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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Racist Albany, part 2

So, I sent my letters regarding the Albany radio incident today and filed my FCC complaint. I recieved the following response from Ed Levine, president of Galaxy Communications, the company that owns WRCZ 94.5:

Dear Ms.Fang, You are attempting to interfere in the business of Galaxy Communications.If any such incident occurs again,I will seek any and all remedies afforded to me by the law. Ed Levine CEO Galaxy Communications
I only sent one letter! I swear! Electroman and the organizers of the campaign weighed in saying I wasn't gonna get sued that as long as I didn't threaten anyone (and I didn't), what I was doing was totally legal, but I admit I was freaked out for about fifteen minutes. But now, it occurs to me that any company that is more willing to come down on me for sending them a polite letter informing them of the FCC complaint that was filed needs to hear more outrage, not less. This is a scare tactic, a desperate attempt at bullying us into silence and nothing more -- I'm sorry it worked for as long as it did. So, a couple of updates. First of all, the list of epithets aired has increased; on June 20, 2005, the same on-air personalities referred to Asian Americans as "chinks" and Latinos as "spics".
June 20, 2005: [invites listeners to a local event] JR: Let's get the God-fearing rednecks and charcoal burners. [plays banjo tune] Well. You know, chinks [plays "orientalist" tune] and spics [plays "latin" tune] and the mildly-retarded kiddies to who go to the special school in the short bus.
Apparently, the online form for letter-writing has been taken down, but the email addresses are still valid. The audio clips weren't working last I checked, but it might be a bandwidth issue since I haven't received any notification that Asian Media Watch has taken it down for any reason. The campaign has also started contacting local Albany elected officials. If you have a minute to send a letter to the mayor and deputy mayor of Albany, please do so with these fax numbers:
Mayor Gerald D. Jennings Fax: (518) 434-5013 Deputy Mayor Philip Calderone Fax: (518) 434-5074 Executive Assistant to the Mayor Joe Rabito Fax: (518) 434-5013
Also, the campaign is also asking dedicated volunteers to contact advertisers and sponsors of the show. Here are a couple of email addresses to try:
Home Depot: customercare@homedepot.com. Geico: communications@geico.com
Who knows... maybe the campaign will fizzle out like so many do. Maybe we'll make a breakthrough like with the "Tsunami Song". Either way, all we can do is try to do our small part to tell those who think they can get away with it that we won't stand for it. Related Posts: Racist Albany

4 Comments:

Anonymous Kaede said...

I think this is an attempt by the station owners to stop you (and anyone else who is as outraged) from doing what you know is right. Last time I checked, spouting racist and abusive material like this was against the law, and that includes New York. Sending an email protesting about documented offensive and illegal content on a radio program is hardly 'interfering in their normal daily business' and there IS no remedy for it in the courts - his company will only find itself in even deeper trouble if they try to take something like this to the courts, given the offensive nature of the material in question. So yeah...no worries...

Losers....*shakes head*

7/14/2005 05:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The co. is trying to intimidate you by implying they will file suit, a so-called "SLAPP" lawsuit (strategic lawsuit against public participation). These sorts of lawsuits are expressly forbidden in some jurisdictions, and are allowed in other jurisdictions. Check your state. The next letter you send, or another reader from Albany region sends, could be cced to Eliot Spitzer NY State Atty General, or better yet, contact the atty general's office, and ask whether SLAPP suits are legal in NY State, then write back informing the threatening entity that the NY State AG office has indicated that any such lawsuit would be illegal or subject to big penalties. Or, contact the NY branch of ACLU for some legal info.

NancyP

7/14/2005 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Thank you very much for this information, Nancy! I'm forwarding your comments to the campaign organizer and i'm sure we'll be following your suggestions!

It's shocking that such lawsuits are legal in any jurisdiction. I would think that the legal system should allow for this kind of public participation under any circumstance. We are, after all, consumers or potential consumers of a product giving feedback to the provider...

7/15/2005 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Rtother said...

Who are the show's advertisers? Perpahs notifying them could help.

7/15/2005 07:14:00 PM  

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