Tell ESPN980 what you think about Kornheiser

Unless one of Tony Kornheiser’s radio listeners runs over a cyclist, don’t count on the Federal Communications Commission doing much of anything about his advocacy of such violence.

After similar comments by broadcasters on three stations in 2003 – in North Carolina, Ohio and Texas – the FCC denied complaints against them because no local court had found the offensive material to be a “clear and present danger.”

I’ve been wondering if Kornheiser’s on-air statements might have violated some FCC rule about using our own airwaves to advocate violence against us. Unless I’ve missed something, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

The 2004 ruling says, in part:

“The First Amendment and section 326 of the [Communications] Act prohibit the Commission from censoring program material and from interfering with broadcasters’ freedom of expression.” [U.S. Const., amend. I; 47 U.S.C. § 326.]

Very well. Censorship is not a good thing. Still, that doesn’t mean the licensee, Red Zebra Broadcasting, and its advertisers shouldn’t hear from concerned citizens.

Here’s the contact information for Red Zebra and WTEM, also known as ESPN980 – home of the Redskins.

If you see any bicycle advertising on that website, do let me know.

We have our own freedom of expression. Use it.

Pedal on.


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