National Religious Broadcasters Stand Against Hate Speech Inquisition

Hate speech investigations nullify the First Amendment.


Oh brother. If this petition is granted, any radio or television station reporting weekly football scores could lose its license.

George Orwell, call your office!

[See also, “Is The FCC Anti-First-Amendment Campaign Out Of The IRS Criminal Manual?]

As Broadcasting & Cable reports, “NRB Urges FCC Not to Open Proceeding on ‘Hate’ Speech.”

The National Religious Broadcasters has asked the FCC not to open a proceeding on whether broadcasters use of the term Redskins is “hate” speech.

That came in response to a petition by legal activist John Banzhaf to deny Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s license to operate radio station WWXX-FM on the grounds that use of the term is not in the public interest because it is akin to obscenity and may also be “hate” speech.

Banzhaf cited studies showing racially derogatory words related to Indians can cause “real physical harm, including beatings, bullying and ostracism.”

Obscenity is unprotected speech that can be banned, but as the FCC itself points out “expressions of views that do not involve a ‘clear and present danger of serious, substantive evil’ come under the protection of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press and prevents suppression of these expressions by the FCC.” There is an exception for “indecency” and “profanity,” which cannot be banned but can be restricted to times of day when children are believed least likely to be in the audience (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.).

In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, NRB President Dr. Jerry Johnson said he was alarmed that Banzhaf had raised the “hate speech” issue.

NRB has historically fought efforts to restrict so-called hate speech, arguing that it could restrict speech in opposition to gay marriage or abortion as “hate” speech.

Yeah, I’m sure history is filled with thousands of examples of Native Americans being beaten and killed, just because the Washington football club’s nickname is “Redskins.”

Does anyone buy this nonsense?