Radio Bleeping - what guides it?

I was driving along yesterday and heard the Sheryl Crow/KidRock “Picture” song come on the radio. There’s a line that says “Been feuling up on cocaine and whiskey.” but on my radio station it came out as “Been feuling up on _______ and whiskey.”

Obviously they feared that impressionable little minds might hear the word “cocaine” and run out to buy an 8-ball.

The next song to play was “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind, which of course contains the line “Doing crystal meth
will lift you up until you break.” which wasn’t bleeped. I guess no one worries about the little kiddies taking a bump or two of meth.

Well, they probably do, but can anyone explain to me how/why/who decides what does and doesn’t get bleeped in a song?

The radio station decides, with an eye to FCC regulations.

The FCC’s guidelines are broad, and there are some words that are definite no-no’s. However, AFAIK, there’s no general rule on drug references. Also, the FCC usually does not act unless someone makes a complaint against the station.

In the cases you’ve outlined, it was a decision by the station. Why one and not the other? Possibly no one called the crystal meth reference to the attention of the people who make the decision – they don’t listen to every song.

FWIW, the crystal meth reference in that song is pretty hard to pick out casually due to the cadence of the lyrics at that point. Well, that’s how it is for me, anyway. I’ve listened to that song countless times and only now, seeing it in print, did I realize exactly what was being said. But I don’t tend to focus much on lyrics most of the time anyway.

In general, the Federal Communications Commission is most concerned about songs which promote illegal drug use. Going all the way back to 1971, Brewer & Shipley’s “One Toke Over the Line” was not considered to be a song that endorsed drug use.