The San Francisco Board of Supervisors wants the FCC to conduct an investigation of broadcast hate speech, including public hearings, and it further wants NTIA to update to a 1993 report called on the Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes. This is by no means SFBS’s first encounter with the FCC. Previously, it questioned the license of Clear Channel’s KNEW-AM.
The resolution is loaded with whereas clauses, among them:
WHEREAS, Many groups have suffered harm at the hands of hate speech, including without limitation: African Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, Latinos, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, women, Lesbians, Gays, Transgendered people, and people with disabilities;
WHEREAS, Hate speech against vulnerable groups exists in our media-and is not limited to a few isolated instances or any one media platform;
WHEREAS, Hate speech is often aired on large mainstream media corporations including national cable news networks, television broadcasts, radio broadcasts, and on the Internet;
WHEREAS, The media has the power to influence people’s behavior and perceptions and according to the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), a correlation exists between an increase in hate speech in the media and an increase of hate crimes committed against vulnerable groups;
It then argues that the FCC and NTIA both have a long history of studying matters of potentially harmful content in the media and urges them to get to it on the hate speech issue.
Back in 2005, it strongly urged the FCC to carefully examine KNEW’s license renewal, objecting to remarks made by talent aired on the station, including Michael Savage, Jeff Katz and Bill O’Reilly.
RBR/TVBR observation: Sitting members of the FCC have said they have no interest in reviving the Fairness Doctrine, and the Senate resoundingly rejected its rejuvenation earlier this year. But it is another of those issues that will come up again and again. We firmly believe that this effort will go nowhere.