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Thread: People Against Censorship

  1. #1
    SiriusBuzz is offline
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    People Against Censorship

    In an effort to get the word out about the PAC and what they stand for I have opened this thread to promote conversation. Feel free to ask questions or make comments. My hope is that the guys from PAC will stop by and answer your question directly.

  2. #2
    smreid is offline
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    Thank you for promoting People Against Censorship, and letting us know about this thread. I would also like to apologize to Tyler Savery, as we noticed his blog post on June 4th and wanted to reply to the post however our unexpected issues with our hosting company have caused us some delay.

    It would seem anyone's first question would be will the site for People Against Censorship return and when will that will be. While I regrettably cannot give an exact date just yet, I can tell you it should be very soon. We were forced to change hosting companies due to the popularity of the site, however in trying to make the change the old hosting company had issues in unlocking our domains for transfer. That issue has now been resolved, and we are waiting for the transfer to be completed.

    Again, thank you to the administrators for their help in supporting this important issue.

    Regards,
    S.M. Reid
    Communications Director
    People Against Censorship

  3. #3
    SiriusBuzz is offline
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    We understand...hosting issues do happen (I happen to have a lot of experience/contacts with hosting companies if you want my opinion)

    I am glad that you guys are making the effort to join us here and I hope we can pick up where we left off on the post comments.

    For the record as I said before, I think O&A's suspension was unwarranted although, I still don't necessarily agree with how they went about that "bit." When something that controversial is broadcast over the air there are clever ways of saying it without getting the press all over you. If anything I think were guilty of not playing the "creative legal way" game of saying something that clearly should not be said. I hope that makes some kind of sense.

    I know you guys have your hands full but, do you plan on jumping on Tom The Tree Man's cause?

  4. #4
    TSavery is offline
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    No Apology Needed

    No apology needed. Everyone has opinions, and people do not always agree.

    If I can be frank, I feel that there are some unfortunate issues that have happened, and not all are related to PAC.

    1. I feel that fans seeking a credit from XM was appropriate, and would have made a strong point.

    2. I feel that fans cancelling their service is unfortunate. Whether people want to acknowledge it or not, there are "lines" that would not be crossed, and Opie & Anthony have always had those "lines" since their start at XM. Cancellations do make a statement, but the risk is huge. Will 10,000 or even 20,000 cancellations make a strong statement, or do you risk angering XM, and getting them in the mindset that O & A simply are more trouble than they are worth. Consider that over 5,000 cars equipped with XM roll off the GM assembly line every day. You risk limiting Opie & Anthony to FM stations where the censorship is far more stringent. This type of action might be described as biting off your nose to spite your face.

    3. I do not like the stance of defending the comments. I would rather see it acknowledged that many people would find the broadcast very offensive. Trying to say that the broadcast did not describe a violent sex act is not a good path to go down in my opinion.

    4. A better stance, in my opinion, would have been to cite and use other examples with the Opie & Anthony issue. The overall issue then becomes the central point rather than the "rape comments". By example, putting Imus, JV & Elvis, Opie & Anthony, etc into the forefront as a group has a better chance of having people find some common ground. They may hate what Imus said, but think that the O & A bit was funny. Or they may take offense to the O & A bit, but have laughed at the Imus commentary. This brings the "principal" to the forefront rather than the specific comments.

    5. I believe the support for O & A from PAC was much more focused and deliberate than with other talents. I feel strongly that PAC needs to be as vocal with other issues if they want to get mainstream support.

    6. PAC started a cancellation campaign against XM. Will they take a stance when O & A return? Again, an example of biting off you nose to spite your face. If O & A fans are gone from XM, why should XM keep them on the payroll?

    7. PAC could also take stances that constructively helps consumers and XM by suggesting better descriptions of the content.

    8. In my opinion PAC should also acknowledge that there are lines that exist. Would PAC support the creation of a KKK channel? A NAMBLA channel? A terrorist channel that discusses how to kill the most people with a backpack bomb? These are extreme examples, but in reality, that is what many people will wonder about prior to becoming active in an organization. In our life and society, there are limits to what should transpire and where. Chaos is a dangerous thing.

    9. I think it is also important to point out that O & A are employed by XM. They also have an employment agreement that clearly enabled them to be suspended. Thus, there has always been a "line" that could be crossed. In my mind most people were well aware of this. O & A have stated the Menino and St. Patrick's events several times, and even had comments that they would not do those things again.

    To be clear, I am not anti PAC, nor am I anti O & A. I do not think their comments were appropriate, and I believe had they stopped at the apology that this would be a non-event. What I do hope to see is that PAC can become more than "those O & A fans who are mad".

    I hope to see great things from PAC.

  5. #5
    Newman is offline
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    "I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it."

    Regardless of what O&A said, they are on an explicit language channel that airs multiple warnings per day that it is exactly that and that some content may not be appropriate for or appreciated by some listeners. In addition, XM does have a channel blocking service for explicit language channels available by logging onto their website or calling customer care.

    How many people have ever called or written to the FCC because Cinemax shows sex shows after dark? (Or so I've heard). How about all of the explicit language and violent acts (murder, rape, etc) that can be seen not just daily but HOURLY on HBO?

    Answer: ZERO. People pay for those channels and watch them BECAUSE of those things (well, maybe not the sex stuff, but who knows these days). You put Opie and Anthony on a channel that is labeled EXPLICIT LANGUAGE and clearly advertise that channel as UNCENSORED, and then you censor them for their explicit language?
    Do I agree with what they said? No. I dont listen to O&A or Howard Stern or Bubba the Love Spung or Imus because I dont WANT to listen to that kind of material. You know what I do? I DONT LISTEN.
    Do I agree with the suspension? NO. Listeners got what they paid for. The only ones that heard that material were SUBSCRIBERS who PAID to listen to it and made a CONSCIOUS decision to listen to Opie and Anthony, who are on an UNCENSORED radio station clearly marked as EXPLICIT LANGUAGE.
    The only reason this became a big deal was because of the media.
    Back a few years ago, I watched every second of the superbowl and the half time show. You know what? I never saw a tittie pop out. But you know what? I saw it happen probably over 100 times over the next week because of the media. How many people saw it happen live? How many saw it only because of the news? So who is the biggest offender? Who is the one to blame?
    I think the media is one of the worst things to happen to our country. Its all about ratings and advertising that they sell, so they make the biggest deal out of everything to sell commercials. PERIOD.

  6. #6
    SiriusBuzz is offline
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    Extremely well said. You should go work for the PAC!
    Charles LaRocca
    SiriusBuzz Founder

  7. #7
    smreid is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiriusBuzz View Post
    We understand...hosting issues do happen (I happen to have a lot of experience/contacts with hosting companies if you want my opinion)

    I am glad that you guys are making the effort to join us here and I hope we can pick up where we left off on the post comments.

    For the record as I said before, I think O&A's suspension was unwarranted although, I still don't necessarily agree with how they went about that "bit." When something that controversial is broadcast over the air there are clever ways of saying it without getting the press all over you. If anything I think were guilty of not playing the "creative legal way" game of saying something that clearly should not be said. I hope that makes some kind of sense.

    I know you guys have your hands full but, do you plan on jumping on Tom The Tree Man's cause?
    We are currently looking into the situation surround Tom the Treeman. While we sympathize with his situation, we must evaluate it based upon the goals and principles of our organization. While there are many worthwhile fights outside of our current laid out objectives, we cannot allow ourselves to get involved in those outside the scope of our cause, or we loose credibility, and opportunity in the future.

  8. #8
    smreid is offline
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    Joined: Jun 2007 Posts: 3
    1. I feel that fans seeking a credit from XM was appropriate, and would have made a strong point.

    2. I feel that fans cancelling their service is unfortunate. Whether people want to acknowledge it or not, there are "lines" that would not be crossed, and Opie & Anthony have always had those "lines" since their start at XM. Cancellations do make a statement, but the risk is huge. Will 10,000 or even 20,000 cancellations make a strong statement, or do you risk angering XM, and getting them in the mindset that O & A simply are more trouble than they are worth. Consider that over 5,000 cars equipped with XM roll off the GM assembly line every day. You risk limiting Opie & Anthony to FM stations where the censorship is far more stringent. This type of action might be described as biting off your nose to spite your face.
    Everyone has lines that ought not be crossed in their jobs. However artists and especially those in radio are often in a position where the lines are not made clear until AFTER whatever is said or done. This is even more dangerous then laying out content rules. If Opie and Anthony were hired with the stipulation that "hey go nuts, just don't bring a homeless man on and talk about rape." fine. Then when they agreed to be employed they agreed to limit themselves accordingly.

    3. I do not like the stance of defending the comments. I would rather see it acknowledged that many people would find the broadcast very offensive. Trying to say that the broadcast did not describe a violent sex act is not a good path to go down in my opinion.
    P.A.C. has not taken a stance as to the content of the comments. The content is immaterial. P.A.C. does however strive to consistently show how the media pics and chooses who can say which comments without getting in trouble.

    4. A better stance, in my opinion, would have been to cite and use other examples with the Opie & Anthony issue. The overall issue then becomes the central point rather than the "rape comments". By example, putting Imus, JV & Elvis, Opie & Anthony, etc into the forefront as a group has a better chance of having people find some common ground. They may hate what Imus said, but think that the O & A bit was funny. Or they may take offense to the O & A bit, but have laughed at the Imus commentary. This brings the "principal" to the forefront rather than the specific comments.

    5. I believe the support for O & A from PAC was much more focused and deliberate than with other talents. I feel strongly that PAC needs to be as vocal with other issues if they want to get mainstream support.
    The reason for this is very simple. When we make an effort to support a radio show, we must necessarily be in good and constant communication with their fan base. In the case of Opie and Anthony this was easier then with any other group, because many P.A.C. members also listen to Opie and Anthony. We are working on improving that for future causes.

    6. PAC started a cancellation campaign against XM. Will they take a stance when O & A return? Again, an example of biting off you nose to spite your face. If O & A fans are gone from XM, why should XM keep them on the payroll?
    This may seem like splitting hairs to you, but I assure you it is not. The separation between the Opie and Anthony Fans and P.A.C. has been one that I struggle with daily to maintain. The subscription cancellation was started by Opie and Anthony Fans, we continued the movement after discussing the action with sponsors. When the sponsors pulled out, the subscription cancellation was the best available voice to contest XM's decision. Unlike regular radio subscription cancellation is an important tool to use due to the fact that most XM revenue comes from subscriptions.

    People Against Censorship has not at this time developed a strategy regarding when Opie and Anthony return, as of right now, it is up to the individual to determine whether to continue or not. Our concern will remain how much XM censors the creative freedom of the show going forward.

    7. PAC could also take stances that constructively helps consumers and XM by suggesting better descriptions of the content.
    We attempted to contact XM several times regarding this matter and to propose solutions and received no response.

    8. In my opinion PAC should also acknowledge that there are lines that exist. Would PAC support the creation of a KKK channel? A NAMBLA channel? A terrorist channel that discusses how to kill the most people with a backpack bomb? These are extreme examples, but in reality, that is what many people will wonder about prior to becoming active in an organization. In our life and society, there are limits to what should transpire and where. Chaos is a dangerous thing.
    The choices of XM as a corporation as to what channel to put on the radio is exactly that, there own. People Against Censorship objects to the restraint of creative freedom for artists of all forms. I would suggest that society and the stock holders would prevent a KKK channel from ever coming to pass, thats fine, its there decision as a corporation.

    Again, and this is VERY IMPORTANT it has nothing to do with the content of the show. People Against Censorship fights against the arbitrary and capricious suppression of expression. Is it better to suppress a show because people don't like it's views? Or is it better to tell those that don't like it to change the channel? We would suggest it is the latter, thus the show will fail naturally without any constraint on creative expression.

    9. I think it is also important to point out that O & A are employed by XM. They also have an employment agreement that clearly enabled them to be suspended. Thus, there has always been a "line" that could be crossed. In my mind most people were well aware of this. O & A have stated the Menino and St. Patrick's events several times, and even had comments that they would not do those things again.
    Thats fine, those lines were in their contract they willingly restrained themselves, however distinguish that situation from the theoretical line that you don't know you've crossed until it's too late.
    Last edited by smreid; 06-08-2007 at 04:41 PM.

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