Making Book Over WOOK

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Radio station WOOK in Washington, D. C., regularly aired commercials in which listeners were told that a reading of certain Bible verses would bring “financial blessings.” A Federal Communications Commission hearing examiner, however, found that the three-digit references were designed to get city-listening audience not into the Bible but into the hands of the nearest friendly neighborhood numbers operator.

WOOK contended that the references were protected by the constitution. Not so, said the examiner, who ruled that the station management had a responsibility to know what seemed obvious enough to many Washington blacks: “that such advertisements would necessarily tend to encourage listeners to play the numbers game, in violation of the law, in order to receive the benefits described.” The broadcasts were “false, misleading, and deceptive and constituted an improper use of WOOK to further illegal gambling activities,” he said.

After the findings were confirmed by the seven-member FCC, station WOOK was ordered off the air and lost its license in 1975.

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About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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