An Archive of Jacob Appelbaum’s Post-Katrina weblog

An update to the 10,000 radios needed story:

Posted in houston,radio,supplies by jacob on September 7, 2005

Apparently the 10,000 radios are being purchased as a donation tomorrow
morning at 09:00am as a gift from Democracy Now.

The radio station is going to be online as soon as possible. Currently
the station techs aren’t sure of an ETA. The station crew hasn’t even
been allowed inside of the astrodome to build their station. They have
not been given a space, they have not started building and this is
because a harris county official “pretty far down the hierarchy” is
afraid of gansta rap music. They are worried about potential danger of
those 10,000 radios inciting some sort of issue.

As far as I can tell, the 10,000 radio requirement was the thing holding
up the LPFM transmitter as of yesterday. As of today, it appears freedom
of the dial is going to cause a problem when it comes time to give out
those radios. Please bear in mind that the person resisting this is not
an FCC official. This station is licensed by the FCC but it must have
it’s transmitter inside of the Astrodome.

This single official is holding up the the ability to have live radio
being broadcast. As a matter of respect the radio crew refuses to
release her name because they don’t want to cause ill will. They simply
wish to have their station up and running outside of the politics
inherent to an event like this.


13 Responses to 'An update to the 10,000 radios needed story:'

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  1. Robert Bisno said,

    Commenting on the facilities that have been set up for the evacuees — cots crammed side-by-side in a huge stadium where the lights never go out and the sound of sobbing children never completely ceases — former First Lady Barbara Bush concluded that the poor people of New Orleans had lucked out.
    “Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them,” Mrs. Bush told American Public Media’s “Marketplace” program, before returning to her multi-million dollar Houston home.

    (text cited from: )

  2. […] The reason for the delay has been well covered. The excellent coverage can be found here (this site has been reported on several “high profile” blogs). […]

  3. miklb said,

    you are kidding… right…rap music….low watt radio to transmit connections between family… some one needs to get this story to the major media… please. If some one is willing to name names, drop me a line at miklb DOT onlne AT gmal DOT com.

    this is absurd…

  4. Michelle said,

    You can submit a press release to the Associated Press.
    They might pick it up.
    Also the Houston Chronicle might be interested.

    If they won’t give the person’s name (which seems right to me) perhaps a link to the email of whatever organization pretends to run Harris County might not be amiss. Then we could all (all) tell them that someone in their employ is acting the little sultan and needs a word in the ear. How many emails do you think it’ll take?

  5. Phoenix said,

    It’s good there is an attempt to maintain good will and not name names–of course there may be a time to promise to expose incompetent decision-makers.

    May I also suggest that the fear of gangsta rap sounds ludicrous, but to me actually shows that this person making the decision understands the strength of rap music to communicate and rouse people–to make people think or to make them just plain angry.

    Gangsta rap is feared for its foul language, it may seem, but really a rap song could elicit civil disorder and disobedience when it asks–as art asks–why are people screwed in a time of crisis while the national guard and relief funds are both tied up in an oil war. Or why the evacuation strategy was self-evacuation, meaning those with cars got out and those without access to a car were left behind and picked up last.

    The reason the official is afraid of rap in particular is race-charged… since this is the cultural language of a poor, downtrodden majority of the refugees who are african-american and who now have even less hope for control of their life.

    That’s what I think we’re dealing with here.

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