The movement to clean up the movies may and may not be approved by many Jews, but if a movement were started to clean the Jewish programs on the radio I am certain that every intelligent Jew in the United States would support it.
The more one listens to the so-called “Jewish hours” on the radio, the more inescapable is the conclusion that some kind of censorship must be introduced in order to maintain the prestige and the dignity of American Jewry as far as broadcasting Jewish programs on the radio is concerned.
A study of the Jewish programs broadcast will disclose that most of them are vulgar and do not at all represent Jewish sentiment in the United States. Features are introduced on the “Jewish radio hours” which cause only irritation. Children are being exploited. Jokes of questionable color are being told. Sketches are presented, the contents of which would bring pride to no Jew.
All this is supposed to portray Jewish life. It is supposed to give the non-Jewish world an idea about Jewish culture. It is supposed to display to the millions of radio listeners the taste and the sentiments of the Jews.
MISREPRESENTING JEWISH CULTURE
When one listens to the programs of other national minorities and compares these programs with the Jewish, he cannot help but wish that either the Jewish hours be altogether be eliminated from the radio or that they undergo the control of a Jewish authoritative body. While the Polish, the Italian, the Spanish, the Greek, the Russian and the Ukrainian radio programs are bringing out the color and the character of the respective nations, this cannot be said of the Jewish radio hour.
The radio is today one of the major forces in life. It combines the newspaper, the pulpit and the stage. It is a medium by which the cultural standard of a nation is judged. Furthermore it is the institution which brings the Jews in contact with millions of non-Jews. It is the link between nations. It helps greatly to mold the non-Jewish opinion about the Jews.
It is, therefore, very regrettable that the field of Jewish broadcasting is a field free for all and is not regulated by responsible Jewish organizations qualified to do so.
It is true that the in the United States the radio is commercialized. It is also true that Jewish programs on the radio are sponsored by Jewish business firms which do not at all care what the programs consist of. But this private approach to the radio is highly detrimental for the Jews in America, since the average radio listener assumes that the programs are representative of Jewish culture. It is a degradation for the intelligent American Jew.
Jewish organizations interested in education and in Jewish political affairs should therefore take a hand in this matter. The experience of England, France and other cultural countries where nothing can be broadcast over the radio unless approved by a special board, should be taken into consideration.