Banzhaf: Native Americans Petition to Deny WWXX License

Jay Winter NightWolf, a Native American and a listener to sports radio station WWXX-FM, has filed a petition with the FCC in support of one filed by legal activist John Banzhaf to deny the station's license renewal over its use of the 'Redskins' name for the Washington football team.

That is according to a copy of the petition supplied by Banzhaf.

"I have experienced and/or witnessed harm to myself and/or to other Native Americans which I believe was caused by the frequent repetitive use of the word 'R*dskins' on the air," NightWolf says in the petition.

Banzhaf argued in his petition that the repeated use of the term was akin to obscenity and hate speech and its use was not in the public interest.

WWXX-FM Washington, an ESPN Radio affiliate and home of the Redskins game broadcasts, is owned by team owner Daniel Snyder.

Banzhaf says NightWolf is one of three Native Americans who have filed with the commission in support of his petition.

NightWolf, himself a host of a radio show on Native American issues, is a strong opponent of use of the name. Banzhaf says the other two petitioners are producers of NightWolf's radio show.

Banzhaf also says that others may challenge the station, and he expects there will be challenges to one or more L.A. TV stations, which are being targeted because it is a large market with the nearest license expiration date—Dec. 1, 2014, with petitions to deny due Nov. 3.

Banzhaf says having Native Americans on the petition should insure that it is not dismissed because of lack of legal standing.

NightWolf's radio show, American Indian Truths, airs on Pacifica Radio's WPFW. Pacifica is no stranger to FCC content complaints, having famously been the target of an FCC complaint itself—over George Carlin's "filthy words" monologue—that established the FCC's authority to regulate on-air speech.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.