FCC Shuts Down Pirate Radio Station that Broadcasts Alex Jones' Show and Slaps Operators With $15,000 Fine (Correction)
The Federal Communications Commission has shut down an Austin, TX-based pirate station, Liberty Radio, which broadcasts Alex Jones' inflammatory radio show and has levied a $15,000 fine.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, a lawsuit filed in federal district court in Austin alleges Liberty Radio, which until December transmitted on 90.1 FM, and currently is available only through online streaming, has been operating since 2013 without a broadcast license and may be transmitting from a tower located at an apartment complex:
According to court documents, FCC enforcement agents from Houston were called to the Austin area to investigate 90.1 FM after the agency received a complaint. Using high-tech equipment, those agents were able to trace the signal to the Orchard Plaza apartments at 1127 and 1205 E. 52nd St. in East Austin.
The agents reported that Liberty Radio was being operated out of some sort of maintenance or utility room at the complex. Travis Central Appraisal District records indicate that up until late last year, the complex — subject of numerous well-publicized city nuisance violations — had been owned by an entity linked to Walter Olenick and M. Rae Nadler-Olenick, who are listed as the two defendants in the federal lawsuit over Liberty Radio.
The Olenicks, for their part, "refused to pay the fine or recognize the FCC’s authority, saying they would regard its agents as trespassers should they return," according to the Associated Press.
Jones is the center of national controversy for his hateful conspiracy theories, ranging from government weather and mind control programs, to the idea that the Sandy Hook massacre was a false flag operation, to his conviction that a "Jewish Mafia" controls Uber and the health care industry.
In the past few weeks, Jones has seen much of the infrastructure to promote his content evaporate, with tech companies like Facebook, Apple, YouTube, and Spotify banning him and his InfoWars program. Twitter has resisted doing so, with CEO Jack Dorsey falsely claiming that he has not broken any Twitter rules, but even there, he is currently suspended for one week.
Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Alex Jones does not own or operate Liberty Radio. In a message to AlterNet, InfoWars said, "The FCC has acted against the station's owners because of its operation without a license, in violation of FCC rules. This has absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Jones and his programming."