Election 1944: ‘Listener’ asks FCC curb on GOP radio speakers (10-18-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 18, 1944)


Retractions demanded –
‘Listener’ asks FCC curb on GOP radio speakers

Milwaukee, Wisconsin –
Attorney William B. Rubin, Wisconsin delegate to the Democratic National Convention which renominated President Roosevelt last summer, appealed to the Federal Communications Commission today for a curb on alleged “defamatory and untrue” Republican broadcasts.

He named as defendants in a notarized complaint which he said he had mailed to the commission in Washington, CBS, MBS, NBC and the Blue Network. Copies of the complaint were filed upon an outlet of each of the networks here and in Chicago. These included MTMJ, LEMP, WISN and WGN.

Complains as listener

Mr. Rubin said that he based his complaint on being “one of numerous citizens who uses the radio for the purpose of listening to and informing himself on political matters to enable him to properly vote on issues, and for candidates for office” in the Nov. 7 presidential election.

The complainant charged that between Oct. 1 and 16, the networks and other affiliated radio stations permitted the Republican presidential and vice-presidential nominees, Thomas E. Dewey and John W. Bricker, and Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce (R-CT) to broadcast statements which “unjustly, unproperly and defamatorily” placed upon the President the responsibility for the present war.

Retractions asked

The commission was asked to demand that Mr. Dewey, Mr. Bricker and Mrs. Luce make corrections and retractions immediately over each of the radio channels which broadcast their charges. Mr. Rubin also petitioned the commission to require such candidates hereafter to file copies of their manuscripts 48 hours before they are broadcast with radio examiners who are empowered “to have all false and defamatory matters deflected therefrom.”

The complainant said he would be ready to file objections against renewal of broadcasting licenses of the offending radio stations if they failed to comply with the requirement.