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Lecture 16

COM 250 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Carbon Black, Learned Hand, Payne Fund Studies


Department
Communication
Course Code
COM 250
Professor
Terilli Samuel
Lecture
16

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COM$250$
Class$16$
Obscenity$&$Censorship$
$
Power&and&censorship:&
o In&the&U.S.,&power&to&censor&obscene&materials&was&vested&on&the&Postal&Service&
(probably&unconstitutionally)&
o Industry-funded&agencies&
o Locally&on&social,&political,&and&religious&organizations&&&
Extension&to&the&Hicklin&rule:&
o England’s&Hicklin&Rule&was&readily&adopted&by&U.S.&Courts&in&order&to&censor&
“wicked”&materials&despite&its&lack&of&a&clear&definition&of&what&is&offensive&
o The&tendency&of&the&matter…&
o To&deprave&and&corrupt…&
o Such&minds...&
Determination&of&the&offense:&
o Offense&of&heretical&material:&within&itself&
o Offense&of&obscene&material:&its&effects&on&society&
o Extent&of&the&offensive&material&
Historical&context:&
o U.S.&has&a&long&history&of&preoccupation&with&effects&of&forms&of&expression&on&
society&
§ Political&propaganda&(1914)&
§ Movies&(the&Payne&Fund&Studies&of&the&1920s)&
§ Comic&books&and&violence&(1948-1952)&
§ &The&1970&Presidential&Commission&on&Porno&
§ &&The&1986&Meese&Commission&on&Porno&
Defining&obscenity:&
o The&words&“obscene”&and&“obscenity”&are&usually&defined&in&terms&of&other&
words&equally&as&difficult&to&define,&all&ultimately&involving&a&subjective&
judgement.&
§ offensive&to&taste&
§ foul&
§ loathsome&
§ disgusting&
§ offensive&to&chastity&of&mind&or&modesty&
§ lewd&
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