Censorship: Shut Up Or Pay This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Censorship: Shut up or Pay

by S. H., Waltham, MA

Censorship of any kind is wrong. In the Constitution, Americans are given the freedom of speech. This means that no one should be penalized just for saying something deemed inappropriate by some high power.

An example of being unjustly punished in this way is Howard Stern. Howard Stern does a weekday radio talk show taped in New York and aired on stations across the country, including weeknights at 7 p.m. in Boston. The Federal Communica-tions Commission has repeatedly attempted to censor this man by placing hefty fines on the stations that carry his show. If the FCC doesn't like what Howard says, they just have to change the station. No one is forced to listen to his show, but still they try to ruin him. Luckily, the affiliates who broadcast his show are ignoring the ridiculous fines and Howard continues to do his show his way, knowing that millions will still listen, creating large advertising revenue, which keeps his show on the air. This aggravates the FCC no end, but Howard loves it.

Another attempt to try to censor a radio talk show host is the proposed "Fairness Doctrine" by the Democrats in Washington. This is a cowardly attempt to silence the conservative king of talk radio, Rush Limbaugh. By trying to present two differing opinions of a political topic, the liberals are hoping to lessen the influence of Limbaugh on his listeners, viewers and readers. This is wrong because Limbaugh has only one opinion on issues, not two, and forcing him to express two sides of an issue gives the impression that he is neutral on every topic, which totally is not the case.

The final victim of censorship is the TV show "Beavis and Butt-head." Because of a deadly fire lit by a five-year-old viewer and other complaints, this show has been forced to change the content of its episodes and has been pushed to a later time slot. This is wrong. "Beavis and Butt-head" is a comedy show for people over the age of ten. It is not meant for five-year-olds in any way. The woman who blames the show for the death of her infant is unjustified in her anger. While I understand she is going through a lot of grief, I must ask these questions: Why weren't you monitoring your child's television viewing habits? Why were matches or a lighter readily available to your youngster? Don't blame a cartoon when the fault is clearly with the irresponsible parent who uses television as a baby-sitter.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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