Red Lion Broadcasting Co. V. FCC

In Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC the Supreme Court upheld in 1969 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fairness doctrine, which provided that stations should allow a person criticized on the station an opportunity to respond to the criticism.

The Red Lion case had its origins when author Fred J. Cook criticized presidential candidate Barry Goldwater in his book. A Pennsylvania radio station operated by Red Lion Broadcasting Co. ran a 15-minute broadcast by Rev. Billy James Hargis criticizing Cook and claiming he had been fired from a newspaper for false charges against city officials and that he worked with a communist publication where he had attacked J. Edgar Hoover and the CIA. The Reverend said that Cook had now written a book smearing Goldwater.

When Cook ...

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