Mass Media & Freedom of Speech

Mass Media & Freedom of Speech

Media Cases & Freedom of Speech BROADCASTING/MEDIA - BATTISTE William Randolph Hearst Falsely reported the sinking of the USS Maine which started the Spanish-American War in 1898 You provide the pictures, Ill provide the

war. Yellow Journalism (sensationalism) National Inquirer vs. Carol Burnett The National Inquirer claimed she was drunk at a charity event. Being untrue, she sued for libel and won. Burnett was the first celebrity to sue a tabloid/newspaper and

win. The Pentagon Papers Secret government study of decision-making about the Vietnam War. The study was leaked to The New York Times and The Washington Post. The Supreme Court, finding the government negligent and not deserving of any special privileges, decided

that the government could not block publication of the Pentagon Papers. Larry Flynt & Hustler Created Hustler magazine: graphic and degrading to women; religion Two 1st Amend. Issues: 1) indicted for obscenity, sentenced to jail, but ruling was overturned and 2) Jerry Falwell sued for libel, but Flynt won again

(landmark verdict b/c it constitutionally protected offensive speech aimed at public figures as long as it didnt claim to be true) Ralph Ginsburg & Eros In the early 1960's, Eros magazine publisher Ralph Ginzburg was sent to jail for five years (he served 8 mos.), not because the photos in Eros were sexually obscene, but because

Eros included writing that looked favorably upon women who have extramarital affairs when they are sexually dissatisfied with their husbands. To the Catholic judge who sent Ginsburg away, his obscenity was encouraging infidelity, a sexual practice this judge considered dangerously outside the norm. Abbie Hoffman Steal This Book

Radical activist (late 60s and 70s) who advocated revolution; sedition Supreme Court upheld his right to publish Steal This Book Suicide in 1989 How To Build A Bomb This book, written by a Princeton student, was taken off the shelves in the 1980s.

Congress voted in 97 to make the distribution of bomb-making instructions illegal. Catcher in the Rye, Ulysses, Lady Chatterlys Lover, etc. Catcher in the Rye: teenager using profanity/sex talk/sexuality Ulysses: censored in U.S. until 1933

Lady Chatterlys Lover: banned in U.S. until 1960 overt sexual content Many communities still ban books in their schools Final Exit Written by Derek Humphrey, Final Exit gives very detailed

instructions of committing suicide. First taken off shelves, book was allowed War of the Worlds: Orson Welles In 1938, Orson Welles scared millions as he narrated an invasion from Mars. As a result, programs would have to continually use disclaimers assuring audience

of fictional content. George Carlin 7 Words His act led to a 1978 Supreme Court decision (5to-4: indecent but not obscene) which upheld the FCCs right to regulate indecent programming. Words: Sh**, Pi*s, F***, C***, C***S***er, Mother****er, Ti** Various Song Lyrics Ratings

In 1985, Tipper Gore and other wives of Washington politicians and businessmen form to call for a ratings system for music similar to that of movies. The filthy 15 are targeted: AC, Sabbath, Lauper, Def, Priest, Madonna, Crue, Prince, Easton, W.A.S.P., etc. 89 - warning sticker

appears Howard Stern Has been fined numerous times by the FCC. In Feb 04, FCC fined Infinity $495K and Clear Channel pulled Stern from 6 cities Stern: witch hunt (not for obscenity but for speaking out

against Bush) Moved to satellite to avoid FCC censorship Charlie Chaplin & The Hays Code Chaplin appeared in Monsieur Verdoux (1947), in which he marries wealthy widows and subsequently kills them. Hays Code, in effect from 1930 to 1968, was the

precursor to todays movie ratings system The Hays Code was very strict. Angel Heart Originally rated X for one scene, it was given an R rating when 25 secs. were deleted. Shocking: 1) Lisa Bonet Cosby kid 2) Interracial relationship 3) One scene

where blood drips on Bonet during sex. Snuff Film Depicts an actual killing on screen. While most snuff films involving humans have proven little more than urban legend, snuff films of cruel deaths of animals are real (ex. Faces of Death)

Last Temptation of Christ Martin Scorsese's 1988 film portrayed Jesus as a tormented, fearful young man confused by sex and uncertain of his path in life. Jesus comes down from the cross and lives a human life (sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene). The film was condemned by virtually every Christian denomination, both

here and abroad, was protested, picketed, subject to boycotts and bomb threats. F.T.C. & False Claims The Federal Trade Commission protects the consumer against unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce Handles more deceptive (false claims) advertising than unfair Some advertising is purposely vague to avoid being deceptive

(pharmaceutical cos.: alleviate) Disclaimers: side effects; results not typical; Cigarette ban In 1970, Congress banned cigarette/cigar advertising on TV and radio. In 1972, Surgeon Generals Warning appeared. Unchanged since. In 1990s, Joe Camel cartoon Tobacco companies have altered s.g.w. to seem caring:

pregnant OK if not Alcohol & Television In 1956, Liquor was banned from being advertised on TV. That ban was ended in 1996. Currently, the act of drinking alcohol is not permitted on commercials (on programs, yes) Beer cos. play w/rule: Fosters drinks beer off camera

Smothers Brothers Had a variety show on CBS from 1965-69. Constant censorship battles over shows content (controversy, offensive). First to parody and openly criticize government on TV (Pres. Johnson about Vietnam). Nixon is rumored to have their show cancelled due to their outspoken criticism and satire of his aggressive Vietnam War policy.

Rush Limbaugh Influential, ultra-conservative show despite no political background Lasted one week as member of ESPNs football pregame show: [McNabb] is overrated what we have here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback can do well black coaches and black

quarterbacks doing well." N.Y.P.D. Blue Created to compete with adultoriented cable programming Power of Disclaimer: Partial Nudity and Adult Language (commercials ran months before show aired in 93). Continues to set trend for networks: ABC censors loose standards to compete with HBO Proved that risky, adult material could be successful for networks Last season 04-05

Many videos have been banned or censored. Owns VH1 monopoly on music video industry Real World 1)reality TV (sex, language) 2) format change (less videos) MTV-produced SB halftime show: Janet Jackson exposes herself Started in 1981, MTV - center of many 1st amendment issues (speech, expression)

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