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Not a Chance!. Hustler vs. Falwell Jerry Falwell: prominent Protestant minister; TV Evangelist; Liberty University Hustler Magazine did a parody of an.

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Presentation on theme: "Not a Chance!. Hustler vs. Falwell Jerry Falwell: prominent Protestant minister; TV Evangelist; Liberty University Hustler Magazine did a parody of an."— Presentation transcript:

1 Not a Chance!

2 Hustler vs. Falwell Jerry Falwell: prominent Protestant minister; TV Evangelist; Liberty University Hustler Magazine did a parody of an alcohol advertisement; The ad “suggested” Falwell’s first sexual encounter with his mother in an outhouse “Jerry Falwell talks about his first time” Falwell sues the magazine Libel: write/publish something false giving off a negative image; destroys character Slander: say something false in order to defame someone’s character

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4 Hustler vs. Falwell Verdict: Hustler found not guilty of Libel; Falwell awarded $150,000 in civil court (emotional distress) Why? The ad in the magazine listed the parody as “Fiction” in the table of contents Reasonable people would not consider it to contain factual claims

5 Reno vs. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Significance: 1 st major Supreme Court ruling regarding regulation of materials distributed over the internet Communications Decency Act: Attempted to ban the “knowing” transmission of obscene/indecent materials across the internet to anyone under 18. Verdict: SC rejected Communications Decency Act; Why? In practice, the Act banned too much “speech” that could be legally accessed by adults

6 Branzburg vs. Hayes Paul Branzburg (Louisville, KY) conducting a report on illegal drug use One article featured unidentified hands using drugs 2 nd article used marijuana users as sources Eric Caldwell (NY Times) & Paul Pappas (Massachusetts) were subpoenaed about same time as Branzburg to testify about illegal activities while investigating Black Panthers All 3 were called in to testify before a grand jury about separate potential charges

7 Branzburg vs. Hayes All 3 reporters refused to testify under the Reporter’s Privilege & were held in Contempt of Court Reporters argued: too hard to get info. otherwise; who would give them info. if there is no confidentiality? Verdict (5-4): Reporters do not get extra protections under law & must testify if asked to do so

8 Bethel School District vs. Fraser Washington (state) Student by the name of Matthew Fraser gave a speech nominating fellow classmate Jeff Kuhlman for student body vice-president The speech was filled with several sexual innuendos (different speech than the one the school approved) The school suspends him & refuses to allow him to speak at graduation Verdict: SC upheld the school’s decision to suspend him & said his 1 st Amendment rights were not violated Issue at hand: Was the speech “disruptive” to educational environment

9 Bill Clinton vs. Paula Jones Incident occurred while Clinton was Governor of Arkansas Jones was a state employee who sued Clinton for sexual harassment Monica Lewinsky scandal also comes out as a result of this lawsuit Verdict: Jones received $850,ooo but no apology. However, she only received $151,000 after legal expenses

10 FCC Federal Communications Commission Purpose: To regulate interstate & international communications by radio, TV, cable, satellite, wire How do they affect pop culture??? 1. Censor Media to make sure it is suitable for the public 2. Look at profanity, sexual situations, violence, etc. 3. Set requirements/restrictions for when & if something can be shown

11 2004 Crackdown “Nipplegate” 1. Super Bowl Halftime show included a song by Justin Timberlake & Janet Jackson where Jackson’s breast was exposed 2. Record 200,000 Americans called CBS to complain 3. CBS was dropped by Viacom as a result 4. Lawsuits filed against CBS/Viacom claiming indecent exposure & trauma to children 5. Viacom settled for $3.5 million & paid $500,000 FCC fines 6. Congress raised fine limit from $27,500 to $375, Big crackdowns on other shows, networks paranoid, FCC much stricter

12 FCC Criticisms 1. Too harsh; violate 1 st Amendment 2. Not harsh enough; allow too much obscenity/violence 3. Aiding illegal wiretapping 4. Too extreme – FCC considers 1 complaint representative of 1 million people Not a Chance!!!

13 Reactions to Crackdown 1. Moved to private airways – Ex. Howard Stern 2. Networks moved shows later in primetime 3. Censor content & later put it on internet 4. Be less controversial

14 CISPA Cyber-Intelligence Sharing & Protection Act (CISPA) New cyber-terror bill being considered in Congress Goal: To stop cyber-terror threats by allowing the government to more efficiently (receive information about potential threats from websites, e.g. Google, Facebook) monitor potential malicious hackers Critics: Too few limits on how & when the gov’t. may monitor private individuals internet browsing Gov’t. may use powers to monitor the general public more than track down hackers


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