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Serafyn v. FCC

149 F.3d 1213 (1998)

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Serafyn v. FCC

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

149 F.3d 1213 (1998)

Facts

CBS filed an application for a new station license. Alexander Serafyn (plaintiff) petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (defendant) to deny the application or hold a hearing regarding the application on the ground that CBS was unfit to hold a broadcast license. Serafyn alleged that CBS had distorted news by airing a segment of 60 Minutes that claimed Ukrainians are anti-Semitic. To support his petition, Serafyn submitted the broadcast, which included quotes from interviewees who called Ukrainians uneducated peasants who were genetically anti-Semitic. Serafyn also submitted a dictionary showing that the Ukrainian word for Jew had been mistranslated into a slur, along with viewer letters and evidence that CBS had rejected an offer from a professor of Ukrainian history to help with the segment. The FCC did not hold a hearing regarding CBS’s application and eventually granted the application. Serafyn appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)

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