact is that a pirate is a pirate. There’s a reason why there are licenses, and the reason pre-dates all the ownership issues that exist today. Just as there are reasons for drivers licenses that go beyond preventing illegal aliens from getting to work. Your justification ignores those reasons.

    I haven’t listened to Paul’s interview yet (it was just posted this morning), but your description of what you do locally doesn’t sound substantially different from what a licensed station would do, other than you’re the one doing it. You use the line, “A pirate has a duty to perform,” and I’m not sure exactly what that means. If you are providing a service that doesn’t exist from a licensed broadcaster, and you really aren’t interfering with a licensed broadcaster, then it seems to me that this is the kind of thing you could bring before the Media Bureau. If you were so inclined.

    I know that radio has become a political target, especially with consolidation, and the assumption that it’s all about preventing the people from communicating among themselves. That isn’t the issue in your case. You say some laws are meant to be tested, but the way to test the law is not to break it, but to challenge it in court. I’ve been pulled over for speeding a few times, and the policeman doesn’t care that the law is stupid, but that I’ve broken the law. Same here. The FCC won’t change a law if you merely break it. And when you’re hauled into court, they aren’t going to let you off because you’ve done a great job, and have overcome a stupid law.

  11. phlegm February 27, 2006 at 6:18 pm #

    Pirates pre-date the federal licensing regime, George. It’s a phenomenon which has evolved over time. And the courts have been all but useless when challenges have been raised, thanks to the application of jursdictional technicalities and other means to dismiss cases involving unlicensed broadcasters’ challenges to the licensing regime without addressing their merits.

    Secondly, William Kennard has admitted – on tape – that microradio activists did push the FCC toward the quasi-legalization of low-power community radio. If you’d like I’ve got 160 pages of documentation on all of this which I’d be willing to share with you, but I just had to call bullshit on the simplistic interpretation of broadcast piracy as articulated here.

    Also, those who pull out selected quotes of someone’s argument are doing so, in my view, generally because they cannot challenge the argument in its entirety. It’s a neat rhetorical trick, but it has its limits.

  12. George February 27, 2006 at 9:33 pm #

    “Pirates pre-date the federal licensing regime, George.”

    Yes I know. That’s no excuse. My grandmother was born before the IRS, but she still has to pay her taxes. None of what you say justifies breaking the law. And if Johnny is found guilty, he will be deemed unfit to ever hold a broadcast license. That is not the kind of thing a passionate broadcaster should be willing to risk.

    “microradio activists did push the FCC…”

    So explain to me how that justifies pirate radio. Especially now that the system activists pushed for now exists. At some point, activists have to reap what they sow.

    “those who pull out selected quotes…”

    That may be your view, but it’s not my reason. My reason is because Paul’s blog is not the place for me to argue a full case. As Paul has already suggested to me to get my own blog, and I don’t want to try his patience. I appreciate that he has at least allowed me to comment. Not everyone else gives me that opportunity.

  13. George February 27, 2006 at 9:39 pm #

    By the way, I was doing low power community radio long before William Kennard was on the FCC. My first station signed on in 1974. Does that give me the right to speak on this subject? Or is my personal experience too simplistic?

  14. Paul February 27, 2006 at 10:12 pm #

    George, what is your beef with activists? It’s a recurrent theme in your comments that the activists are doing something wrong, or not doing enough, but generally it seems like they’re a problem in your eyes.

    The activists who worked hardest for LPFM have reaped quite a bit. Prometheus radio project has helped tens of stations get on the air. Because they’re based in Philly, they’re barred from having a station because there are no frequencies. So they help others. How are they irresponsible in that?

    Pirates may have been a motivating factor in the creation of LPFM, but that doesn’t mean they asked for it or endorsed it. It’s possible to simply disagree with the law and break it. It’s called civil disobedience and it goes back a long way in US history. In this case, it helped push a little bit of policy change that’s helped a lot of smaller and rural communities.

    I can understand if you think the law is right and just with regard to broadcast. I don’t agree and don’t find that you’ve made any arguments that defend the status quo.

    You clearly don’t like most radio pirates, nor a lot of community and public broadcasters (and activists). That’s your bag and you’re entitled to it. But you’ve offered very little factual grounding for these opinions. You’re under no obligation to do so, but don’t get annoyed when we argue and pick them apart.

    Johnny Silver, for example, recognizes his position and the risks he takes. And he couldn’t even get a LPFM station if he wanted to — there’s no LPFM frequencies in Nyack. In my opinion, the law fails Nyack and other small cities that are unfortunate enough to have been swallowed up into metroplexes and in the process lost radio or TV stations that serve their unique local needs.

    Your experience with low power is fine and you can speak on the subject all you want. Just don’t expect anyone in particular to accept your opinions as truth simply because you have experience.

  15. George February 27, 2006 at 10:39 pm #

    “George, what is your beef with activists?”

    I was an activist once. I sat in ROTC buildings and demonstrated against the war. At some point, I decided it was time for me to do something, rather than complain about others. Activists don’t like Clear Channel. Fair enough. But why don’t any of them get into radio ownership? It’s easy to say all owners are bad. It’s harder to become one and set a good example. If the activists are right, their stations will become the most popular stations on the dial and put Clear Channel out of business. Instead, they want the government to shut them down. The same government they hate. Now do you understand?

    “But you’ve offered very little factual grounding for these opinions.”

    Huh? I have quoted you loads of legal and historic examples and precidents. As well as my own rhetorical experience. You & others have shot them all down as “simplistic.” You refuse to accept the facts because you disagree with them.

    “the law fails Nyack and other small cities that are unfortunate enough to have been swallowed up into metroplexes and in the process lost radio or TV stations that serve their unique local needs.”

    Absolutely wrong. The law was created specifically for Nyack. Read the law! As more and more suburban stations move their transmitters in closer to the cities, it is leaving a void, both in service and the spectrum, for LPFM. I really think it’s time for Johnny Silver to petition the FCC to consider assigning an LPFM station to Nyack. It won’t be easy. It may cost money. And if he is successful, it doesn’t guarantee he will automatically get the license. He will have to compete against others. But I think it’s a realistic cause worth fighting for. If you really believe in fighting for causes, and not just raging against the machine.

  16. Paul February 27, 2006 at 10:49 pm #

    Check it out, George, there are NO LPFM frequencies in Nyack. He can’t petition the FCC and hope to get a damn thing, the Congressional intervention in FCC prevents it. I’ve read the law and the FCC has no maneuvering power. And why? Because the commercial brodcasters and NPR lobbied Congress hard enough, spreading lies about the threat of LPFM’s 100 watt stations interfering with their kilowatts.

    The reason why activists don’t get into ownership is because nobody can afford it. Even here in Champaign, IL, pop. 100,000, a commercial FM license goes for $1,000,000 and up. The last sale of a commercial license was $7,000,000. There are no non-commercial frequencies left, and I don’t doubt that if one sells it’ll fetch a million or better.

    Go to a bigger city, and $1,000,000 isn’t worth a thing.

    At some point you get sick of begging for crumbs.

    And, no, I don’t want the government to shut down Clear Channel. Rather, I want the government to quit protecting their near-monopoly. The government PROTECTS Clear Channel and created it. I believe that’s wrong and unfair.

    There was no Clear Channel in 1990, why do we have to tolerate it now?

  17. George February 27, 2006 at 11:08 pm #

    Somehow or other, a non-commercial station in the Nyack area, WDFH, was able to petition the FCC and get a power increase. It happened last month.

    Read: http://www.wdfh.org/signal.htm

    If they were able to do this, there obviously is spectrum space available. But you can’t get something if you don’t file a petition. The folks at WDFH did, and Johnny didn’t. Who’s fault is that?

    My group challenged the license of a station that wasn’t using its frequency properly. That’s how we got a frequency in a very tight area. We could have given up and set up a pirate station, but we had a vision of how radio could be better. And if you’re going to serve the public, it helps if you have a published studio address so the public can actually visit. That’s what WE did.

    “The government PROTECTS Clear Channel and created it.”

    Untrue. The government didn’t create it. The company’s management and stockholders did. The government doesn’t protect Clear Channel. It fines them for indecency, and forced them to divest stations in the San Diego area due to concentration of ownership. You really need to get this chip off your shoulder. I admire your passion for broadcasting. You just have to direct it in a more positive and constructive way. There is hope. Don’t blow the whole thing up yet.

  18. George February 28, 2006 at 9:49 am #

    “I want the government to quit protecting their near-monopoly.”

    Allow me to address this issue, even if it’s off the subject of pirate radio.

    When Clear Channel was buying up radio stations in the late 90s, each purchase had to be approved by the FCC and the Justice Department. Why? To prevent a monopoly. This was the same Justice Department that was prosecuting Microsoft, and they certainly were not soft on big business. Each purchase Clear Channel made was approved. There is no monopoly. They own 10% of the stations in the US, so it’s not even a NEAR monopoly.

    Regarding the view that the government “protects” Clear Channel. The government protects all law abiding citizens. That is the role of government. If you break the law, the protector becomes the prosecutor. Clear Channel got to where it is by following the law. Perhaps it’s a bad law, but that’s not their fault. They’re operating under the rules, and therefore deserve the protection of the government until such time as they break the rules. There are hundreds of people and numerous activist groups who are hell bent on proving that they are breaking the law. The minute they do, it won’t go unnoticed. That’s what freedom in this country means. You’re free to say and do what you want until you break the law. Then you go to jail, and you’re no longer protected by the government.

    Consider your web site for a minute. I come here and post my opinions. Imagine if there were hundreds of people who agreed with me, and came here and did the same thing. To the point where you and your site were overwhelmed by people telling you how wrong you were, and badgering you on every post. That’s what Clear Channel lives with. I’m not defending them. I don’t work for them, and never have. But it strikes me as odd that an anarchist wants the government to do something.

    By the way, there WAS a Clear Channel before 1990. The company has been in business since the 70s. There was a time when the complaint activist groups used against big radio owners was that they were all based in New York City. How could they know anything about the heartland of America when they’re based in New York? Now you have Clear Channel based in san Antonio, and Cumulus based in Atlanta. The New York monopoly is gone. Radio ownership has now been moved out of New York and into middle America. I’m not saying that it’s any better, but it’s not the same problem that existed prior to 1996. My point is that activist groups always find something to complain about. It’s how they raise funds and stay alive.

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