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The Obscenity of 'Hate TV'

August 13, 1988

Calendar recently highlighted an article dealing with "hate" shows like the Ku Klux Klan's "Race and Reason," a talk show seen on public-access cable channels around the country ("Hate on the Air: A Question of Access," by Judith Michaelson, Aug. 10).

The proponents of these points of view, which in general focus on racism, have found a delightful window (cable's public-access channels) in the media through which to spew their filth.

I applaud the City Council of Kansas City in its attempt to shut down its public-access channel rather than allowing the Ku Klux Klan the use of the facility. As offensive as these shows are, however, I feel that to deny use because of attitudes or beliefs is a danger in itself.

A more appropriate solution, it seems to me, would be to reappraise the guidelines of propriety for broadcast. When queried about the appropriateness of airing Tom Metzger's show "Race and Reason," the director of community planning of the station replied that "it's his First Amendment right--we just make sure that the program is not obscene or indecent."

By any definition, I question whether any of these shows pass the test of obscenity, which includes in its definition "abominable, disgusting, repulsive."

It is difficult for me to reconcile the scrutiny given to sexual expression on the airwaves as opposed to the total lack of concern to the real abomination that was discussed in these articles.

RUSSELL BLINICK

Woodland Hills

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