|A persistent rumor, one that has
being going around for over two decades and just won't seem to die,
is that prominent atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hare has petitioned the
Federal Communications Commission to deny broadcast rights to
religious broadcasters. Such a petition if granted would obviously
put an end to EWTN and other religious stations. It would also
violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It was on such
grounds that in 1975 an actual petition from two individuals,
neither of which was Mrs. O'Hare, sought to prohibit the access of
religious organizations to public access educational channels. The
FCC denied this petition.
Nonetheless, this urban legend continues, notwithstanding
the fact that Mrs. O'Hare is dead, the presumed victim of foul play
in the early 1990s by one of her associates.
The rumor that the FCC has before it a proposal to deny
licenses to religious broadcasters still continues to
circulate, 25 years after the Commission denied that request.
– Federal Communications Commission
I don't think it's going to die out or ever be debunked
successfully. No matter how hard we try to debunk it, there
will be people who haven't seen it and will help spread the
rumor the next time around.
– Jan Harold Brunvand, Folklorist