Censorship at WUNC

IPAS is a locally-based international women's health and reproductive rights organization. The following message came today:

IPAS has been sponsoring WUNC and we have a short announcement that is read on-air. Recently, WUNC decided that the phrase 'reproductive rights' which we use in our announcement was in violation of FCC regulations because it advocates for a particular position that is not universally endorsed. They admit that this is a conservative interpretation of the regulations, but nonetheless they will not let Ipas use this phrase in its on-air announcement.

I have been arguing with them to make the case that reproductive rights is not a euphemism for abortion and that, indeed, the whole point of rights is that they are universally held, e.g. the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I doubt that my arguments will be successful.

I know that many of you are supporters of WUNC and I think some questions from listeners on this policy might help open their eyes to this issue.

I hope folks will help hold WUNC's feet to the fire on this. Their gun-shy mentality is one step down a slippery slope. I just returned from a road trip through rural PA where there was no public radio on the dial. Instead there were several Christian stations at the low end of FM and at least three stations carrying Rush. None of them seemed worried about airing non-universally endorsed ideas.

If WUNC is going to have corporate underwriting (i.e. advertising) it should let the sponsors accurately describe their activities.



Of related interest, Salon reports that Tavis Smiley is calling it quits with NPR. In an article called "It's not National Some-of-the-Public Radio," Smiley lays it on the line with some serious jabs at the network.

I think that the notion that is so often promulgated by our friends on the right, that NPR is the liberal media elite establishment, is wrong. It's wrong for a few reasons.

Then he goes on to point out several problems.

Its official...I heard the ENTIRE Ipas sponsorship announcement on WNCU this morning. With the words "Reproductive Rights" and all. YAA!

I would like to thank WNCU for standing up! Yeah WNCU!

Serious props to Tavis Smiley for standing up to NPR! I'm really looking forward to hearing his excellent perspectives again...especially if it's not on NPR.

These recent events appear to reinforce, yet again, the sad fact that WUNC appears to stand on the side of whites and WNCU continues to speak for blacks. It's amazing that in the 21st century segregation walls between two different colleges and two different radio stations still appear strong. Ignorance never really went away. The spectre of racism just comes out of hiding when racists are in the white house. Oops did I just write that out loud? ;-)



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