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Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal

Abstract

Citizens groups and both federal and state governments have recently expressed concern over the offensive content of some modern popular music. The author examines the potential for suppression of broadcast popular music by the Federal Communications Commission. The author concludes that, by virtue of the Communications Act of 1934, the Supreme Court's decision in FCC v. Paciica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978) and the federal judiciary's general failure to rigorously scrutinize FCC content regulatory initiatives, the FCC enjoys a degree of power over the content of broadcasting that is abhorrent to the first amendment. The author opines that regulation of the content of broadcast popular music is well within the power of the FCC, but that any cleansing of the airwaves should be the product of citizen, rather than government, action.

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