Sunday, August 14, 2005

Poets bare breasts; radio waves tremble

One of the surprises of being in East Texas was to her Garrison Keillor's voice on the radio at odd times of the day, of the week, talking about literature. The area NPR station carries The Writer's Almanac. It's Keillor the English major straight up. It's a treat, a break from the bad news.

A couple of weeks ago (via Romenesko), WKUY in Lexington pulled the plug.

WUKY managers decided to stop carrying the Almanac after a recent spate of language advisories, although they were tracking the content for about a year, [station manager] Godell said.

The warnings, issued by the program’s production company, came about Curse of the Cat Woman by Edward Field, which contained violent themes and the word “breast”; Thinking About the Past by Donald Justice, which also used the word “breast”; and Reunion by Amber Coverdale, which contained the phrase “get high.”

This is paranoid self-censorship, something we've seen in these parts before. But within two weeks, in response to criticism the station reversed itself. "The FCC says any potential complaint has to be measured against community standards," Godell said. "I've now learned what Central Kentucky's standards are."

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