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Filthy Cars

New NAB President David Rehr says he was a satellite radio subscriber before he joined the association last fall, but, not surprisingly for a guy who has to weigh in against the interloping spacefolk, he's not any more.

"It tends to be kind of cool to be a subscriber to satellite radio," he told C-SPAN's Communicators series. I've always thought so, too, though I have yet to take the plunge.

"Before I joined the NAB I was a short-term subscriber to satellite," he said. "But, you know what, I could get a bunch of channels but I could also hear it on the radio and it was free. So, for me, I chose to go with free, over-the-air radio."

He didn't say whether the issue was money or content, but association presidents aren't underpaid and, given his next comment, I'm guessing "content."

In fact, in what disturbingly evoked images of the guy who launched the complaint that became the "seven dirty words" case, Rehr said that he was in a rental car equipped with satellite radio when traveling to Disney World with his family. "We had free satellite radio, didn't ask for it, didn't want it, wouldn't have paid for it. But yet my children have to hear that. Well, that's something the FCC should look into."

Rehr wants a level playing field, which means clear indecency restrictions on everyone. I can just see George Carlin's face reddening even as I speak.

On Shock Jocks: "Most of those shock jocks have moved to satellite radio, which argues before the FCC that 'you can't regulate us because we're subscription-only.'

I would argue that if I were before the FCC, too.

"So, if you are really concerned about Howard Stern, he's moved to satellite. Opus and Andy [he meant Opie and Anthony, I expect, and not a penguin and Charles Correll], they've moved to satellite."

By John Eggerton