ERIC Number: ED081185
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973-Feb-6
Reference Count: N/A
In Re Complaint of the Black Caucus of the United States House of Representatives Before the Federal Communications Commission.
Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC.
In December 1972 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) denied a request of the black Congressmen of the Black Caucus (BC) that it order the television networks to make free prime time available for the BC to reply to social matters in the President's State of the Union message. The BC argued that they were entitled to time balance coverage given to the President, based upon; 1) The Constitution's requirement of a balance of separate powers; 2) the FCC's fairness doctrine; 3) the right to free speech; and 4) the public interest. The networks replied they were entitled to control controversial programing, that they presented opposing views, and that the fairness doctrine guaranteed presentation of opposing viewpoints, not the appearance of particular individuals. The FCC affirmed the network's discretionary powers, concurred that the fairness doctrine was issue-oriented and did not give access rights to individuals, and ruled that separation of powers did not imply free access to broadcast time for Congressmen. No ruling was made on the free speech issue since it was being argued in another case before the Supreme Court. (LB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC.