The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

24 May 2008

Jello Biafra Responds To Michael Savage Flap


Jello Biafra Favors Talk Radio Censorship

After struggling for years against censorship of his work, one might expect an aging punk rocker to have a particular respect for free expression by others. And as a supposed "anarchist", advocating governmental intervention to suppress free speech would seem out of the question.

For former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra, however, hypocrisy apparently knows no boundaries.

Biafra is once again in the news after syndicated talk host Michael Savage played "California Über Alles" soon after news of Ted Kennedy's cancer broke, resulting in an angry response from left-wing Internet sites.

Savage maintains Kennedy's cancer shouldn't preclude talk radio hosts and others from criticizing Ted's dubious legacy, which includes killing Mary Jo Kopechne with his car and a host of far-left positions on issues.

That led the bottom- dwellers at the Boston Phoenix, a weekly freebie, to question Biafra about Savage's move to play his circa-1970s song. Right off the bat, Jello sinks himself by admitting he hadn't heard the show, but commented on it anyway.

Far worse, he blamed Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity for the "problem" (even though they have absolutely no connection to this story) and showed support for the former Fairness Doctrine, which would have the effect of shutting down modern talk radio (some obscene language slightly edited):

I haven't read the details yet, but I'm aware of what Michael Savage did. Obviously he took my song way the hell out of context and did it deliberately. But the bigger issue is Savage himself and how the hell he gets away with stuff like saying this, and saying that people with AIDS should be put in concentration camps. And then when people protest at the station, he calls on his own listeners to come down and beat them up.

It scares the s--t out of me that the most popular radio talk-show hosts are all foaming-at-the-mouth, ultra- bigoted blabbermongers whom only North Korea or the Nazis could love.

But like it or not, Savage is the third-most popular radio-talk show host in this country behind Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Nobody from the other side is represented or promoted well enough by the big right-wing-owned radio networks to compete. That's one of the ways they mindf--k the country into being so dumb they vote for people like George Bush, Mitt Romney and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The real issue here is why aren't the big candidates calling for media reform? Once upon a time there was a law on the books called the Fairness Doctrine, and it said that if somebody like Savage or Limbaugh or that skull woman Ann Coulter said something completely f--ked up and dishonest on the air, somebody else was allowed to come on the air and reply to them without being told to shut up every 15 seconds by a power clown like Bill O'Reilly. That law was on the books for 50 years but was allowed to expire in the late '80s when a Democratic-controlled congress failed to override President Reagan's veto of the law.

The damage was further compounded when your friend and mine Bill Clinton rammed through the Telecommunications Act of 1996, further deregulating how many radio stations and media outlets one corporation can own and what they can do with them and they greenlighted their long-held agenda to throw public interest out the window. And the volume and impact of the Rush Limbaughs and Michael Savages multiplied exponentially with nobody on the other side being allowed to reply.

In large areas of rural and small town America, this is the only radio anyone is exposed to. That's the problem. We need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. John Kerry had a golden opportunity to fire back at the Swift Boat liars and use that as a platform to rally the public to demand media reform. But true to form, he was too chickens--t to do it.

There you have it- Biafra supports using the government to suppress opinions other than his own and actually decries past efforts to get the FCC out of the content- control business.

In addition, he ignores the tens of millions of dollars that have been invested in Air America Radio and other liberal talk radio networks, including the fact that Clear Channel added leftist programming to dozens of its stations. But that effort largely failed because listeners tuned out.

When your Radio Equalizer was a Seattle- based host, liberal talkers in the building would sometimes invite their grunge rock heroes to the show as guests, only to find they were dumber than a box of rocks.

With his incredibly hypocritical statements, Jello Biafra has proven he's also little more than a puddin'- headed has- been.

FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site. NEW THERE: Kennedy media coverage scrutinized

Your Honor System contributions keep this site humming along. Thanks again!

Technorati tags:


  • It is quite amusing that the alleged "anarchists" of 20-30 years ago are now calling on the government to level the playing field. Would Johnny Rotten be asking for Congress or his government to give everyone equal time on the microphone? I think not. The facts are these: Dr. Savage speaks his truth from his perspective. Fortunately (or unfortunately), MILLIONS of people agree with his views. The reason is not that "the other side" is not allowed to respond, but simply that we get enough of "the other side's" views on most major television networks' nightly news programs. I do not personally agree with everything Dr. Savage says, however, I listen nearly everyday. He is adept at informing and entertaining his audience. I think one just needs to know the difference between the two.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 24 May, 2008 14:52  

  • You actually expect rock stars to say anything intelligent? Heck, I take anything Ted Nugent says with a grain of salt, although he is at least entertaining when he opens his mouth.

    Maybe I should qualify one thing: Was this Biafra guy ever really a rock "star"? I've never heard of him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 24 May, 2008 23:33  

  • How about having conservative opinions getting equal time on NPR or PBS? How about pairing a conservative with Olby on MSNBC? I'm sure the libs would love that. The so-called Fairness Doctrine is really an infringement of freedom of the press,
    since radio stations would be forced
    to air viewpoints they normally wouldn't.

    It is true that hosts like Rush
    and Savage ARE equal time considering most of the media is
    slanted left. In America, good
    product sells, and lib talk radio
    was not wanted/needed. Now they want to government to force it on us--or more to the point they want to shut down conservative talk, which IS
    in high demand and successful!

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 25 May, 2008 00:08  

  • Sorry, Brian, but you are way off-base when you call Jello Biafra a has-been.

    He's a "never-was."

    By Blogger Carl, at 25 May, 2008 23:11  

  • Hmmmmm....Jello Biafra...Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious......ENOUGH SAID!

    By Anonymous YOYAMA, at 26 May, 2008 02:50  

  • What the hell kind of parents name a kid Jello--HIPPIES THAT'S WHO!

    Hippies smell--trust me I had them for college profs!

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 27 May, 2008 07:05  

  • Sorry "conservatives" the media sold you the Vietnam war and Johnson's lies.... They sold you the Bay of pigs lies of Kennedy ....sold you Nixon promising no bombing Cambodia, they sold you the Iraq war.... They even sold you Truman's claims of the atomic bomb being the only way to win World War 2...... The media has pretty much always been a tool of the government's propaganda. Democrat, Republican: NO DIFFERENCE.

    In one sentence I proved it to you. Those were all lies, all sold to you by the media...... You have the audacity to shriek "liberal media"..

    This is what happens when you listen to right wing radio. Critical thinking out the window...

    Critical thinking is LACKING by the fools who hang on the words of the propagandists on the radio. THINK FOR YOURSELF. The media is not 'liberal", the media is not 'leftist", the media feeds you myths, the media has fed you GOVERNMENT "facts" for 60+ years.

    To even try to attempt to pass off the media as "leftist" is indeed deranged. No evidence exists to prove this. The media for 60 years, has been a tool of the government, anyone with a level of CRITICAL thinking skills can see this......

    You fools listen to talk radio hosts that perpetuate this MYTH, they do this, so you the listener actually thinks "the media is liberal" and I need to listen to talk radio.

    When Savage tells you the media is "lib", he is only doing it so you will continue to listen to his program, to present a feeling that the listener is in an "exclusive group of privileged people free from liberal lies in the media"... It is a MARKETING GIMMICK. Savage is selling you the same line of shit the main stream media is selling you.... only he claims he is not giving you "liberal media"

    prove to me the media is liberal.

    i just proved to you since World War 2, the media has sold you government LIES.

    This is why I will never work in commercial radio, I'm far too versed and grounded in history. I do not show contempt to readers and listeners, Savage does.

    prove me.. "liberal media"

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 27 May, 2008 11:15  

  • Bob, his parents named him Eric Reed Boucher. "Jello Biafra" was originally just a stage name which he now uses. He is a self-proclaimed anarchist. His parents Stanley Boucher, a psychiatric social worker and poet, and Virginia Boucher, a librarian actually weren't hippies.

    By Blogger Carl, at 27 May, 2008 12:37  

  • Sorry, I don't know where you right wing nuts are looking for the facts, but Biafra never said radio should be censored. He meant that rational people should come together and wage a figurative war on right wing radio domination. For those of you idiots who don't know who he is, Jello Biafra was the former singer of the greatest punk band of all time, The Dead Kennedys. He was also a candidate for mayor of San Fransisco. He attacks left and right with equal zeal, and nothing you say will change the fact that he is an American hero. He is not an anarachist, as some of you claim, so get educated before you decide to offer your less than intelligent opinion.

    By Blogger badtown88, at 27 May, 2008 14:59  

  • Oh and the real Bob Anthony,

    Biafra was born years before the hippie movement began. His real name is Eric Boucher. Jello Biafra is a stage name meant to show the irony that Biafra is a starving African nation, and Jello is a mass produced food with no nuritional value. But that wouldn't matter to you, because you don't care about facts, you care about what sounds good.

    By Blogger badtown88, at 27 May, 2008 15:03  

  • badtown right off the bat you've lost pretty much all credibility with the ad hominem of which you began your missive. As to "wage a figurative war on right wing radio domination"'s called "free market." A method Biafra has advocated and still does advocate for this "figuerative war on right wing radio domination" includes censorship of conservative talk shows utilizing various means including implementation of the "fairness doctrine" which would effectively reduce conservative radio to almost zero due to pressures put on most stations carrying talk radio.

    I also suggest you get your facts straight for what you posted shows conclusively you are speaking from ignorance. Biafra has referred to himself on many occasions as an "anarchist" [One source: "Platform for 2000 Green Party Presidential Primary". March 7, 2000]. As a member of the Green party, he has openly stated that he actively supports leftist political causes. So if anyone is actually considered "uneducated" on the topic of Jello Biafra it's you since you can't even get the facts straight.

    As to being a hero, Biafra has done nothing heroic in his life. Unless you count being sued by your former bandmates for witholding royalties a heroic act. As to greated punk band of're entitled to your opinion but you're going to get a lot of refutation from fans of The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Voidoids, X, Siouxsie Sioux & the Banshees, The Damned, The Descendents and a whole host of other punk bands from that era. Not to mention fans of proto-punk and new-punk.

    BTW, before you accuse me of not knowing what I'm talking about in regards to punk rock, I am a 20-year veteran of broadcast radio and have worked at stations playing just about every format imaginable. I was in my late teens and early 20's when punk and new wave finally killed disco (thank goodness) and by that time I already had 5 year professional experience in commercial radio under my belt and we already familiar with most of the bands mentioned above. I worked 4 years in college radio as well where I played a lot of punk rock from all the bands mentioned above along with bands you've probably never heard of since more than likely you're exposure to punk rock was more along the lines of whatever was available at your local commercial record store and a local club or two.

    Let's just say I know more about punk rock than you obviously do and probably know more about the Dead Kennedys as well. Heck, I still own a sizable punk rock collection on vinyl and a pretty good collection on CD as well.

    So badtown, come back when you actually have a clue.

    By Blogger Carl, at 27 May, 2008 16:34  

  • "minister of propaganda", I don't know what weird definition of "prove" you adhere to but your "one sentence" was nothing more than YOUR OPINION with no substantive evidence whatsoever. Lack of citations, evidence, etc. disqualifies your "one sentence" as proof by any accepted definition.

    Secondly your handle as "minister of propoganda" indicates that you engage in "the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person" [Merriam-Webster Dictionary] hence your slant is obviously one that lacks objectivity and is based upon your preconceived premises originating from faulty information.

    But thank you for playing. You can pick up the home edition of "Reality Check" on your way out.

    By Blogger Carl, at 27 May, 2008 16:41  

  • badtown, you're a day late and a dollar short on Biafra's real name. I've already pointed that out plus pointed out they Biafra's parents weren't hippies. Also, Biafra was born in 1958 so he grew up during the 60's and was very influenced by radicalism and hippy liberalism influencing his eventual move to San Francisco to attend acting classes and eventually beginning his musical and eventual political career.

    By Blogger Carl, at 27 May, 2008 18:59  

  • Wait a minute!! I'm a flaming artistic liberal and I believe that the "dead kennedy" song is pure art. I even urinated on the record to enhance it's appeal, just like Mapplethorp would do.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 28 May, 2008 01:26  

  • MOP did that hurt when Carl slapped you.

    1. A belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
    2. A personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

    1. Something that actually exists; reality; truth:
    2. Something known to exist or to have happened

    By Blogger pf1, at 28 May, 2008 08:29  

  • The right have Talk Radio, the left TV and the press. Shut up no new laws! Vote Libertarian.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11 March, 2009 16:56  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Page Rank Checker

Powered by Blogger