The FCC is embarrassed because it stubbed its bureaucratic toe on its proposed giveaway ban. It has made a hasty and strategic retreat. But the war isn't over. There appears to be no question now that the FCC lacks jurisdiction over lotteries and gift enterprises, per se. Congress, without fanfare last June, repealed the lottery section of the Communications Act, along with the section dealing with obscene, profane and indecent language. It transferred jurisdiction to the Department of Justice, under the revised Criminal Code, which becomes operative Sept. 1. Why the FCC's highly-placed lawyers muffed this one becomes a matter of administrative concern for the FCC itself. But broadcasters shouldn't delude themselves. What the FCC cannot do directly it probably can achieve in other ways. The FCC is the licensing body. It can take judicial notice of violations of any statutes. It determines the qualifications of licensees. It may be a longer, more tortuous course, but it's there. Any broadcasting designed to "buy" the radio audience, by requiring it to listen in hope of reward rather than for the quality of entertainment should be avoided. Voluntary adherence to that precept will do it. In one fell swoop, it will achieve everything the reputable broadcaster has sought for a quarter century. It will make good programming the yardstick. It will disarm the Government's crusade toward greater program controls. It will quell the Congressional clamor for tightening up of the law. It will end the free rides of manufacturers who give things away like mad for the air credits. It will create new business for radio.Note the realistic grasp of Parkinson. Bureaucracies don't use laws. They do what they want to do. The response is also realistic. Lobbying is pointless. Just obey and hope to bore the demons. We aren't allowed to think realistically now. We are required to blame The Horrible Other Party for the permanent laws of power. If only we can elect more of My Wonderful Party, all problems will magically disappear. But the magazine was STUPIDLY WRONG when it called giveaways disreputable. These PAID LEARNING EXPERIENCES were deeply educational. Each of these surviving programs contained serious and accurate representations of geography and history and science. Even if the subject matter was typical soap opera, the MENTAL EXERCISE of strategic listening would be good for your brain. Blanc and MacHarrie urged you to listen with paper and pencil in hand, invoking MUSCLE MEMORY. Whether you earned the mattress or not, you were earning learning. And that's a vastly better prize than a mattress. = = = = = ** Astronomical: At one point the Truth or Consequences prize was: A new house, new furniture and appliances, a complete wardrobe every year for life, a complete set of jewelry, a new Buick convertible, a yacht, and an AIRPLANE. For most listeners, the Buick and the clothing would be a net gain, but the rest would throw you into bankruptcy. (New house = maintenance, insurance and property taxes every year, not covered by the prize.)
The current icon shows Polistra using a Personal Equation Machine.