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Constitutional Law Keyed to Barnett
Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. Federal Communications Commission
Citation:395 U.S. 397 (1969)
Petitioner Red Lion Broadcasting Company was licensed to operate a radio station called WGCB. That radio station carried a broadcast by Reverend Billy James Hargis, during which Hargis claimed that an author, Fred J. Cook, had worked for a Communist affiliated publication and had attacked the CIA and its director at the time, J. Edgar Hoover. The author, Cook, claimed that he had been personally attacked by the broadcast and demanded that he receive reply time on the radio. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) declared that Reverend Hargis’ broadcast constituted a personal attack on Cook and Red Lion had failed its obligations under the fairness doctrine (which required the station to send a tape, transcript or summary of the broadcast to Cook and offer him reply time, among other remedies).
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