Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The New York Times on the Anniversary of Ginsberg's "Howl"

In an editorial today, the New York Times notes that the independent-minded radio station WBAI will not broadcast an anniversary reading of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" for fear of triggering fines from the FCC. WBAI is also the station that broadcast George Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words" monologue, and made legal history. Opines the paper, "If Ginsberg were still with us, he would undoubtedly pen a mocking line or two about his poem being banned from the airwaves 50 years after it was ruled not to be obscene. Congress, of course, could redress the F.C.C.’s bullying powers if it wanted to....The poet would understand, having once noted: `Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.'"

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