NRB Urges FCC Not To Open Proceeding on 'Hate' Speech

Says Term Has Been Used Recklessly to Censor Speech

The National Religious Broadcasters has asked the FCC not to open a proceeding on whether broadcasters use of the term Redskins is "hate" speech.

That came in response to a petition by legal activist John Banzhaf to deny Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder's license to operate radio station WWXX-FM on the grounds that use of the term is not in the public interest because it is akin to obscenity and may also be "hate" speech.

Banzhaf cited studies showing racially derogatory words related to Indians can cause "real physical harm, including beatings, bullying and ostracism."

Obscenity is unprotected speech that can be banned, but as the FCC itself points out "expressions of views that do not involve a 'clear and present danger of serious, substantive evil' come under the protection of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press and prevents suppression of these expressions by the FCC." There is an exception for "indecency" and "profanity," which cannot be banned but can be restricted to times of day when children are believed least likely to be in the audience (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.).

Read more at B&C here.