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The other point, and the one point on which I will disagree with the work of the committee, Senator, is section 25.
I think it should be rewritten to read, in the case of newspapers, and here again I want to assure you that I am very sympathetic to newspapermen—that the newspaper shall not be granted a station in areas where it is the sole newspaper, and where there is reason to believe that no other frequencies exist.
That situation would obtain, for example, in the area around New Jersey and Connecticut, in the New York area, in parts of Iowa and Illinois, where one frequency might possibly be found, but I doubt even that that could be found.
I think a specific rule should be put in there which would state that that would be the only time that the Commission could consider newspapers as being a monopoly.
Because if they have the only frequency available, it is apparent that nobody else can get in there. And that might create the threat of a monopoly from both the commercial and the political point of view.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF BERNARD K. JOHNPOLL
I should like to first stress the point that censoring of radio programs is a threat to the freedom of speech of this country. This point, I think, will be contested by no one, least of all the Federal Communications Commission and its members. But I believe that censorship of economic, political, or social theories by operators of radio stations is as much a threat to that freedom as censorship by the Federal Communications Commission.
As I understand this bill it simply-in the case of political censorship—lays down a policy that all sides to all political questions should be heard equally. Unless my years as a Washington reporter went to waste I think I can do a pretty good job of analyzing bills that are before congressional committees.
I feel this is a necessary and just regulation. I can cite several cases where such a regulation would be of great use. Particularly so in the case of smaller stations. I know of one case which I cannot discuss except if the names are deleted—where a local politician received a grant for a radio station in up-State New York and proceeded to blithely ignore his opponents' pleas for time. His answer to all requests for time were simply that there was none available on the day sought. When he finally yielded he gave time which gave him a definite advantage.
I feel that this segment of the proposed law should, if anything, be strengthened. It should assure each political candidate equal time on the air with the provision that failure by a station operator or of a network to grant such time be considered grounds for revocation of license.
I also feel that news commentators should be forced, during election campaigns, to yield as much time to rebuttal as they may take in supporting the candidacy of a particular man or party.
There is another provision of this bill which I think merits the approval and perhaps even the acclaim of all those interested in the radio industry. I speak of that portion of the bill which divides the FCC's activities into two separate portions. One of these is to be specifically limited to broadcasting problems the other limited to communications.
With that in mind I should like to propose some simple additions to the bill which would better effectuate a program of freedom of speech and press and more adequately meet the Nation's needs in the field of radio and communications.
First I feel that facsimile transmission be put under communications instead of broadcast. As a public carrier censorship would be impossible and all newspapers would have equal access to the benefits of the modern developments. Now these improvements are available only to the larger, wealthier ones.
of organization and use of radio. If these abuses continue few as they are I fear the demand will be for controls of radio which we may not desire.
I wish the legislative draftsmen would consider this proposal : (a) Amend the bill to provide that when a citizen or party aggrieved by statements made over the radio which injured him or his rights might present a statement of his grievances to the Commission, and (b) that if the aggrieved person presented a prima facie case of injury, the Commission would hear the charges and die termine the guilt of the broadcaster, and (c) the Commission would then read its decision over the radio stations used by the broadcaster and in the time ordinarily used by him, and (d) that two or three offenses would cause the Commission to notify all licensees of the irresponsible character of the broadcaster.
Every good newspaperman has long known what the Commission on Freedom of the Press recently determined and that was that the libel laws afforded the most inadequate of protection against the irresponsible, but shrewd and clever, merchants of ill will. Once the injury is done to character or reputation, victory in the courts will not repair the damage done. And a competent newspaperma, and, I am sure, a competent radio broadcaster, knows it is relatively easy to skirt, safely, the borders of libel.
But, as the Commission on Freedom of the Press stated, if we are to preserve the freedom of the press, we must compel acceptance of responsibility and provide for a readily enforceable obligation of responsibility.
Here is an example. I think it is fair to say that millions of our citizens were aggrieved in this instance, but they could do nothing to gain reparations for the injury done them.
Recently, a radio broadcaster launched a series of attacks on cooperatives. There was a modicum of fact in his statements. There was a mass of half truths. There was innuendo which was more unjust and more untruthful than would have been a lie.
In the early stages of this broadcast campaign—this broadcaster had almost complete liberty to do what he wishes, to sell his innuendo for a high price, to ruthlessly injure and, if he could, destroy his neighbor, and for revenue only. We, our cooperatives, had no protection against this injustice.
Then this broadcaster became a bit careless. He abandoned innuendo when he thought he had a fact. He broadcast some alleged testimony given allegedly before a State body. At the time he broadcast that alleged testimony, the State witness had warned him not to use the testimony as it was badly garbled. Despite that warning, he broadcast the alleged testimony.
Even though he was finally discovered, we could do nothing. We appealed to the broadcasting company, the “chain." The officials of the "chain" heinmed and hawed and dodged, pleasantly. Then they, when pressed, deftly kicked their obligation to the public interest into the garbage can and refused to accept the responsibility they had. We should have had some place to try that broadcaster, and also to try that “chain.” I do not see how the Commission can renew the license of one who has so little concern for his obligations to the public interest. Men who will engage in that kind of broadcasting are the most dangerous enemies to democracy that we could have in our country.
We have, and constantly have, exhibitions like this. This same broadcaster, broadcast gleefully the fact that a cooperative in Kansas was sued by the attorney general. Shortly thereafter, the attorney general was repudiated hy the Governor and by others, and the attorney general began to seek escape by proclaiming his friendship for cooperatives and by proclaiming that his suit was only a "friendly suit.” Did the broadcaster tell his listeners those facts? Was he concerned with having the truth known? He did not. He was not. We could do nothing to compel him to be truthful. A cooperative in Minnesota was charged with certain alleged violations of law. The charge had been made in years gone by and always had been rejected when tried in court. But it was made again. It quickly became an opportunity for a broadcaster to attack the cooperative. Did he tell the whole truth? Did he tell that the courts held the charges were false? He did not. Yet he is privileged to go ahead using the radio to misinform people, and to sell misinformation which is injurious to men and to business organizations.
I am convinced this practice cannot long endure, and that if it is desired to have our radio facilities licensed to individuals or corporations-rather than have them publicly owned and operated—those who now are benefiting from these public grants of licenses had better rush in here and labor to assure is that responsibilities are accepted and fulfilled. I think all of us must become far more concerned about having effective regulations of the radio in the public interest.
We had another example of injustice—we believe to the public interest. We tried, a few years ago, to purchase radio time to tell the listening public our story about cooperatives and cooperative enterprise. We were not permitted to buy time. The radio chains were permitted to exercise that right of censorship which we would not even trust our Government bodies to exercise. We submitted then to the injustice because we could do nothing else, but our submission was not an answer to the problem.
I confess, in presenting this latter condition to you, that I have not been able to solve the problem and present you with an answer. But I do warn you the problem is there and that we must struggle in an effort to solve it. I am not condemning, not even harshly criticizing, the radio broadcasting companies when I report to you. I appreciate that they are confronted with what is difficult. But I do want to warn them that they must worry about these problems if they would continue their present privileges as licensees. 1. think people are on the march.
The antimonopoly features of this bill, those provisions through which ownership of radio broadcasting facilities is restricted, are encouraging. It is true, they are a very faltering approach toward what we must have. How far we can now go in restricting ownership I do not know. I feared the “chain” newspapers because I knew how and why a newspaper should be as intimate a part of the people of a community as the heart and mind of the individual person is an intimate part of the individual person. The “chain” newspaper was inflicted upon us and ultimately it brought failure upon itself and its owners. The radio "chain" has been inflicted on us. Ultimately it will destroy itself. But there is such danger to democracy in the ownership by any one person or interest of these facilities—and I repeat again they are facilities dependent entirely upon the gift of licenses by the people that I wish the restriction were more positive. I wish the Congress would seek to find the means, if there are methods to do what I wish, to return these licenses to the people of the communities they
I wish we could get away from high power, and then associate licenses with communities and have them owned by people in the communities. Then I wish they were owned by people who were not interested, firstly or primarily, in profits. That is the part our consumer cooperative organizations will play as they gain ownership of these stations and licenses.
STATEMENT OF EDWARD B. DUNFORD, ATTORNEY FOR THE ANTI-SALOON
LEAGUE OF AMERICA, ON S. 1333
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am Edward B. Dunford, of Washington, D. C., attorney for the Anti-Saloon League of America. On behalf of that organization I desire to submit the following statement : The radio is now used to advertise beer and wine in areas where the advertised
product cannot be sold legally S. 1333 proposes a number of revisions of the Federal Communications Act of 1934, as amended. We should like to direct the attention of the committee to the practice of the radio industry, under which many radio licensees, including networks, are accepting and broadcasting advertisements for the sale of beer and wine, which advertising is being received in local communities where the advertised product cannot be sold legally as the result of a popular vote taken under the provisions of the State law. The following States have units, varying in size from counties to townships and wards, in which the sale of beer has been outlawed by popular vote since the repeal of the eighteenth amendment:
By counties: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
By cities, towns, and other units : Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
In the present development of the radio art it is not possible to stop the radio impulse at State lines, and since the radio spectrum is an instrumentality of interstate commerce for which the Federal Government has paramount responsibility, the States are without power to prevent this advertising practice in contravention of local policy.
The purpose of advertising alcoholic beverages is twofold: (1) To create a favorable attitude toward the product, and (2) to increase its sale and consumption.
Use of the radio to promote the sale of alcoholic beverages also violative of the
spirit of the twenty-first amendment One of the avowed objects of the twenty-first amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which repealed the eighteenth or national-prohibition amendment, was to leave to the States the determination of their policy with respect to the sale of intoxicating liquors in the interest of temperance. So detinite was the determination to grant the principle of State autonomy in this realm that a second section was written into the amendment, which declares :
"The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited."
The dissemination of liquor advertising in no-license areas by radio not only violates the expressed will of the people in such communities but also contravenes the spirit of the new constitutional amendment. States which have authorized sale of liquor under State liquor laws without
adequate authority to deal with sales promotion through radio udvertising
of alcoholic beverages The States where the sale of liquor is regulated rather than prohibited are also without adequate authority to deal with liquor sales promotion by radio because of the paramount control vested in the Federal Government under the commerce clause of the Constitution. Such States can prohibit radio adver. tising originating within their borders, but they are without jurisdiction to stop such advertising when it originates in and is received from other States, as long as Congress permits the radio, which it controls, to be used to stimulate the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Proposed amendment to S. 1333 to prohibit the commercial advertising of
alcoholic beverages It would seem appropriate in any revision of the Federal Communications Act that consideration should be given to this matter. We, therefore, suggest that an amendment be included that would add to section 316 of the present Federal Communications Act prohibiting the advertising or giving of information cuncerning lotteries an amendment that would prohibit:
“Any commercial advertisement of spirituous, vinous, or fermented liquors, or any combination thereof, for beverage purposes, subject to tax under title 26, subchapters (a), (b), or (d) of the United States Internal Revenue Code." There are two schools of thought in this country with respect to the sale and
use of alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine One group regards them as beverages to be enjoyed in moderation. The other group believes that their use is unnecessary to a normal, happy social life, and that because of their toxic qualities and their possible detrimental effects, it is wiser not to drink them. They urge that in this viewpoint they are supported by Scriptural injunction, by scien ific findings, and by public health records.
This latter group seeks to teach its children to abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages in the belief that if there were no drinking there would be no alcoholism, and that social evils such as intoxication, and alcohol-causeil in. sanity and crime, are preventable through forebearance from the use of alcoholic beverages. Parents who hold these views naturally do not look with favor upon the use of the radio spectrum, which is the property of the public, to popularize drinking customs or to create the impression that the use of liquors is important or necessary to the conduct of social intercourse.
The radio projects its message directly into the home. It reaches the homes of those who object to the promotion of the idea that drinking should be encouraged. These programs, advertising malt and vinous liquors, are heard by the immature as well as the mature. Much of the advertising appeal is designed to create the impression that to be socially correct one must drink, and that serving such beverages is a desirable part of ordinary social intercourse
The appeal of many of these programs is subtle, and is designed to offset or counteract, so far as young people and children are concerned, the example an! teaching of the home or of the religious group of which they may be a part. A potent form of social pressure is being exerted daily and very generally throughout the country by such means. Its effect is shown in the mounting sales of beer and wine, and in the fact that those engaged in the business continne to spend large sums of money to cary on this promotional propaganda.
Voluntary action by industry has failed to provide a remedy
Voluntary action by the radio industry has failed to afford a remedy. In 1945, at a hearing upon a bill to prohibit the advertising of alcoholic beverages over the radio, the plea was made by spokesmen for the radio industry that the matter be left to self-regulation. In the meantime, since 1933, the number of no-license areas in the United States has steadily increased, that is, the number of communities in which the sale of the advertised liquors is unlawful. On the other hand, the quantity of advertising of such beverages accepted by radio licensees has increased, and efforts to get the representatives of the industry to voluntarily accede to the wishes of the people in these States has failed. Denial of equal opportunity and disregard of public interest requirements of
existing law by members of the radio industry Large sections of the radio industry classify any program counseling the nonuse of alcoholic beverages as controversial. Many licensees refuse to sell time on an equal basis for temperance broadcasts. They take the position that such broadcasts can be properly made only on free or sustaining time. On the other hand, the dealers in malt and vinous liquors have been treated as the sellers of merchandise, and have been permitted to purchase time at the hours when there is the largest listening audience, and with a continuity of program for a propaganda which actively urges the listener to buy, use, and drink the advertised product. The result has been an inequality of opportunity between the speakers for the two schools of thought, those advocating abstinence, and those commercially interested in the promotion of liquor sale.
A further inequality arises out of the fact that when the temperance broadcaster is denied the right to purchase time and is relegated to such free or sustaining time as the licensee may see fit to permit, and he is required to share that free or sustaining time with that alotted all other public or controversial issues. The net effect of this is to permit a constant propaganda of advocacy of drinking with a wholly unequal opportunity for the urging of abstinence. In granting or withholding the privileges of radio advertising a distinction
should be made betueen controversial public issues generally and those cases in which the controversy grows out of the sale and use of the product
advertised There are differences with respect to matters which are the subject of public controversy. They have their origin in different causes. Some are ephemeral and occupy attention but for the moment. The struggle to prevent alcoholism is age long, has been continuous, and grows in large measure out of the use of a product which is being advertised commercially by radio licensees. Because of their inherent characteristics, intoxicating liquors have come to occupy a different constitutional status in our jurisprudence from other commodities. From the standpoint of constitutional law intoxicating liquors have a status
different from that enjoyed by other commodities This principle has been sustained in many decisions by the Supreme Court. In Crowley v. Christensen (137 U. S. 86, 34 L. Ed. 620) it was said:
“There is no inherent right in the citizen to thus sell intoxicating liquors by retail. It is not a privilege of a citizen of a State or of a citizen of the United States. As it is a business attended with danger to the community, it may, as already said, be entirely prohibited, or be permitted under conditions as will limit to the utmost its evils. The amount and extent of the regulation rests in the discretion of the governing authority.”
See also James Clark Dist. Co. v. W. Md. Railcay Co. (242 U. S. 311); Crane v. Campbell (215 U. S. 304); Samuels v. McCurdy (267 U. S. 188); State ex rel George v. Aiken (26 L. R. A. 345); Wilkinson v. Murphy (186 So. 487, 121 A. L. R. 883); Conn. Court of Errors and Appeals (in 129 Conn. 619) ; McCandless v. State (181 S. W. (2) 154); Darby v. Pence (27 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1194, 107 Pac. 484) ; Hall v. Dunn (25 L. R. A. (N. S.) 193, 97 Pac. 811); New Orleans v. Smythe (6 L. R. A. (N. S.), 40 So. 33); South Shore Country Club v. People (12 L. R. A. (N. S.), 519, 8 N. E. 805); Brown v. Juggenheim (18 L. R. A. (N. S.) 386, 116 N. W. 966); State er rel Harvey v. Mo. Athletic Club (L. R. A. 1915 C. 876, 170 S. W.904) ; Smyth v. Butters (32 L. R. A. (N. S.) 393, 112 Pac. 809). Under the Constitution beer enjoys no superior rights to hard liquors, so far as
the exercise of the police power in the public interest is concerned See Boston Brewing Co. v. Mass. (97 U. S. 25); Jugler v. Kansas (123 U. S. 123); Everard Breweries v. Day (265 U. S. 545); Ruppert v. Caffey (251 U. S. 264).