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Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2000

Administrative Law

Maurer School of Law: Indiana University

Laws of Misrepresentation

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A History And Analysis Of The Federal Communications Commission’S Response To Radio Broadcast Hoaxes, Justin Levine Mar 2000

A History And Analysis Of The Federal Communications Commission’S Response To Radio Broadcast Hoaxes, Justin Levine

Federal Communications Law Journal

Courts have long held that the government can punish an individual for falsely shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater. But what is a government agency to do when the venue is none other than a theater of the imagination heard throughout the nation? Ever since the broadcast of Orson Welles's War of the Worlds, the FCC has struggled to find a balance in preventing harmful broadcast hoaxes while still encouraging radio to develop vibrant, imaginative programming. What defines a hoax deemed harmful to the public interest versus one that constitutes mere playful entertainment? This Article details the major events ...