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Between the Lines

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The much – criticized Jewish “radio hours” broadcast from radio stations in New York and Brooklyn have now attracted the attention of the Federal Commission for Communications, and a thorough study is now being made by this commission of the programs of certain stations.

It is difficult to say what the outcome of this study will be. One thing is certain: interested in keeping the air clean, the Federal Commission will have to definitely insist that the Jewish radio hours actually represent Jewish culture and are not merely utilized for commercial purposes.

A LOW STANDARD

Jewish leaders in New York have long been dissatisfied with the programs broadcast by the majority of radio stations. A number of stations, anxious to attract more air advertisements from Jewish firms have totally disregarded the interests of the Jewish community as a whole and have indulged in broadcasting the cheapest and most vulgar of Jewish programs, which have very little to do with Jews except that they were given in the Jewish language.

The standards of the Jewish radio hours on some stations were so low that they provoked indignation among the average cultured American Jew. Instead of bringing out the best that the Jews have in music, theatre and contemporary art, these stations stooped to including jokes with double meaning, to exploiting children on the microphone, to bringing before the microphone “Jewish stars” of whom nobody had ever heard.

THE FEDERAL PROBE

All this was not only detrimental to Jewish interests because of the doubtful educational value of the so-called “programs,” but also because it gave to the world a false impression of the actual Jewish cultural standard. Any non-Jewish listener to such a Jewish radio hour had the full right to form the opinion that the Jews may be a people of anything but culture.

The investigation by the Federal Commission for Communication into certain stations will, therefore, be welcomed by all those Jews who are interested in seeing that Jewish culture is not misrepresented. An expert inquiry into the Jewish programs broadcast from New York and Brooklyn can only be hailed by all Jewish leaders.

The regulations for operating a radio station provide definitely that the programs broadcast do not contain filth. This is exactly what the Jews of the United States demand also from those radio stations which are engaged in broadcasting Jewish programs. A number of stations in New York do live up to the required standard. It is, however, to be regretted that this cannot be said of all stations.

HIGHER LEVEL WANTED

There is no censorship in the United States and it is certainly not our intention to ask for such. But the standard of Jewish broadcasting has been too much degraded. It is only logical to expect that the Federal Commission take into consideration the resentment which exists in certain Jewish circles against the misuse of Jewish programs.

The Federal Commission for Communications is the only institution which can compel the radio stations to keep their Jewish hours on a higher cultural level.

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