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Supreme Court / Freedom of Speech / Falwell vs. Flynt #319949

CBS Evening News for Wednesday, Feb 24, 1988
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(Studio: Dan Rather) Supreme Court reported overturning judgement Jerry Falwell won against "Hustler" magazine editor Larry Flynt for satire with regard to preacher's mother. Report introduced.

(DC: Rita Braver) Unanimous vote reported protecting pornographic satire under Constitutional right to free speech. [FLYNT - comments on situation.] Parody shown and discussed. Lower court judgement for emotional distress discussed. Chief Justice William Rehnquist's decision quoted on screen. [FALWELL - says Flynt attacked deceased mother.] [Falwell's attorney Norman Roy GRUTMAN - criticizes irresponsible media.] Justices quoted re: US penchant for cartoons. 19th century cartoonist Thomas Nast mentioned; cartoons shown. ["Washington Post" cartoonist Herb BLOCK - defends use of cartoons.] Block's cartoon with regard to Falwell shown.

(Studio: Dan Rather) Report introduced.

(Studio: Morley Safer) Tabloids like "National Enquirer" and "Hustler" magazine featured. Supreme Court decision's impact upon such media types discussed. [Libel attorney Robert SACK - praises justices' decision.] Pornographers reported now being considered satirists. Scenes shown from British satirical puppet show Spitting Image; details given. [Attorney Gerry SPENCE - disagrees with ruling.] [SACK - explains what material can now be considered satire.] Libel lawyers quoted with regard to Rehnquist court [SACK - says wasn't surprised by ruling.] [SPENCE - wonders about future of United States when Supreme Court condones unsavory work of Flynt.] Flynt quoted with regard to protection of first amendment rights; "New York Times" and CBS News mentioned. (Artist: Don Juhlin)

(Studio: Dan Rather, S: Morley Safer) More outrageous material expected.

Braver, Rita;
Rather, Dan;
Safer, Morley

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