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Clear Channel revisited (long)(14 posts)

Clear Channel revisited (long)Mel Erickson
Oct 9, 2003 8:34 AM
Here's a great summary and commentary from the folks at regarding the Clear Channel fiasco.

I get their newsletter which is full of good advice from some very knowledgeable people. This was the first thing in todays letter. Pretty informative, especially the FCC hearings. For those of you who have the time and might be near a hearing venue please consider attending or even testifying. Newsletter
Issue No. 114 - 10/09/03: Justice Prevailing
ISSN 1536-4143

1. News from Ed & Fred

The Clear Channel controversy is not clearing up for that
irresponsible company.

Cleveland was bad. Houston was worse. And Raleigh could be
Clear Channel's undoing. Let's hope.

We've told you how Clear Channel radio stations in each city
incited drivers to force cyclists off the road, hit us with open
doors, throw bottles at us or even run us over. The outcry from
the cycling community and other outraged citizens has been

And effective. The Raleigh station lost at least one large
local advertiser, a Ford dealership. The offending shock
jocks were taken off the air. Cyclists picketed, which
focused reporters on the station's transgression.

The LA Times published an article this week, "Mikes vs. Bikes."
It put Clear Channel in the negative light it so richly deserves.

Good Morning America contacted the League of American
Bicyclists, the country's primary cycling advocacy
organization. There's a chance that LAB communications
director Patrick McCormick will appear on the show.

It gets better.

The Federal Communications Commission has announced
a series of public hearings around the country. These sessions
will help determine whether radio stations are serving the public
interest, as required, and therefore deserve to have their
license renewed.

That isn't in response to the current Clear Channel controversy,
but it ensures that complaints about harm-cyclists programming
will be heard by the right people.

The license of the offending station in Raleigh expires on Dec. 1.
Cyclists there have done a great job mobilizing. You can bet
they won't miss the chance to give the FCC a reason why that
station should be off the air.

Here's an article about the FCC hearings:

Here's a chronology of the episode at Clear Channel station
G105 in Raleigh:

Even if you're not in a town that's suffered Clear Channel's
"hate crime" programming, you might want to express your
feelings about that company to the FCC. Here, courtesy of
RBR subscriber Anthony D., are the key e-mail addresses:

Chairman Michael K. Powell:
Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy:
Commissioner Michael J. Copps:
Commissioner Kevin J. Martin:
Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein:

Anthony cautions: "Letters that contain inappropriate
language or threats will likely backfire, suggesting to the
commissioners that cyclists are just fruitcakes who deserve
no more consideration than the broadcasters who incite
motorists to attack them."


Lots of roadies who've written to RBR have posed this

If a driver injures or kills a cyclist after encouragement
by Clear Channel's shock jocks, is Clear Channel culpable
or protected by freedom of speech?

Attorney Bob Mionske addresses this question in his "Legally
Speaking" column for VeloNews.

Mionske (the fourth-place finisher in the '88 Olympic road race)
discusses a case in which a man shot three people after
learning a technique in certain books. The victims' family sued
the publisher for encouraging and aiding a killer in his crime.

Arrrrgh! cut off ... more, more! (nm)Humma Hah
Oct 9, 2003 8:48 AM
"...suffered...Hate Crime programming". lolSteve_0
Oct 9, 2003 8:56 AM
some people really need to relax.
I'm with you Steve ODave Hickey
Oct 9, 2003 9:30 AM
What Clear Channel did was irresponsible but let's not go too far. The BEST way to punish Clear Channel is economically. Contact their advertisers and complain. If more companies like the Ford dealer in NC but their ads, CC will get the message loud and clear.
I'm not with Steve ODERICK
Oct 9, 2003 2:51 PM
If someone got on the air promoted throwing bottles at black people or running Jewish people off the road would that be considered hate speach? What if someone said we should open our car doors and hit gays walking down the street?

You know as well as I do that the DJs would be fired before the end of the show and the station would loose 90% of its sponsors within a week.

Why should cyclists be any different? The fact is that most road cyclists fall into the catagory of white, male, middle to upper income, straight. If we were any other group there would be no question whether it was hate speech or not.
I think you misunderstoodDave Hickey
Oct 10, 2003 4:08 AM
What difference does it make what color someone is? A crime is a crime regardless of their skin color, religion, or hobby. I just hate the term Hate Crime. Yes, it's a crime if someone runs a cyclist off the road but we don't need a special label to classify us.
....Hate should not be a crime.Steve_0
Oct 10, 2003 5:48 AM
Hate is nothing more than a feeling or thought. Hate should not be a crime because 1. Noone can prove feelings or thoughts, and 2. Feelings or thoughts cannot injure or harm anyone.

As Dave eluded, ACTIONS, which cause injury or harm should be punished, not thoughts.

With the exception of mental illness or euthenasia, all assaults and murders are done out of Hatred. You certainly dont hurt the ones you love.
Hate is not a crimeMel Erickson
Oct 10, 2003 8:45 AM
but hate is a qualifier. There are lots of murders that are just business and have nothing to do with hate (i.e. Mafia). If you would prefer maybe we can use a more PC term like "crimes of passion"? I don't think it's inappropriate calling running a cyclist off the road (because their blood is boiling about cyclists being on the road) a hate crime. It is a crime of hate, like many others you pointed out. The crime itself is the deed (the act of running the cyclist off the road) which is caused by hate. It's not that difficult to prove feelings because they're often expressed by the perpetrators themselves. In fact, intent and the state of mind of the perpetrator, is a requirement for proving a crime. Is it that the word "hate" is just too strong a word? I say call it what it is and let the chips fall where they may.
Oct 10, 2003 9:02 AM
it is murder. period.
You're exactly right.DERICK
Oct 10, 2003 5:52 AM
I agree with you about the term "hate crime","hate speech" Etc... My point was that we should treat these people as a serious threat and fight them with everything we have. If we have to resort to these tactics than so be it. All it would take is for a few of their millions of listeners to take them seriously and people are going to get hurt.
Curious what you picked out of the commentaryMel Erickson
Oct 9, 2003 12:54 PM
The one hint of hyperbole is what you picked out and ignored all the rational, constructive suggestions. The whole commentary was filled with calm advice. Ed Pavelka and Fred Matheny are definitely not hot heads or reactionaries. Besides, I don't think hate crime programming is off base at all. They (the radio hosts) were certainly advocating crimes against cyclists which emanated from a strong dislike or hate. That's a hate crime in my book. Maybe it doesn't meet the statutory definition but this wasn't a lawyers brief, either. It also doesn't matter that they were trying to be funny. Many of their listeners took it pretty literally. I agree with what they advocated, hit 'em where it hurts. Get to their advertisers and those that grant them a license to broadcast over the publicly owned airwaves. Overall I thought their commentary was very rational and "relaxed" when read in it's entirety.
I didn't ignore the rational and constructiveSteve_0
Oct 10, 2003 5:50 AM
I didnt find those aspects ridiculous, therefore I didnt comment on it.
Sorry, here's the restMel Erickson
Oct 9, 2003 11:03 AM
It had the whole article in the preview but apparently didn't show up.

Here's the key: An appeals court determined that freedom
of speech is not an issue in cases where a media outlet
aids or abets in a crime.

Writes Mionske, "I think that a strong argument could be
made that activities of the type carried on at the Raleigh,
Houston and Cleveland radio stations could meet this
[criterion], especially considering that one company owns
the stations in all three markets."

Here's Mionske's full article:

Now, let us say that we realize you haven't subscribed to
this newsletter for advocacy issues. You're here for advice
that'll help you ride better and get more fun and fitness
from road cycling.

That's RBR's mission and we generally stick to it. However,
Clear Channel's evil-doing is so disturbing that we feel you
need to know. The call for violence against cyclists can't
be allowed to spread through the rest of that company's
1,200-plus radio stations. As roadies, our lives are on the

Your responses to RBR are appreciated. Hundreds of e-mails
show how much you care about this issue and your lawful
place on the road.

Please understand that RBR isn't equipped like the League
of American Bicyclists to turn your comments and energy
into action. LAB exists to stop threats to cyclists' rights.

Help LAB fight the good fight at If you
click, it will take you
to LAB's Advocacy Center. There, you'll find a letter you
can e-mail directly to three execs at Clear Channel.
re: Clear Channel revisited (long)GTDave
Oct 10, 2003 7:27 AM
If sponsors pulling out hits them where it hurts...the FCC yanking their license hits them where it really hurts and congress giving them a proper anti-trust slap-downgets me where it feels good.
Clear Channel is the Wal-Mart of radio