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Re: WEVD (was WFAN New York)

At 03:51 PM 8/5/97 +0000, you wrote:
>On Tue, 5 Aug 1997, Rob Landry wrote:
>> The question is, if I make my living by selling blocks of time on a radio
>> station, can I legally refuse to do business with someone if I don't like
>> his religion? Remember, radio stations are *publicly* licensed; their
>> frequencies belong to you and me, not to their licensees.  Licensees are
>> only trustees and are supposed to operate in the public "interest,
>> convenience and necessity."
>Yeah, sure!
>What if someone came to the station and wanted to buy time to run
>explicitly anti-semitic programming?  The station licensee is
>responsible for what it broadcasts, and it has a great deal of
>leeway, especially nowadays, in determining what programming is in
>the public interest, convenience, and necessity.
>There have been some cases where the Globe has been upheld in its right
>not to run ads.  In one case, I think it was a Ralph Nader ad that it
>refused, and the court said it had the right to do so.  Especially in
>today's climate, I am convinced that the courts would defer to the station
>owner, except in the most extreme case.
>Nor would this be considered discrimination.  There was a case several
>years ago in which the courts upheld the right of the Jewish Community
>Center not to hire someone who was qualified for a job but was not Jewish.
Joe: You're not stupid, but you seem to be missing the point and I have to
believe that you're missing it on purpose. A radio station is NOT the Globe.
The Globe does not distribute its newspapers via a publicly owned resource.
(Well, OK, the delivery trucks run on publicly owned streets.) And a private
for-profit corporation (religiouly oriented though it may be) is not a
Jewish community center. The community center is presumably affiliated with
a legitimate religious organization.

I maintain that a private for-profit radio station that is licensed by the
federal government and exists only because the government has granted it
exclusive use of a publicly owned resource, cannot legally selectively deny
the use of its facilities to religious organizations that make good-faith
offers to lease those facilities. All of the qualifications I've piled into
the previous sentence are important. If the station were a non-profit
entity, if it were owned by a legitimate non-profit religious organization,
if it transmitted via cable instead of on publicly owned airwaves, if it
refused to lease its facilities to ALL religious organizations, I don't
think anyone would have a right to redress. 

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