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Re: WEVD (was WFAN New York)

At 04:17 AM 8/5/97 +0000, you wrote:
>On Mon, 4 Aug 1997, Dan Strassberg wrote:
>> Although the programming might indeed offend WEVD's audience, I don't think
>> the station could go beyond reasoning with the origanization in its attempts
>> to get them not to run the programs on WEVD. If time were available and the
>> station simply refused to accept the programs, I believe that the station
>> would be in for a court battle and, very likely, would lose its license.
>Quite the contrary.  I think the courts would uphold the right of the
>station to refuse to run programs that don't fit its format.  Can Rush
>Limbaugh force stations to carry his program against their will?
Well, Joe, you're the lawyer and I'm not, but I strenuously disagree. These
are public airwaves we're talking about and a private company that is using
them under federal license. If the station owner or operator were itself a
bona-fide religious organization (as opposed to a religiously oriented
commercial organization), I think you'd be right. But this issue is quite
different from a station management exercising its creative judgment.
Assuming that the programming in question is paid _religious_ programming
and two bona fide religious groups offer to purchase the time, I think the
station must accept the first legitimate good-faith (no pun intended) offer
it receives for the time. It's an issue of a station management using the
public airwaves to discriminate against one religion and favor another. That
violates freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Even if I _am_ wrong, I
can't believe that this would be an open-and-shut case.

If a private country club, which receives no federal money, but merely opens
its facilities to the general public on occasion, cannot legally exclude
members on the basis of race or religion, how can your position be
defensible? With the country club, there are no issues of freedom of speech
or religion. Are you going to say that regardless of an individual's race or
religion, anyone with a working radio can tune in the station? To me, that's
a far cry from not being able to buy time on the station (when I have the
money to do so) to preach my religion, when the station gladly sells time
(on the public airwaves) to practitioners of other religions so that they
can preach.

- -------------------------------
Dan Strassberg (Note: Address is CASE SENSITIVE!)
ALL _LOWER_ CASE!!!--> dan.strassberg@worldnet.att.net
(617) 558-4205; Fax (617) 928-4205