NEW YORK (Nov. 13)
The Federal Communications Commission, responding to a petition filed by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, has granted permission to the ADL to challenge the license renewal application of a Kansas radio station that broadcasts anti-Semitic and anti-Black programs.
At the same time, the ADL filed a motion seeking that the issues in the case against KTTL-FM of Dodge City be enlarged to include consideration of anti-Semitic and racist threats contained in programs broadcast by the station in 1983 and 1984.
The FCC has ruled that these broadcasts be barred from consideration by an administrative law judge when he hears the case on KTTL’s license application. A Kansas group, Community Service Broadcast Inc., has filed an application competing for the KTTL frequency.
The ADL today welcomed the decision by the FCC to permit it to be a party to the case, but continued to express disagreement with the FCC’s ruling on what the administrative judge, John Frysiak, could consider in reaching his decisions.
“As yet the FCC has not permitted testimony on the incitements to anti-Semitic and racist violence included in KTTL’s programs on the ground that broadcast speech, no matter how offensive, is protected under the First Amendment,” said Nathan Perlmutter, director of the ADL.
“We are of the view that it is not simply a question of whether one can use the media to be anti-Semitic and racist,” said Perlmutter, adding that “I believe freedom of speech is important, “but “what is at issue is the use of the airwaves for inciting to murder.”
The owners of the radio station, Charles and Nellie Babbs, broadcast taped messages from rightwing extremist organizations. For example, a 1983 broadcast by William Gale, a retired army colonel who has long been associated with right wing groups, told listeners, “We’re gonna cleanse our land …. And we’re gonna do it with violence.”
“You better start making dossiers, names, addresses, phone numbers, car license numbers, on every damn Jew rabbi in this land, and every Anti-Defamation League leader or JDL leader in this land, and you better start doing it now,” Gale was quoted in the broadcast as saying.
Gale continued: “And know where he is. If you have to be told any more than that, you’re too damn dumb to bother with. You get these roadblock locations, where you can set up ambushes, and get it all working now.”