Fired Campus Radio ‘Shock Jock’ Sues College

March 16, 2005

Contending that his freedom of speech was violated and reputation damaged, a
former student ousted last year by Occidental College as co-host of a “shock
jock”-style campus radio show sued his alma mater Tuesday for more than $10
million.

Jason Antebi’s suit says that the Los Angeles college had no
basis for removing him from the “Rant and Rave” show on campus station KOXY-FM
(104.7). It also maintains that Occidental officials wrongly found him guilty in
a campus disciplinary proceeding of sexual harassment for comments he made on
the show.

Antebi’s firing became a celebrated cause among some advocates
for campus free speech. The Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights
in Education filed a protest with the college on behalf of Antebi and the ACLU
of Southern California also urged Occidental to reverse itself. Despite the
campus disciplinary proceedings, Antebi graduated from Occidental in
May.

The suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court also
accuses college officials of defaming Antebi. It says college administrators
depicted him as “a racist, criminal, drug pusher, advocate of violence,
unethical student representative, and as a person responsible for an atmosphere
of terror on campus” against women.

Occidental officials said Tuesday
that they would not comment on the case because they had not seen the suit. They
also have said they could not discuss the disciplinary action.

In a
recording of the controversial radio broadcast obtained by The Times, Antebi
urged listeners to call in with their “rape victim stories.” He also said the
staffers of the campus weekly newspaper were “stupid retards.” In his suit,
Antebi characterized the show as political parody that “was intentionally
obnoxious in its mocking of everyone, including Mormons, Christians, Jews,
Jehovah’s Witnesses, Democrats, Republicans, men, women, children, short, tall,
fat and skinny.”

In a statement, Antebi’s Beverly Hills lawyers — Richard
L. Sherman and Craig J. Englander — said the case is “about a private college
considering its own philosophies and agenda more important than its students’
rights to free speech and freedom of expression.”

Download file "Fired Campus Radio 'Shock Jock' Sues College"

Schools: Occidental College Cases: Occidental College: Use of Harassment Charges to Suppress Protected Speech