Sunday, July 29, 2007

Protecting our Kuntry from obscenity

WARNING: This post contains offensive letters of the alphabet!

The FCC is so concerned about protecting the public from indecency that it doles out huge fines for swear words that accidentally go out over the air. And God forbid for one nanosecond America sees Janet Jackson’s breast. Our whole nation could collapse. If terrorists really want to bring down this country they should organize suicide streakers.

Meanwhile, for a yet-unbuilt low-power digital television station in Wailuka, Maui the FCC recently approved the call letters KUNT. This is not a joke! This is actually true! (I sure hope they don’t plan on being an affiliate for the Lifetime Network or Oxygen.) Yes, those call letters were deemed acceptable by the federal decency police. Here's the story.

The same station group applied for and received the call letters KWTF for a station in Arizona. Anyone who has ever typed an email knows what WTF means. You’re probably thinking it now just reading this post.

The President of KM communications, who requested and received those two call letters has since backed-off and will name his stations something more appropriate (KOCK? KLIT? KUM? Maybe KY-JL?)

The KM Prez insists it was a mistake and at the time he didn’t realize those call letters he applied for were offensive. KUNT doesn’t just sorta jump out at you? Was he pronouncing it Koont?

Outside of Aspen, Colorado there is KCUF, which is the F-word in reverse. They’ve been on the air since December. Thankfully no one with high moral standards is dyslexic. Otherwise, KCUF would be in deep TIHS.

They say their slogan is “Keeping Colorado Uniquely Free”. Sure. That’s why they had to have those particular call letters. Just like KUNT could stand for “Kall you next Tuesday.” Who TF are we kidding here?

I once worked for WDRQ in Detroit and used to call the station W-dreck. Dreck is Yiddish for shit. The three Jews who listened to that station were hysterical.

The Code of Federal Regulations allows applicants to request call letters of their choice as long as the letter combination is available. But here’s the kicker -- "objections to the assignment of requested call signs will not be entertained at the FCC."

No, but you can complain, and the station will probably be heavily fined if someone inadvertently utters “tit” on KUNT.

It’s also okay for only three or four major corporations to own all the radio and TV stations in the country. And if the Federal Communication Commission had its way, all internet radio stations – the only true voice of the individual – would pay such outrageous royalties that they would be forced out of existence.

No wonder no station is named K-FCC. Those three letters are the most offensive of all.


Rob said...

I remember seeing Janet Jackson's Super Bowl moment live and thinking I saw.... something.

That something turned out to be Janet Jackson's boob, which was slightly less erotic than a pelvic exam on Carol Channing.

But this is what the FCC worries about. Never mind that they let Clear Channel buy up and crapify every station in my area and dozens of others. Never mind that every TV sold has an off switch, V-chip, and a plug. Honestly, is there a child who has reached the age of 10 who has not heard every profanity and seen at least one boob (besides George W. Bush) on television.

In the meantime, the Talipublicans continue to rail against the obscene content going over our public airwaves. They seem to forget that they were the same group of people who took great delight in putting out stories about semen stained dresses and Monica Lewinsky's new use for cigars back in the Clinton days.

Oh well, let's sit back and think of new slogans for the station.

Hey Maui, you won't believe what's going down on......

Rob and Laura Petrie will have you in stitches. Be sure to catch Dick on......

It just dawned on me that my local TV station used to call the Louisville area "WAVE Country". Perhaps this station can deem Wailuka it's own Kuntry.

Perhaps they could start a sister radio station..... While other stations put the rock in rock and roll, we're content to put the KUNT in Country.

Anonymous said...

Can these stations be far behind? KLAP, KRAP, KRAB.

Makes George Carlin's 7 Dirty Words routine a bit passe, now, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Oops, forgot about WEWE.
Maybe they could locate it in Norfolk, VA. The station motto could be " We don't drink, we don't smoke, Norfolk, Norfolk "

Tallulah Morehead said...

In TWLEFTH NIGHT, Shakespeare sneaks one of his many filthy jokes in as a spelling gag. Malvolio, believing an anonymous letter he's found to have been written by his boss, the Countess Olivia, identifies her handwriting by saying, "'Tis my lady's hand. These be her very Cs, Us, aNd her Ts, and thus makes she her great Ps." tossing in the piss joke for free.

I've seen several different broadcasts of this play, and that cunt joke always slips by, as the FCC is always too dim to get it. After all, it's a "Classic" so it can't be dirty. Surely Sir Alec Guiness wasn't telling a cunt joke on PBS.

Oh yes he was.

But the biggest obscenities on TV & radio are still the election results.

Meanwhile, was Steve Martin's wedding on TO CATCH A PREDATOR?

Anonymous said...

VERY well stated. No hope that the tide is turning on all this ridiculous fining? It seems to make the news less frequently, so I figured it was fading off.

Anonymous said...

A correction on my earlier post. After WEWE, I meant to add WDIK. That's the station with the Norfolk motto.
WEWE is actually located in Flushing, NY. I regret the error.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Tallulah for the Willie the Shake tip. And when Hamlet talks of "country matters" to Ophelia, yeah, that's what he means. God, I miss grad school.

Tallulah Morehead said...

That Larry Olivier; what a potty mouth. And don't forget the Mel Gibson HAMLET, when he called Ophelia "Sugartits" and asked her if she was a Jew.

Also in HAMLET (Act II, scene ii, line 401): "Then came each actor on his ass." I believe I was at that party.

Yet When Lady MacBeth (In MACBETH duh) says, "I have given suck." it's not dirty. (Except when Judith Anderson said it.)

Again in TWELFTH NIGHT, when Orsino says "Think how she will love when the rich, golden shaft hath purged her heart of all affection else.." footnotes always say he's referring to "Cupid's Arrow". Yeah, the one in Orsino's codpiece.

Time to clean up PBS!!!

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Unknown said...

Ken, thanks so much for referencing both the censorship and media consolidation issues. I read your great blog for laughs, but there they are, the two issues that I spend a ton of time on as Exec Director of the Center for Creative Voices in Media. Welcome to the fight! Check out our website at

Best, Jon Rintels

Anonymous said...

On a related note -- there used to be a FM religious station service the Midland-Odessa, Texas market with the call letters KKKK, which had its building burnt down twice for some odd reason.

After the second one, they started IDing themselves as Quad-K, before giving up those call letters entirely. But a new station has taken up the call letter challenge. Fortunately, it's at the top end of the AM radio dial, so no one can find it.

Stephen Green said...

As teenagers in San Jose in the mid and late seventies, my and my friends' favorite station was KOME, the "cumspot" on your dial, with its evening DJ, Dennis Erectis. Aside from the call letters and his name, though, I don't recall anything particularly crude about his show. I'm speaking, though, through the chemically corroded thirty year memories formed of a typically crude adolescent male.

Anonymous said...

Oh god damn it, now you really pissed me off.

First, the FCC is headed by people who are appointed by our elected leaders, so when the FCC fines CBS a gazillion dollars for KNOWINGLY showing a tit on a family program, that's AMERICA laying the smack down, not "the government". Don't like it? Vote Not-Right-Wing-Jesus-Freaks for a fucking change. Think the whole system stinks? Do something about it instead of bitching about a symptom of the greater problem. I hate parents and this Cult of the Baby we live in these days, but I hate corporations that exploit sex and violence and destroy culture just to sell car commercials even more. TURN IT OFF.

Second, if internet radio is playing Britny Spears and making MONEY on it, then YES they SHOULD pay royalties. No more than air radio, of course, but fair's fair. If their business can't afford royalties then LET THEM SUPPORT INDEPENDENT ARTISTS or maybe - MAYBE - come up with some ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING!!!! Christ, you people bitching about these royalties and illegal downloading act as if the RIAA controls all music ever made. They don't. In fact, they only control a small chunk which just happens to be the most popular stuff because they've controlled the airwaves for 50 years. Don't like their draconian prices and attitudes? SUPPORT INDEPENDENT ARTISTS INSTEAD OF BRITNY AND COLDPLAY AND whatever other manufactured garbage they offer that you've been told to want.


Penh said...

mrgumby2u: Ah yes, I remember those days. "Don't touch that dial! There's KOME on it!"

Anonymous said...

"So Mad",

Internet radio stations have no problem paying royalties (for the most part). They are paying them now and they are double what satellite radio pays. The issue is that the new proposed royalties are far more than anyone can afford and, indeed, more than any other method of broadcasting music.

You say "No more than air radio, of course, but fair's fair." Broadcast radio only pays royalties to the songwriter, not to the label and performing artist like most other royalty systems. Internet radio already pays far more than broadcast radio and the new royalty rates increase that amount by 300 to 1200 percent.

You also say "LET THEM SUPPORT INDEPENDENT ARTISTS." Ironically, some of the independant artists that internet radio has played have become well-known and signed on to major labels. So internet radio stations won't be able to afford to play the (formerly) independant artists they turned into big stars.

I don't mean to hijack Ken's thread, here, but you were so far from accurate I had to respond.

Unknown said...

There is a WFCC, on 107.5 licensed to Chatham Massachusetts.

Anonymous said...

>>I once worked for WDRQ in Detroit and used to call the station W-dreck. Dreck is Yiddish for shit. The three Jews who listened to that station were hysterical.<<

I once did a short stint at KFC in Reseda. It was a real chickenshit job.


Anonymous said...

I attended North Texas State University in the late '70s and did the morning show on the campus radio station, KNTU. We all lived in fear of the dreaded KUNT slip of the tongue (pardon the expression).

But after I left, it got even worse. The school was renamed the University of North Texas, and now, all the caps and T-shirts read "UNT." Yet the radio station is still named KNTU. If these calls are available, then I think my alma mater deserves first claim on them. After all, students DJs there have been saying "K-U-N-T" by accident for generations.

Here2Voice said...

I don't know if I should be offended at this whole thing or just laugh my arse off. I get paranoid about possibly saying something that isn't pc or, god forbid, letting profanity slip past my lips while on the mic. I can't imagine working at KUNT- no matter what the format. I don't believe it would have been possible to come up with a clean and innocent slogan- or one that would've remained that way. Although I admit, with my morbid curiosity that I do wonder what the logo, not to mention the merchandising would have turned out like.
I also think that working at K-WTF would be a riot! "What the... yeah, you are listening to 123.4 K-WTF"

Anonymous said...

When I was producing for Sweet Dick Whittington, we had the British actress Adrienne Corri on for a live interview once. Ms Corri was salty of tongue and too English to know our American prudery. And this was 1974, so things were even MORE prudish than now. She referred to some women at one point as "Real ballbreakers." Well you couldn't say "Balls" in a sexual or anatomical connotation back then (America was still pretending no one had genitals) so as she kept on talking, oblivious, Dick leant in and said close to the mike, "She's referring to basketballs."

Broke me up, and puzzled the crap out of her, although she WAS referring to balls in a man's basket. And this from a man who called himself "Sweet Dick".

But then, you were calling yourself "Beaver Cleaver" back then. No sexual side to that name. Wasn't that a corruption of Lincoln's nickname, the Twat-splitter?

I should talk, being intimately associated with a woman named Morehead.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who don't know who Adrienne Corri was, she was the woman Malcom McDowell beat to death with a giant plastic penis after raping her in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.

WHERE did SHE get a salty tongue?

VP81955 said...

WBAL in Baltimore, one-time Orioles flagship, now has a Saturday afternoon sports show hosted by a Baltimore Sun columnist. His name? Peter Schmuck. (And based upon some of his columns, he passes the "truth-in-advertising" test.)

Rob said...

Our local station had a DJ called "Craven Morehead". This was before the FCC got really nasty, and he would play as many songs as he could find with the F-word late at night.

Tallulah Morehead said...

How is Cousin Craven? I haven't seen him in ages.

Anonymous said...

Howzit Ken,

Are you referring to Wailuku, the county seat for Maui County? Not too many tourists stay in Wailuku. It's an interesting town on the windward side of Maui....not very far from the airport.

Wailuku doesn't have any four star hotels, so it's a nice place to live. There are, however, a couple of hostels that gereally contain an eclectic mix of visitors. Although there's a lack of French or Italian resturants in Wailuku, there is a Tasty Crust.

Your blog is shaka brah, mahalo nui loa for the laughs.

Steve K. said...

Your W-dreck story reminds me of when I was at KGGI/99.1 in the mid eighties. Whenever I played "Let's Hear it for the Boy" I called it "Let's Hear it for the Goy". At least you had THREE Jews listening. Me? I never heard one remark about it.