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second, by imposition of the additional penalties of the Communications Act.

The broadcasting industry does not seek immunity from the antitrust laws. It asks only that no greater penalties be enforced against it than are enforced against other industries. I urge, therefore, that the discriminatory penalties provided in the Communications Act for violation of the antitrust laws be repealed so that the broadcasting industry will stand in an equal position with the rest of the business world.

The CHAIRMAN. I cannot help commenting that those two sections, under different numbers, perhaps, have been in the law since 1927 that way; and so far as I recall, this is the first time either you or anybody with a like interest has found occasion to criticize them. That does not prove anything, however.

Mr. TRAMMELL. Senator, I think you will recall that in 1943, when we had our hearing on S. 814, I advocated at that time practically the same recommendation that I am now making to you today

The CHAIRMAN. I had forgotten it. Mr. TRAMMELL. Take for instance the Macy Store in New York. They are directly interested in Station WOR, the Bamberger station there. Now, suppose Macy is convicted of an antitrust violation. The Commission has a right to withdraw WOR's license. Now, in addition to that, Macy has to pay the normal penalties imposed upon it for violating the antitrust laws. Take the Chicago Tribune. If they should be convicted of a conspiracy to violate the antitrust laws, not only would they have to pay the penalty of the courts, but they also place their license in jeopardy.

It seems to me a dual jeopardy and something that should be removed from the law. I can see that in the early days of the writing of this law, there was a lot of talk about monopoly in the radio business, which may have influenced the writing in of this provision. The situation is not the same today, however, and I think these provisions could well be removed from the act.

The CHAIRMAN. There have been, what have been designated as death penalties, and other statutes; but again, that does not prove that it is right.

Mr. TRAMMELL. I am just about through, Senator.

The CHAIRMAN. That will give some encouragement to the witness who is to follow you.

Mr. TRAMMELL. I have commented briefly on certain of the proposals of Senate bill 1333. I know that the chairman of this committee has presented these proposals for the purpose of provoking the best thought of the industry, and I hope that we have been able to convince him and the members of this committee that drastic revision of the proposed amendments is in order.

I join those who have preceded me in asking for a new radio bill of rights and I want to endorse the views expressed by Judge Miller and his associates in the National Association of Broadcasters and by my colleagues in the industry. We are unanimous in asking for your thoughtful and deliberate consideration of the vital issues involved in order that we may make progress in framing new legislation for radio.

Such legislation should insure the greatest possible service to the public. It should make secure all of our fundamental freedoms. And



it should provide the greatest possible encouragement for a potential industry many times the size of the present one. I refer, of course, to the new services of facsimile and television, which are just over the horizon.

You gentlemen may be interested in the situation confronting the radio broadcasters of our neighbor to the north, Canada. In a recent presentation to the Canadian House of Commons, the broadcasters had this to say, and I quote:

During the past year, this association (Canadian Association of Broadcasters, representing 89 to 103 independent stations in Canada) has given şerious study to the urgent need for a radio bill of rights, that would establish and guarantee for radio the constitutional freedoms and safeguards which should prevail in a democratic country. Today, radio in Canada is under complete control of any “government of the day” that is in power, not direct control by the elected representatives of the people assembled in Parliament

('anadian radio has now passed its evolutionary stages. Today, it enjoys an importance similar to that of the press. Yet it does not have any of the established rights and safeguards associated with freedom of the press. Radio has a voice, but no legal right to use it. It is controlled by laws and regulations which are outworn, discriminatory, and unjust.

Gentlemen, in Canada, the broadcasters are fighting for a freedom they have never possessed. In the United States the free radio we have enjoyed is threatened by the continued encroachment on the rights of the public to receive a broadcasting service free from Federal regulation. In the legislation which we hope that Congress will enact, we ask for equality with the press under all the laws that govern our society.

We reaffirm our previous requests for legislative safeguards to protect the freedom of this great medium of mass communication. We urge that Congress strengthen one of this Nation's greatest assets for the preservation of the American way of life.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. I cannot help making this comment: That one basic difference, one basic question, that we have got to decide on, as it seems to me, is whether radio is to have complete freedom, the same character and degree of freedom that the press enjoys and many other businesses enjoy; or whether, since it receives its authority from the Government, the Government has a larger degree of responsibility in connection with it, than it has as to the press. Now, I think that is just basic in this whole situation. Up to now, you have not persuaded me that radio has that complete freedom which the press enjoys and which the grocery store enjoys, and most every other character of business.

This is an extreme statement perhaps, but I would say it lives by the grace of the Government, under regulations and restrictions which the Government has and continues to exercise.

But we cannot proceed in one place on the theory that radio is absolutely free, as free as the press, as free as all of the thousands of businesses in the United States are free, and proceed on a different basis in another instance. Now, I do not know how we are going to adjust this, but we are laboring with it.

Mr. PRAMMELL. Is it not true, Senator, that the basis for the regulation of radio in the first instance was the necessity for regulating the frequencies and the power, so as to prevent interference! Subsequent to that, certain restrictions were imposed upon radio, because of the



scarcity of the frequencies. Now, I think that all of the testimony today is that there is no scarcity now among the wave lengths. Consequently, there is no necessity for the control to the extent that it has been exercised in the past.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, they have several hundred men and women in the Engineering Section of the Federal Communications Commission trying to find frequencies, trying to find the locations of stations, as as to reduce to a minimum any conflict and interference between the stations. It is not quite so simple, I think, as you have stated it.

Mr. TRAMMELL. As I stated, I think they should have that control. But because of the fact that there are 1,750 standard broadcast stations in this country today, as compared with about the same number of newspapers, and because there is an opportunity to have many more stations in this country, for instance, in FM there can be up to 5,000 additional stations, I think the reason for regulation of radio as contrasted to the press has disappeared. That is because the reason for regulation of radio as contrasted to the press has been the scarcity of wave lengths in the past. That scarcity does not exist anymore, Senator.

The CHAIRMAN. Of course, I would have to agree that that is one of the factors, and in the early days it was a rather principal factor. Now, does that conclude your testimony?

Mr. TRAMMELL. Yes, sir. Thank you.

The CHAIRMAN. If Mr. Don S. Elias, executive director of radio station WWNC, can confine himself to 15 minutes, we will be glad to hear him this morning. I repeat that we have to be on the floor at 12 o'clock and will have no authority to sit this afternoon.



Mr. Elias. Senator, I could go on at this time, or if it is more convenient to be heard tomorrow, that would be all right.

The CHAIRMAN. How long a statement have you?
Mr. Elias. It is not very long.
The CHAIRMAN. That is a little indefinite.
Mr. ELIAS. It is about six pages.

The CHAIRMAN. Then we can hear you now. It seems to be the desire of the committee to give you 10 minutes this morning and ask you to proceed. Will you give your name and the capacity in which you appear, and then continue?

Mr. ELIAS. I am Don S. Elias, executive director of radio station WWNC, which is wholly owned and operated by the Asheville CitizenTimes Co., Asheville, N. C., and vice president of the Asheville CitizenTimes Co., which publishes the Asheville Citizen and Asheville Times.

I want to say at the outset that I have been in these hallowed halls before to discuss this important subject, and there are quite a few things in this bill that you have introduced which I approve and like. One of them is: No regulation of the business of the broadcaster. I do think, though, that the way it is worded, you might still have it, and that might call for some rewording probably. Then, two, there is the fact that under the bill the licensing authority is prohibited from discriminating against station ownership, such as newspaper owner

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ship of stations ; also, that it is prohibited from invoking the so-called AVCO procedure of open bidding in station transfers.

Now, I would just like to get down to two or three things about which Í feel very strongly.

In section 15, I have to depart from what has been said by some of those that preceded me. This act that you have introduced attempts to relieve the broadcaster from responsibility of censorship or altering or changing a political speech. I do not want that privilege. I think it is wrong. I think we should have that responsibility upon us. I doubt the ability of the Congress to relieve me in North Carolina of the North Carolina laws on libel and slander, even though you might pass such a law.

But even if you can relieve me, I still don't want to be relieved. I think it would be dishonest, indecent, dishonorable, and unmoral for a broadcaster operating a broadcast station to let some irresponsible man come in and make a speech in a political campaign. And we all know that the basis of the libel and the slander laws is that the publication, whether it be a newspaper or a radio station, is equally liable with the person that utters the accusation.

Therefore, I think that broadcasters ought to be selected as men of honor and character, and substantial citizens, who try to run a decent institution. And if during a political campaign one desires to make an accusation against one of the candidates, a serious charge, based on suspicion, without any support, I do not think he should be allowed on the air.

Senator MOORE. After looking over his program, you just do not take him?

Mr. Elias. Certainly not where he has merely a suspicion. A man may come in to make an accusation against the Senator from Colorado, here, and accuse him of stealing out of the church treasury. He may have a suspicion, but nothing to support it. So I think you should put into the law that we have no censorship over argumentation, but that we do have censorship over accusation.

You say in this bill that we shall not have any censorship, and you undertake to relieve us in that connection in section 315, under F. But then, in the section on indecent language and false statements, you say:

No person shall utter any obscene, indecent, or profane language, and no person shall knowingly make or publish any false accusation or charge against any person, by means of radio communication.

Of course, that is absolutely contradictory of this. Here you say we must carry the program, that we have no right to censor the speech; and over here, you say we shall not broadcast false accusations. It just does not jibe.

We have had many instances of men coming in wanting to make accusations. We had two cases in the last campaign. In one case, a fellow came in, a crackpot, thoroughly irresponsible, who wanted to attack everybody in town. It was all based on suspicion, and there were no actual facts. I knew he had none. I said, “I am sorry we can't carry that. We won't let you say that over our station, because it is not right."

I had an instance of a fellow who came in wanting to make an accusation against a candidate on the eve of election. He told me what he wanted to say, and I knew he was lying like a dog. I would


not let him say it, because it was intended to defeat a man who wonld have no chance to reply. That sort of thing I think is wrong in this


The only other phase of it is something on which you have had a lot of discussion. I have been in the broadcasting business nearly 20 years, publishing newspapers for more than 20 years, and I know that you just cannot spell out in any law that you can write, in my opinion, every situation that comes up.

I know why a lot of that is in this law. I know you are often irritated by commentators and others by what they say, and you want to put some restriction on them. But I think you are killing a dog and trying to cure the bite. And the basis of this country has been democracy and freedom of expression, which is the most precious ingredient of liberty; and when we sacrifice that in trying to cure some irritant we are doing damage rather than bringing about a cure.

I think in our State the radio comes under the libel laws on the same basis as a newspaper. I think that should be so. Three hundred years ago in England, they licensed the newspapers. Sir John Milton made the fight in Areopagitica, which eventually eliminated that, because it was a restriction on freedom of speech. It is not necessary, under the nature of radio, to bring about any such restriction. There is, of course, necessity for restriction of the licenses, because of the technical interference involved to keep from having a babel of voices. We have to have that; yes. And right there, I say it ought to stop, as it does with the newspapers.

We are an electronic journal. Some people like to get their information and entertainment through their optic nerve, and some want to get it through their auditory nerve, and some want to get it through both. But the principles involved are identical from start to finish. There is no difference between operating a radio station and operating a newspaper. I think I give more time to the radio station, because it is more dynamic, and it has faster action, and it has more terrifying responsibilities.

Ånd, certainly, seven men sitting in Washington, domiciled here, have not the judgment, in my firm opinion, to solve these questions of public policy in Ashville or in Augusta, Maine, which the responsible person broadcasting in that community has. As far as giving them control over programs is concerned, it is utterly unthinkable, as I see it. Because the listener will correct the errors, the mistakes, which he makes

Now, the newspapers have programs. The Chicago Tribune, for instance, is irritating to a lot of people; so much so that they finally got another rich man to establish another paper out there, which I think probably irritates a lot of other people—the Chicago Sun. I never was in agreement with the first paper's operations, but I defend their right to operate as they are doing. We in this country feel it is better to let them operate than try to restrict them and, when they do something that is particularly irritating, jump in and pass a law. These commentators, I know, irritate you, some of them, and I do not go along with them either.

The CHAIRMAN. I never have expressed irritation.
Mr. Elias. But I know you have felt it, we all do.

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