The written word is protected under First Amendment. However, methods of transmission and broadcast is not (see: the FCC).Winston wrote:Does anyone know of an instance where the US government closed down a forum? If so, under what pretense? If not, does that mean that we can say whatever we want without fear of government intervention?
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Not entirely true. Broadcasting over the public airwaves is subject to regulation by the FCC because the airwaves are a publicly-owned resource and licensees that use it are required to serve the public interest (though they never do). The courts can overrule FCC decisions on First Amendment grounds, however.
The purpose of a free speech amendment is to protect your right to express your opinion against the majority voice ("community standard"). If your opinion is with the majority voice, then you wouldn't need protection in the first place.
The purpose of FCC is to enforce community standards against what is considered inappropriate by the majority voice.
Fundamentally, the two are diametrically opposed.
Just my $0.02.
Good point re how the FCC functions today. Back before this country went brain dead there was a debate about how the FCC might best discharge its statutory mandate of ensuring that licensees to use the public airwaves serve the "public interest convenience and necessity." Many felt that the airwaves had been taken over by a commercialism that vigorously kept any kind of dissenting voices out. A Supreme Court decision from 1969 held that the most important First Amendment consideration w/respect to the airwaves was the public's right to be broadly informed by a variety of viewpoints.
But good luck intersting the Roberts court in any First Amendment theory that doen't protect the rights of large broadcasting corporations to do whatever they want on the public airwaves. 1969 was, as I say, before the country went brain dead.