Reproduced here (in the paper version of Free Speech
see "National Vanguard Books Catalog" on the first page of this
web site to order) is a letter from the Federal Communications Commission
to WRNO Worldwide, the one international shortwave station carrying American
The letter makes reference to an obscure FCC rule
requiring that U.S. shortwave stations direct their transmissions to the
general public of foreign countries.
This has been interpreted to mean that the station may not direct its
transmissions solely to the United States, though directing them to all
of North America, for example, would still be permissible. (This rule was
inserted into the FCC regulations 50 years or so ago at the insistence
of the National Association of Broadcasters, who rightly feared that shortwave
stations with nationwide coverage would take away listeners, and therefore
revenue, from local broadcasters. It is strictly designed to protect economic
interests, and there is no rational reason why it is in the public interest
to disallow a private nationwide shortwave service.)
Be that as it may, in the case of American Dissident Voices, the
claim that our program is not directed at an international audience is
utterly baseless. We have always desired an international audience, and,
thanks in large part to WRNO, we do in fact have one. We regularly receive
responses from every continent of the Earth except Antarctica. Our desired
audience is every person of European descent on this planet, plus any other
person who is interested in the issues we discuss. We make this obvious
on every American Dissident Voices broadcast, and it seems unlikely
that the FCC or the two mysterious complainants are unaware of that fact.
What makes these complaints doubly ridiculous is the fact that numerous
shortwave programs, including hundreds of religious programs, are simply
domestic U.S. programs played over U.S.-based shortwave transmitters. Such
programs are carried by WYFR, WHRI, WWCR, KTBN, KVOH, KNLS, WCSN, and other
U.S. shortwave stations. Most of these programs make not the slightest
attempt to address international listeners, yet no complaints about them,
if there are any, have been acted upon by the FCC.
I do not believe that even these programs are in violation of the rule:
since they buy time on stations which have a large part of their coverage
outside the U.S., it seems obvious that they want every listener they can
get within that coverage area. It is also interesting to note that when
WRNO first went on the air in February, 1982, and for many years thereafter,
its programming included large segments simulcast from local New Orleans
rock station WRNO-FM, and no complaints or problems arose because of that.
The simulcasts only ended when Mr. Costello sold WRNO-FM.
Isn't it strange that out of hundreds of programs about which such questions
might be raised, that all four programs complained about are ones which
criticize the role of organized Jewry in contemporary society?
Must be a coincidence, don't you think?
WRNO has engaged a prominent, and no doubt expensive, attorney, a former
counsel to the FCC, to defend us against this outrageous attempt to silence
dissident voices in America. The costs of the legal defense will have to
be borne by the three programs cited in the complaint and still carried
on WRNO. That means that one third of the legal bill will have to be paid
by us. (WRNO no longer carries Ernst Zundel's Voice of Freedom program.)
If you would like to make a contribution toward the defense of our freedom
of speech, please make out your check to National Vanguard Books with an