Friday, October 05, 2007

Radio Station Decides Not To Air Allen Ginsberg Poem 'Howl'

posted by leo

Banned books don't exist just in libraries -- in fact, they don't even have to be books.

The New York Times has a story today about how WBAI, a radio station in New York, decided not to air 'Howl', the well-known poem by Allen Ginsberg.

This is the 50th anniversary of the court decision that found the poem not obscene due to its "redeeming social importance".

Unfortunately the radio station felt they might get slapped with punitive fines by the FCC if they aired the piece, so they decided to stream it over the Web instead.

The poem has been broadcast several times since the court decision. But one lawyer familiar with First Amendment issues observes that as a consequence of the FCC's so-called "zero-tolerance" policy, "it's a completely different era".

UPDATE: Here's the segment WBAI didn't broadcast, "Howl Against Censorship".

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