FCC v. Pacifica Foundation (1978)

FCC v. Pacifica Foundation (1978)


New York radio station had a program called “filthy words” which allowed comedian George Carlin to say the “seven dirty words”. Before the radio station aired these words they gave a warning that “sensitive language” was to be used, and some listeners may be offended. Shorty after a man who had his young child with him tuned into the radio station; offend he contacted the FCC. 


Can patently offensive words that deal with sex and excretion be regulated due to the content when broadcast with respect to the 1st Amendment?




Because radio has become so prevalent in American life offensive material confronts citizens not only while in public, but also while at home where they have the right to be left alone without offensive material invading. Also due to listeners tuning in and out any warnings they may give due to offensive material may go unheard. Children also have access to radio, and the courts do not want children exposed to offensive material.

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