The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sent a field team to investigate a hate-mongering radio station in Dodge City, Kansas, it was announced here by Sen. Robert Dole (R. Kansas). The controversial radio station KTTL has broadcast programs urging its listeners to kill Jews and Blacks. The racist programming aired by the station has focused attention on the renewal of the station’s broadcasting license. The FCC is expected to take some action in six to eight weeks, Dole said.
The two-man FCC team was supported by personnel from Kansas state agencies, including the KBI. The one-day, on-site inspection last week was ordered following allegations that listeners did not have access to the station’s public files and that potential access was shut off by intimidation, Dole said.
The team conducted a standard “technical inspection” of KTTL’s facilities, including a search of the public files, the Senator reported. He said that initial reports from the FCC in Washington indicate the investigating team was allowed full access and treated cordially.
“I am pleased that the FCC has taken this significant step to determine whether KTTL should continue to operate,” Dole said. “Expeditious action on this controversial radio station is in the best interest of all involved and has been assured by the FCC.”
AN IMPORTANT STEP
The investigation, he continued, “is highly appropriate in light of the KTTL’s questionable programming. Although it will be six to eight weeks before the full Commission takes further action on this matter, the investigation serves as an important step in the licensing deliberation. I am glad the FCC is taking a hard look at KTTL’s handling of their responsibility to the public and their right to continue transmission of such threatening programs.”
In May, Dole wrote to FCC chairman Mark Fowler, informing him of the racist remarks and threats that had been broadcast on the radio station, and to urge the Commission to determine whether the station’s performance could withstand the test of FCC law.
Dole submitted testimony to the House Telecommunications Subcommittee on August 4, in which he said that in his view “violence is not in the public interest,” a reference to federal statutes under which radio stations must operate “in the public interest.”
KTTL is currently involved in four broadcast license-related processes. The FCC team’s investigation paves the way for Commission hearings regarding the future of the station, the Senator noted.
Petitions and objections have been filed against the station by the Anti-Deformation League of B’nai B’rith, Jewish Community Relations Bureau of Kansas City, Mo., National Black Media Coalition, Dodge City Citizens for Better Broadcasting, Jewish War Veterans, and Kansas Attorney General Bob Stephan. KTTL’s frequency is being challenged by a competing license application from Community Service Broadcasting.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.