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URL 19: My Letter to Judge Naumowicz Dated March 8, 1973

URL 19: My Letter to Judge Naumowicz Dated March 8, 1973 (In Chapter 30, page 146) (1,175 words) (cum 12,112 words)

I just received in today’s mail a packet of material mailed on March 5 by the law firm of Covington and burling to me here at Columbus College. Although I am not an attorney and have no attorney to represent me, I do want to respond to the charges they have made against me in their “Request for sanctions against Donald W. Hendon for unauthorized ex parte presentations,” addressed to the Commission, and in their “Request for Order Prohibiting Testimony by Donald W. Hendon Pending Commission action on Western’s Request for Sanctions Against Donald W. Hendon for Unauthorized Ex Parte Presentations, or, Alternatively, Request for Presiding Judge to Grant the Request for Sanctions.” They also sent me a copy of something titled “Reply to Opposition to Sixth Motion to Enlarge Issues,” addressed to the Review Board, which had nothing to do with me at all in my opinion. I hope that there is nothing improper in my writing you.

First of all, I dispute their allegations that I am an interested party. I have no interest at all in challenging group, financial or otherwise. I never have had. I did write several letters to various parties, including the Federal Communications Commission, to inform them of the unethical and perhaps illegal practices of Channels 3 (KORK-TV), 8, and 13. When the FCC decided it would take no action and told me, in effect, that I had to do its investigation work for it if I wanted the FCC to do anything else, in a letter to me from William B. Ray of the FCC’s Broadcast Bureau, dated July 15, 1971, then I wrote to many other parties who would be, I felt, in a position to force the FCC to re-evaluate its priorities and investigate what I felt to be one big mess of unethical broadcasting practices by the three network stations in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Knowing that the FCC was quite overworked and quite understaffed did not deter me from asking the help of other parties mostly consumer advocates, including Senator Frank Moss and Ralph Nader, as well as Representative Harley Staggers. I felt that, as a member of the public, I was entitled to watch every TV program in its entirety if it came on a live network feed from the west coast. Because it was seldom, if ever, that Channels 3, 8, and 13 returned from a station break on time but ran extra commercials into the entertainment portions of the network programs, I was denied my full enjoyment of TV shows. Not only was I denied this, but all of the public in Southern Nevada were being denied the full amount of network TV programming—on a systematic and deliberate basis.

It seems to me that Covington and Burling, by their requests to you and to the Commission, are really trying to prevent members of the public from complaining to the FCC and to other parties about unethical and perhaps illegal advertising. I feel that if you grant their request, that in the future, other members of the public who call attention to broadcasting abuses, as I have done in the past, will also be stifled. Covington and Burling’s requests are nothing more, I feel, than an attempt to stifle my right to complain about something which is a public piece of property—the public airwaves—and their abuse. If I can’t complain and try to do something about blatant abuses about a matter in the public interest such as this, then something is horribly wrong with our judicial system.

As I said earlier, I am not a lawyer. I do not have the cases which they cite which try to make me out to be something that I am not—an interested party. I feel that I do not have any interest in the challenging group. I am a member of the public, and my only interest is in improving television standards. I don’t care if the challenging group gets the license or not, for if they do, and if I find out that they are following the same “clipping / time-stealing” and “double-billing” practices that Donrey did while I lived in Las Vegas, then I would do the same thing and complain all over again and ask the FCC to get rid of them as license-holders.

I feel that what Covington and Burling is doing in its two requests is nothing more than creating a smokescreen to distract you and the FCC from the main issues of “clipping / time-stealing,” “double-billing,” etc., which I feel that the present owners, Donrey / Western are quite guilty of. They are also quite guilty, I feel, of harassing a private citizen (myself) and are instrumental in getting me fired from my job as Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Please don’t let this smokescreen which Covington and burling is trying to create make you or the FCC decide to disregard my testimony. “Clipping” and “double-billing” is bad enough, and I imaging the challenging group’s lawyers, Welch and Morgan, have enough to prove that Channel 3 is guilty of these odious practices. But when a licensee deliberately tries tactics to discredit an employee of a state university, I think those are the lowest of the low tactics of all! And I feel that I’d like to have the charges I have made against Channel 3 concerning the pressure they put on UNLV to get me fired (which, of course, worked) made a part of the record.

Perhaps Covington and Burling don’t want me to testify about the harassment charges because they know I have proof that my charges are true. I’d like to be given the opportunity to prove to you and to the FCC that Channel 3 did put pressure on UNLV to get rid of me and that UNLV did get rid of me because of that pressure. Please let the truth come out!

Finally, if Covington and Burling’s “smokescreen” tactics work—if I not be given the opportunity to testify in regard to the “harassment” issue—then, what is to stop some future licensee from harassing other private citizens who bring charges against it for unethical / illegal practices? If I don’t have the right to testify, then I feel a door has been opened in which license holders will harass every private citizen every time he complains because the license holder will have no fear of being punished—as a direct result of your not allowing me to testify. I certainly hope that won’t happen, for I feel that I have done nothing unethical or wrong in calling attention of wrongdoings of Channel 3. All I wanted to do was to get them to stop so that I could enjoy my TV programs. Instead, I got fired from my job. I don’t think Channel 3 should get away with that. Therefore, I wish to testify, and to do this, I need your help. Please let me testify.

I will be looking forward to your reply.

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