Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NRB Urges FCC To Reject WWXX Petition-To-Deny

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson — president of the Manassas, Va.-based religious media watch group National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) —  has sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler which has been publicly filed by the FCC, urging the chairman to “reject” a petition to deny the renewal of a Red Zebra Broadcasting-owned radio station’s broadcasting license, over its use of the word “Redskin”.

The initial 27-page petition, filed Sept. 2 by George Washington University law professor John F. Banzhaf III requested the FCC not renew WWXX 94.3 FM’s license because it “deliberately, repeatedly, and unnecessarily broadcasts the word ‘R*dskins,’” and “actively encourages or indeed forces many other broadcasters to likewise broadcast a derogatory racial and ethnic slur.

In the letter, Johnson writes:
While most public attention has focused on whether the team name “Redskins” is inherently derogatory and able to be categorized as obscene or profane for broadcast purposes, I am alarmed that Professor Banzhaf’s petition went further by declaring the use of this team name to be “hate speech.” Such an allegation is very serious, yet difficult since ‘hate speech’ seems to be a nebulous term in our society.
Red Zebra is owned, primarily, by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder — who has said he’ll “never” change his team’s name — and runs a simulcast of its flagship radio station WTEM 980 AM’s programming on the Buckland, Va.-based WWXX, as well as on Prince Frederick, Md.-based WWXT 92.7 FM.

Of the three Red Zebra radio stations, WWXX is the only one still awaiting approval of its most recent license renewal application, filed in Oct. 2011. The licenses for the other two stations have already been renewed, and don’t expire again until Oct. 2019.

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