AFF Responds To Stern Criticism

LOS ANGELES — Earlier this week, during an interview with an online Christian media service, Patrick Trueman of the Alliance Defense Fund suggested the U.S. Justice Dept. look into “obscenity” charges against the new Howard Stern satellite radio show.

The response by Adult Freedom Foundation General Counsel Paul Cambria was swift and succinct.

“It’s just ridiculous,” Cambria said in an official statement.

Cambria was responding to statements made by Trueman on Family News in Focus on Jan. 9 that clearly implied the infamous shock jock should face Justice Department prosecution for his new satellite radio program.

“The Justice Department has regulatory authority over all obscene material,” Trueman said. “The FCC has authority over indecent material; a lesser standard and so the FCC is not likely to go after Howard Stern who will be broadcasting obscenity. That’s a matter for the Justice Department.”

The notion that Stern would in fact be broadcasting obscenity on his new program is unfounded, according to Cambria, who went on to accuse Trueman of simplistic reasoning.

“Legal obscenity is far removed from four letter words and fraternity type humor,” Cambria said. “It’s simple minded for Trueman to even suggest what Stern is doing fits the legal test for obscenity. The conduct necessary to constitute legal obscenity is light years away from what Stern does on his show. Any suggestion that it would be found obscene by any average adult is an insult to legal intelligence.”

Trueman’s statements followed a call by Robert Knight from the Culture and Family Institute for the Federal Communications Commission to consider regulating satellite radio. Cambria said Trueman’s own remarks were merely piggybacking Knight’s call.

“Clearly Trueman is pandering to the hopes and dreams of his financial backers by making such an outrageous statement,” Cambria said. “In my opinion the FCC has already gone to the ends of the earth with their overzealous enforcement policies. Now these right wing groups want to launch FCC enforcement into outer space. It just won’t fly with most Americans.”