Catholic League News Release
August 19, 2002


Michael Copps, Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, issued a statement today on the live sex act that occurred in St. Patrick’s Cathedral on August 15 and was broadcast live by an WNEW employee on the “Opie and Anthony” radio show.  Copps used strong language in responding to complaints against the station; the Catholic League contacted the FCC on August 16 and sent a copy of the tape of the show to FCC officials today.

Copps said he expects “this complaint to be on the fast-track at the Commission.”   Indeed, he said, “If these complaints and press accounts prove true, this Commission should consider the strongest enforcement action possible against this station, up to and including revocation of the station’s license.”

Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:

“We are delighted with the response by FCC Commissioner Michael Copps.  We trust that the Enforcement Bureau of the FCC will act just as responsibly.

“There is more to this story than what has appeared in news reports.  We have transcribed a copy of the tape and what we found mirrors almost exactly the kind of hate-filled response directed at the Catholic League on our website’s feedback section: in both instances, slanderous and obscene comments were made about Catholic priests.  The dialogue on the ‘Opie and Anthony’ show demonstrates that the sex stunt was deliberately designed to offend Catholics.  Similarly, the comments we received on our feedback section also proves the malicious nature of contemporary anti-Catholicism.  We are not dealing with reason—we are dealing with hate.

“Nothing would make us happier than for WNEW’s license to be revoked.  We hope the FCC throws the book at them.”

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