By Steven J.J. Weisman
BOSTON — The country was shocked and saddened to see and hear the news on Sunday of the killing of three people by racist and anti-Semite Frazier Glenn Cross, who has also been known as Glenn Miller, particularly when he ran for the United States Senate from Missouri in 2010. To those who might question why I, a lawyer, refer to Cross/Miller as a “killer” when he has not been convicted in a court of law and is entitled to a presumption of innocence, I respond that it is abundantly clear that Cross/Miller did indeed kill 14-year-old Reat Underwood and his grandfather Dr. William Corporon who had the misfortune to be attending a singing contest at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kansas. By the way, neither of them was Jewish. We also know that Cross/Miller killed an elderly woman at the nearby Village Shalom senior living facility. Cross/Miller is entitled to a legal presumption of innocence in determining whether he is legally responsible for these killings, but make no mistake about it, he killed these three innocent people. During his arrest, he was recorded screaming “Heil Hitler.”
What makes Miller’s case of particular interest to broadcasters goes back to 2010 when he ran as a write-in candidate for the United States Senate in Missouri. Under federal law, radio stations and television stations are not required to carry political advertisements, but if they do choose to carry political advertising, the stations must not discriminate among candidates. They must carry the advertising of any bona fide candidate who wishes to advertise on their stations. In 2010, Glenn Miller produced and spoke in a number of racist and anti-Semitic rantings under the guise that they were political advertisements for his candidacy. Here is a link to a YouTube video of some of his ads. Be forewarned, they are extremely offensive:
As you can well imagine, Missouri broadcasters that carried political advertisements were very upset when confronted by Miller demanding advertising time on their stations. Some broadcasters carried the advertisements preceded by apologies and disclaimers while others donated the money paid by Miller to local chapters of the NAACP and the Jewish Community Relations Council.
Ultimately, the Missouri Attorney General and the Missouri Broadcasters Association requested a declaratory ruling from the FCC as to whether Miller was indeed a “bona fide” political candidate and thus was entitled to air his venomous political advertisements or was he just a racist, anti-Semite trying to exploit what he perceived as a loophole in the law. The petition by the Missouri Attorney General and the Missouri Broadcasters Association argued, “Whatever Miller’s commitment might be, it is not about getting elected in the general election, but simply to pervert the campaign laws to his true purpose of requiring FCC licensees to broadcast his non-campaign messages to an unsuspecting public.” Specifically, the petition indicated that Miller did not have a campaign committee, an office or issue press releases, all of which the FCC used as standards as to whether a write-in candidate qualified as a bona fide candidate. Finally, after months of carrying Miller’s advertisements, the FCC’s Media Bureau issued an informal ruling that “on the facts and pleadings submitted by all parties, including Mr. Miller, it would not be unreasonable for Missouri broadcasting stations to determine that Miller is not a bona fide write-in candidate and therefore, Missouri broadcasters may deny him access to their stations.” Immediately thereafter the advertisements were dropped and little was heard from Glenn Miller by a national audience. That is until Sunday.
Steven J.J. Weisman, a practicing attorney, is a senior partner in the talent management firm Harrison Strategies, LLC. He is also legal editor for TALKERS magazine and publisher of the websitewww.scamicide.com. He can be e-mailed at: email@example.com. Steven J.J. Weisman is available as a guest to discuss the subjects of identity theft and scams.