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We should be free to listen to Bubba if we want

Re: Fines are fine, but Bubba still has his bully pulpit, by Mary Jo Melone, Jan. 29.

Welcome to America, Mary Jo. The First Amendment protects Melone as she prints her ideas, and it protects Bubba the Love Sponge Clem as he spouts his ideas. It's called freedom. And built into that freedom is the freedom to change the channel if people don't like what they hear.

I gave up listening to the radio ages ago. I didn't care for Bubba then, and I doubt I would now. But you know, if I did want to listen to him, I should be able to. It's called freedom of choice.

As for concerns about what children might hear, for cryin' out loud, it's not up to the government to decide what our children have access to. It's up to each parent. And the parents can change the channel. We need to quit making the FCC and other government agencies our nannies, and we need to quit weakening further the already weak First Amendment because our sensibilities have been offended.

Raymond Roewert, ClearwaterBubba must go

So Bubba the Love Sponge feels that the matter of indecency is too subjective to be of consequence as a measuring stick of what is decent and what is down-right perversion.

The FCC is finally doing its job and perhaps the hefty fine it has proposed will wake up the corporate types at Clear Channel Communications.

Bubba must go. The CEO and the station manager must do the right thing and fire this fool now. Somehow, I fear they will continue to "follow the buck" and allow this jackal to continue spreading his sickening message that "poor taste and vulgarity" sell. That very well may be the case, but the leaders at Clear Channel should choose to travel the "high road" for the sake of their own children and for the public at large. They will sleep better at night.

Bill Hoelzle, LargoFCC action isn't warranted

Re: Bubba's brazen shows draw hefty FCC fine,

Jan. 28.

I find the FCC's singling out of Bubba the Love Sponge's morning show as "indecent" to be subjective at best. I have listened to Bubba on occasion and find that his program can be entertaining and is "edgy" to say the least. But I don't find it offensive enough to warrant this action by the FCC.

What I do find offensive is the likes of right-wing hatemongers such as Rush Limbaugh, whose only basis for entertainment is slander and half-truth aimed at severely dividing this country and encouraging people to be right-wing fanatics. To me this kind of radio is far more disturbing than potty humor and talk of breast augmentation.

Bruce Johnson, New Port RicheyHe's a master of manipulation

Re: Bubba's brazen shows draw hefty FCC fine.

It's great to finally see someone standing up to Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. I applaud the FCC. Clem is a master of manipulation and nothing more. Because of him I have refused to listen to any of the radio stations that supply his likes for quite a few years now. Part of Clem's manipulation process is to behave as immorally as he can get away with until he is questioned about his antics. Then he acts with the poor, innocent, "nobody gives me a break" routine. Perfect gentleman? Give me a break! The man is as disgusting and immoral as he can get away with.

John Hogan, CEO of Clear Channel Radio is another manipulator. He says "None of us defend or encourage indecent content." This makes it sound as though Clear Channel has no control over who is on or what is said on their airwaves. Poor-me routine again? If they don't have the control, then who does?

Young people (and old alike) need someone to look up to, not down at.

Gloria Petrey, St. PetersburgThe epitome of entertainment

Why is the FCC attacking only a single radio host with such ferocity? Although Bubba the Love Sponge may not be the ideal radio host for a puritanical Christian family, he is for the average citizen who chooses to listen to him. According to the communities that he is broadcasting in, he is the epitome of entertainment in morning radio.

Bubba clearly states that his show is not geared for younger listeners, and oftentimes, he has told callers to stop listening if they were too young. If the show offends you, then don't listen. It's that simple! Recent Arbitron ratings show Bubba's morning program is rated No. 1 in the Tampa Bay Area. From that, it's easy to see that the Bubba Radio Network is truly known for its Morning Domination. So rock on Bubba! Show the FCC who is boss.

Katherine Futral, ClearwaterCleaning up the airwaves

Re: Bubba's brazen shows draw hefty FCC fine.

While I have never listened to the radio station that Bubba is on, I take great pleasure in the fact that the FCC is trying to clean up our airwaves. I would not lower myself to having my ears assailed by the evidently crude language used by someone who displayed a picture himself sitting on a toilet on a billboard.

Now, when will there be an attempt to clean up the vile language used on television and in the movies? It seems as though every other word is the F-word or some other vile word.

Mrs. Don Merritt Sr., SeminoleGood bag, pathetic article

Re: Martha's image problem is in the bag, Jan. 26.

The article pointing out Martha Stewart's "image problem" was a new low in trashing someone.

Here is Martha, who has earned her own money all the way _ not ripped off small investors like the gentle folk at Enron and such _ and she is being criticized because she has an 11-year-old handbag.

The fact that she still uses it after 11 years shows me that, for someone who can afford it, the bag is a very "good thing" indeed. It will outlast 100 cheaper bags, and I would buy one myself if I could.

The fact that Birkin bags became a status symbol after some ditzy TV show featured one, only shows that Martha knew a good thing before the media did.

That your newspaper wasted space on such an article is pretty pathetic.

Renate Bauer, BrooksvilleStory shows a double standard

Re: Martha's image problem is in the bag.

The cost of Martha Stewart's briefcase _ what's with that? A double standard, that's what!

Try as I might, I could find no reference in the Martha Stewart article about the cost of briefcases used by prosecutors or other attorneys in the courtroom. Regardless of the outcome of this legal proceedings, surely the cost of Ms. Stewart's briefcase is totally irrelevant.

Mary Ann Smith, HolidayDisrespectful details

Re: Jan. 25 boat tragedy involving Chris Parker.

Please reflect upon the events of this past weekend and this week in regard to the stories about Chris Parker published in your newspaper.

I find your commentaries and choices in revealing Mr. Parker's personal information, including his residence, value of his home and his business dealings, among other things, appalling and extremely distasteful. The St. Petersburg Times has once again shown its disrespectful and spiteful ways.

I also find it meaningless to post an online poll seeking opinions on Tampa Bay boating speed limits. It is irrelevant and only opens up a forum for uneducated and perhaps ignorant opinions related to boating and serves no purpose.

I can assure you, the local and national performance boating community has taken notice.

Nick Kamenszky, St. PetersburgBoating speed limits not needed

In regard to the aftermath of last weekend's tragic boating accident, as predicted and suspected by many, there are now those who are calling for speed limits on Tampa Bay. I strongly feel that your online poll was being responded to by those who actually know very little about the boat involved.

That "cat" boat is designed and built as a high-speed, high-performance vessel. When operated correctly, it is as safe at 100 mph as your 23 ft. "bowrider" is at 30 mph. Unfortunately, unexpected occurances can arise, such as a large wake that might be hidden by the glare of the sun just as an example. At those high speeds, it can cause a "cat" boat to "blow over," yet with the smaller bowrider at the slower speeds, it could cause that vessel to "stuff" into the water (where the bow of the boat hits down at an angle that allows the bow of the boat to actually be submerged under the water's surface) which can lead to equally tragic results.

There are speed limits on roads, yet there are accidents. Some are caused by careless operator error, some are nothing more than what they are called, "accidents." In regard to how many people boat on the water, the number of deaths is phenomenally low. Sunday's tragic accident was nothing more than that, a tragic accident. There is no need to jump on a "let's save the boaters from themselves" bandwagon.

Russ Snyder, board of directors, Suncoast Offshore Racing

Association, NokomisFor responsible boating

Re: Friend says "rogue" wave made boat flip,

Jan. 28.

I would like to disagree with Mr. Clifford Davis when he says that "he does not think it was irresponsible to operate the boats that fast."

It certainly is in the area in which they were doing it. They put not only their lives at risk but also the lives of every responsible boater in the area. A "rogue wave" should not be such a surprise since many large ships operate in the area around Gandy Bridge.

Boaters should be mandated to restrict their high speed to protected areas. That is what responsible boating is about.

David A. Cimino Sr., St. PetersburgThese dolls are not cool

Re: Mattel's Flava Dolls leave a bad taste, Jan. 15.

Bravo for your article regarding Mattel's Flava dolls and the highlighting of toymakers' current trend of developing toys that attempt to further glamourize the gangsta culture a la MTV style. I wish you had also mentioned the Bratz dolls which, in my opinion, look like a group of hookers and, as you stated, appear to have no other legitimate activities than to "just stand on a corner frontin.' "

As the mother of a 5-year-old girl whose friends all own these dolls and dress up as these dolls for Halloween, I have to wonder why we are shocked when our teenage daughters think it's acceptable to dress like Britney Spears _ we've been telling them it's A-okay since they were in kindergarten. I, for one, have higher aspirations for my daughter than for her to be some kind of arm candy for a gangsta.

Also, I do not hesitate to tell her so and give her the legitimate reasons that these dolls are not "cool" and are not something we will have in our house.

Thank you for once again championing the cause of the subtle sexualization of women that has become so prevalent in our society and continues to erode our morals and our daughters' futures.

I also encourage parents to wake up and actually look at the toys that they are putting in their shopping carts, because change will only start with you, the consumer of this garbage.

Dana H. Galbraith, Palm Harbor

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