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Accuracy in Media, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission

521 F.2d 288 (1975)

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Accuracy in Media, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

521 F.2d 288 (1975)

Facts

Accuracy in Media (AIM) (plaintiff) filed two complaints with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (defendant) against the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), alleging that PBS distributed two programs to its member stations dealing with sex education and the American criminal justice system that were not balanced or objective, in violation of the Fairness Doctrine and 47 U.S.C. § 396(g)(1)(A) of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 (PBA). The PBA created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which funded the alleged offending programs. The PBA required that CPB’s programming strictly adhere to its objectivity and balance requirements. AIM dropped its Fairness Doctrine claim after the FCC concluded that PBS had not violated it. AIM claimed that because the PBS programs were funded by the CPB, those programs also had to adhere to the PBA objectivity and balance requirements. The FCC received public comments then decided that it lacked jurisdiction to enforce the mandate of the PBA against CPB. AIM appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bazelon, C.J.)

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