In a Battle for Airwaves, It's WGOP vs. WGOD

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Here's a fight you don't see every day: congressional Republicans vs. fundamentalist Christians. The battle lines in this particular case have been drawn, according to the New York Times, as the Federal Communications Commission considers granting licenses to hundreds of low-power radio stations. About half of the applications to operate the stations come from religious organizations, largely fundamentalist — in other words, of the variety that generally can be counted on to rally support for Republican candidates. But the mini-stations are opposed by existing radio companies, many of them giant chains that are major contributors to the Republican party.

So far, the congressional GOP is standing fast behind the broadcast companies (and their lobbyists), defending their position with the claim that the smaller stations' signals could interfere with existing channels. The nascent broadcasters and the FCC, which proposed the move in part to open the airwaves to more voices, hit back that the radio companies' concerns have more to do with worries about audience (and advertising) share than any technical issues. And while some conservative Republicans have expressed remorse that their position will undercut grassroots religious programming, the message in their perfunctory hand-wringing is abundantly clear: In this case, at least, the almighty dollar is gospel on Capitol Hill.