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Radio Station’s License Challenged Over Use of ‘Redskins’ — Challenge Raises Broadcast Obscenity, Hate Speech Issues

Sep 2, 2014  •  Post A Comment

A challenge has been filed against a radio station’s license, putting the use of the name “Redskins” in the spotlight. B&C reports that the challenge was filed today by George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf against ESPN’s WWXX-FM (ESPN 980) in Washington.

The story reports: “According to Banzhaf, his challenge is based in part on the argument by former FCC officials and others that the term is a racial slur and that ‘the unnecessary and repeated on-air use of that derogatory racist word is contrary to current federal law and akin to broadcasting obscenity.’ Unlike indecency, which is allowed but must be confined to the overnight hours — 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. — there is no safe harbor for obscenity.”

The challenge also alleges that the term “Redskins” is “hate speech,” the report notes. Banzhaf “cites studies showing racially derogatory words related to Indians can cause ‘real physical harm, including beatings, bullying and ostracism,'” the report adds.

john banzhaf

John Banzhaf

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