The National Religious Broadcasters’ twenty-fifth convention last month killed a resolution against political “extremism” on the air that NRB’s board had proposed to protect the reputation of gospel broadcasting.
Despite such hang-ups, NRB membership has doubled to 250 organizations in its first year with a full-time executive, the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Armstrong. Most members are producers of syndicated programs, but nearly 100 are local stations, which became eligible to join three years ago. Many get considerable income from time purchased by preachers who promote conservative politics in their programs.
None of the major right-wing radio preachers belongs to NRB, which specifies that members must have gospel proclamation as their purpose.
Much chat at the Washington, D. C., meetings centered on the campaign of one of these, the Rev. Carl McIntire, against the Federal Communications Commission and its “fairness doctrine” curbing personal attacks. NRB has no official policy on the matter. Armstrong, 43, a United Presbyterian who used to be director of Trans World Radio, says “the principle of fairness is inherent in biblical truth, and is woven into the principles upon which this country was founded.” But he stops short of endorsing the FCC’s rules for applying its “fairness doctrine.” The rules are currently under review in the U. S. Supreme Court.
Last year the FCC said that if a station carries an attack on a person or organization, it must notify the victim of what was said and offer equal time to reply. If it doesn’t, it faces fines up to $10,000 or FCC refusal to renew its license.
General Director Clyde W. Taylor of the National Association of Evangelicals—who begins syndicating his own daily five-minute commentaries on ...1
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