Friday, March 27, 2015

The Very First RNI Mailbag and Freedom of Speech?

Sunday September 30, 1990 was just a couple of days before the long awaited October 2nd German reunification, the true end of World War II.  Hope was in the air despite the rain in and around NYC that day.  And the most unique mailbag program ever to hit the shortwaves debuted that night at 9 PM Eastern (0100 UTC Monday).

Things did not exactly get off to a smooth start.  Even before the initial broadcast, the staff was embroiled in an argument over whether a song featuring profanity could be played, if it could be bleeped, or as Pirate Joe wanted, not to play it at all.  Dan seriously considered boycotting the maiden mailbag broadcast over Pirate Joe's authoritarian stance (no bleeping in MY studio!) on the matter.  However, the program proceeded and the conflict resulted in a good discussion around the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.  In the end, Dan prevailed and the profanities were bleeped, ironically in a song called "Freedom of Speech".  The prohibited utterance that did go out over the air the WWCR airwaves that night ended up coming from a caller rather than a song.

Pirate Joe joined Dan in the studio for the first hour of the program, which was hosted from the Pirate Central Yonkers, NY studio -- so while we announced NYC on the air, we were about a mile or two north or the city line.  Plenty of letters were read, including mentions of pirate scholars Andy Yoder and George Zeller, well known DXers and NASWA members Jerry Berg and Rich D'Angelo, and of course, a commercial for Popular Communications.

Jerry's letter mentioned the Committee to Preserve Radio Verifications (CPRV) and Dan offered further publicity to this still worthy and ongoing effort.

Listen here and enjoy the show.

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