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June 20, 2018

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Indecency on the Airwaves
Last Featured: 11/11/2002

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

Recently, the Federal Communications Commission slapped an Oregon radio station with an obscenity fine for airing a song by feminist rapper, Sarah Jones. While the song did use some of the FCC’s ‘dirty’ words, Jones’ lyrics actually parody the misogynist music of many mainstream artists and are a piece of pointed social criticism. Advocates for free speech argue that Jones’ case only demonstrates how government regulation stifles dissent and silences discourse within the public arena, while others maintain that regulations for obscene content are necessary in order to ensure the that public airwaves broadcast content suitable for everyone to hear.

Arthur Belendiuk is an attorney with the law firm of Smithwick & Belendiuk, where he specializes in matters involving radio, television, paging, and cellular communications. A former staff attorney with the Federal Communications Commission, and a stockholder and executive of several radio stations, Belendiuk has written widely on the legal and business aspects of the communications industry. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and Hofstra School of Law.

Joan Bertin , executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, is a graduate of NYU Law School, where she was a fellow in the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program. After law school, she spent seven years representing indigent clients as a legal services lawyer, and more than a dozen litigating civil rights and civil liberties cases at the ACLU. She has taught at Columbia University, where she remains on the faculty, and at Sarah Lawrence College, where she held the Joanne Woodward Chair in Public Policy. She frequently speaks and writes on legal and policy issues, and is the author of more than 30 chapters and articles in professional books and journals.

Closing Quote
"Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity-these are strictly confined to man; he invented them. Among the higher animals there is no trace of them. They hide nothing; they are not ashamed. Man is the animal that blushes. He is the only one that does it-or has occasion to."

— Mark Twain

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
First Amendment Cyber-Tribune
Free Congress Foundation
Freedom Forum Article I
Freedom Forum Article II
The Media Institute
National Coalition against Censorship
People for the American Way
Parents Television Council
Citizens for Community Values
Culture and Family Institute
Morality in Media
Broadcast Indecency: FCC Regulation and the First Amendment
by Jeremy Harris Lipshultz
Not in Front of the Children: Indecency, Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth
by Marjorie Heins
Parental Advisory: Music Censorship in America
by Eric D. Nuzum
Regulation of the Entertainment Industry
The FCC's New Rules for Media Ownership
Pornography and the First Amendment