FCC Sued By Stations
Several FM radio stations and a number of disc jockeys filed suit in a U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. last week against the federal Communications Commission. The suit charges that the Commission's recent public notice which warned about "drug oriented songs being played on the air", is unconstitutional and is a violation of the FCC 's bylaws.
The plaintiffs in the suit, including WYBC-FM in New Haven and KUOP-FM in Stockton, California, are asking the court to force the FCC to withdraw its controversial public notice. The FCC notice, issued March 5th, warning radio station license holders that they would be held responsible for playing songs which advocated the use of drugs on the public airwaves.
The issuance of the public notice set off an immediate furor among many station owners and disc jockeys who charged that the notice was a form of censorship by the FCC. A Commission spokesman said the warning was issued after radio listeners had complained about certain rock songs including "White Rabbit" by the Jefferson Airplane, "A Little Help From My Friends" by the Beatles, and "Mellow Yellow" by Donovan.
An earlier suit filed by the same group of stations in a Federal District Court was dismissed this summer on the grounds that only the U.S. Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over the FCC.