WASHINGTON (Jan. 16)
The American Jewish Committee, the American Civil Liberties Union and the United Church of Christ have joined with the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith in petitions to the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider its decision of last June renewing the license of Radio Station KTYM of Inglewood, Cal. The station was accused of broadcasting false and defamatory material of an anti-Semitic nature. The FCC held that the station had fulfilled its obligations by offering radio time for replies to those mentioned in its broadcasts.
In his petition today to the FCC which is shortly to decide whether to reopen the Station KTYM case, Morris B. Abram, president of the American Jewish Committee, urged the Commission to “reaffirm its long-standing policy and hold that a licensee has an affirmative duty to screen out and withhold from the air material promoting religious prejudice which he knows, or on reasonable inquiry should know, is false. “As it stands, Mr. Abram said, the FCC ruling permits stations to carry programs “which promote religious prejudice as a regular and continuous policy.”
The American Civil Liberties Union argued that the mere chance to reply to a broadcast slander did not necessarily meet the need for balanced programming of controversial issues.