Bitch, Bitch, Bitch

Politicos, prudes, and the paranoid protest the programming heard on Bay Area radio stations to the highest authority in the land -- the Federal Communications Commission

"Is KSFO now advocating child molestation?" asked Anne Lavandier of Willits. "Is the station's policy that child molesters should be free [to] perpetrate their unwholesome proclivities upon defenseless children? ... Spencer Hughes should be removed from the radio. His ... are merely the outpourings of unrestrained licentiousness with no redeeming social significance."

But the man responsible for the most KSFO complaints is, of course, former KSFO morning man and Bay Area radio veteran J. Paul Emerson, who generated an impressive 42 letters during his 30 days at the station. Most of those gripes were part of an organized protest effort. While they were written in different styles on varying letterheads, all 42 cited the same Emersonian excesses and quoted identical passages from his short-lived show, including, "Alioto, get your butt ready. I guarantee you, you want stinking war, you got war you asshole."

San Francisco Public Health Director Sandra Hernandez shared her concern with the FCC about Emerson's much-publicized call for the mandatory quarantine of HIV-positive people.

At the other end of the spectrum, so to speak, is Michigan resident William E. Lauterbach's 1993 complaint against KGO's Dr. Dean Edell, whose medical advice program is heard on stations across the country. Lauterbach detected a pro-gay, pro-anal sex bias in Edell's show. As evidence he cited the doc's supposed failure to "inform his radio audience ... that anal sex ... is anatomically and biologically incorrect." Edell was also indicted for his supposed failure to report that lesbians occasionally use dildos, AIDS is rampant in the gay community, homosexuality may be the result of genetic damage caused by drugs or pollution, and man-on-man sex is sometimes "aggressive and hard-driving, causing damage to the anal walls," rectal bleeding, and -- well, you get the idea.

Does a flood of complaints to the FCC prompt any fear in radio managers? "None at all," says Jack Swanson, who oversees programming at both KGO and KSFO. "In all my years of programming I can never recall being contacted by the FCC -- about anything."

KOME-FM General Manager Richard Kelly agrees that FCC mail has little effect. For true impact, he says, listeners should take their beefs to the management.

"A complaint can't have any impact if I don't see it," says Kelley. "In three-plus years here I have never had the FCC alert me to a letter they've received [about KOME]. I would encourage people to write directly to the station. Do we respond to all those letters? No. But I do call some of [the letter writers], or we talk about the complaint with the programming department."

In fact, many of the letters in the FCC files are copies of complaints addressed to the offending broadcasters. Gun rights activist Jeffrey Chan, for example, sends copies to the agency of all his correspondence with local stations. There are letters demanding airtime on all-news KCBS-AM and classical music KDFC-FM to promote a Second Amendment rally, and one accusing the pre-rightist KSFO of anti-gun bias in its news coverage.

Similarly, a San Francisco man sent the FCC a copy of a letter in which he informed KGO that he was "repulsed and outraged" that midday talker Ronn Owens was leading a petition drive in support of the "three strikes" initiative spawned by the Polly Klaas case.

"Is KGO a 'news' organization or has it decided to run for office?" asked the listener. "By allowing Mr. Owens and his crew to distribute petitions, in front of the Polly Klaas Center, no less, is to use KGO's power and influence inappropriately."

Owens' alleged mistreatment of Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek drew howls of protest from Michael Kellough. Mad Mike was incensed that Owens jumped down Trebek's throat when the visiting game show host casually expressed support for the Million Man March. Kellough complained that Owens has "for years" been "changing, shaping, and literally molding the news and comments by others to fit into his particular brand of politics."

Perhaps Mr. Kellough would be happier if Owens were a blank slate and he transmitted nothing but dead air.

The Good, the Bad, and the Prurient
Several listeners have written the FCC to complain about alleged race, religion, or gender slurs they heard on local stations. Frederick Greenhalge of Los Gatos asked the FCC to block the Walt Disney Co.'s purchase of Capital Cities/ABC because KGO's Bernie Ward constantly attacks Christianity. (If you want to know where Frederick is coming from, check out his address: "Box 1114, Fedgov. monopoly P.O.") Patricia Ann McCoy wanted the FCC to extract an apology from noncommercial KQED-FM and Terry Gross, host of public radio's Fresh Air arts program. Their sin: airing an interview with an author who "made blasphemous remarks about the Virgin Mary."

McCoy declared: "I, as a Traditionalist Roman Catholic and taxpayer, will not tolerate disparaging remarks comparing someone whom I, and millions of others, venerate, to pagan goddesses such as Ishtar or Aphrodite."

McCoy went on to ask that Gross and KQED be required to air an interview with an author whom Ms. McCoy said would "present to the listening public ... the perfidious and subversive nature of so-called 'Christian Feminists.' "

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My Voice Nation Help

I see that SFWeekly deleted all of the responses I had to this fictional article that is almost SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD!


I also see that SFWeekly wouldn't do an FOIA and print my letter to the FCC.  My question was related to Dr. Edel claiming that the male anus was as clean as the female vagina.  I also questioned whether Edel could practice medicine in all fifty states, which he was essence....with his medical advice program.


Next time, practice proper journalism and don't restrict freedom of speech.

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