Pirate Radio USA (DVD)
Those interested in fighting for their right to microbroadcast over the radio airwaves should take some pointers from Frank Luntz.
The unfortunately named Luntz is ironically the Republican political consultant responsible for so skillfully massaging “estate tax” into “death tax,” “oil drilling” into “energy exploration,” and “global warming” into “climate change.” The man is a semantics warlord. Perpetrators of what has been known as pirate radio might feel a little bugged out about adopting right-wing tactics to make their cause more palatable, but as Pirate Radio USA proves, a change might be in order.
Seattleite DJ Him, co-host of the documentary - along with, you guessed it, DJ Her - mentions in passing that supporters of a jailed radio broadcaster in Northern Washington referred to him as a patriot for drawing attention to the controversy. Though it is not given enough attention in the film, in the context of a guaranteeing a legitimate 4th Estate, it is not a minor distinction.
As jailed broadcaster Mark Alan explains from behind a Plexiglas dividing window, the forefathers and foremothers of our nation are considered heroes for fighting for the right to have an unmolested media. So wouldn’t those struggling to have their voices heard be more accurately called practitioners of “patriot” radio? Pirate connotes something pilfered.
As Pirate Radio USA shows, microbroadcasters aren’t stealing anything. Instead, they are taking what belongs to them according to the mandate of the FCC’s charter. Despite all its efforts to consolidate media ownership in the hands of a few giant corporations, the government can’t deny the fact that the FCC was inaugurated to safeguard the “public airwaves” for the “public interest.”
What could be more patriotic than fighting for our First Amendment rights? After seeing the interviews, first-hand accounts, and history presented in Pirate Radio USA, you might just be moved to start your own patriot radio station.
- Buck Austin
Download Pirate Radio USA Via B-Side
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