Funnyman George Carlin died Sunday at a Los Angeles hospital after being admitted for chest pains. Carlin had an illustrious 50-year career as a Grammy-winning comedian, and as a lightening rod for free speech.
In 1972 he was arrested for disturbing the peace while performing his "Seven Dirty Words You Can't Hear on Television" skit in Wisconsin. A year later, a father was in his car with his son and heard "Filthy Words" by Carlin on WBAI-FM, a non-commercial radio station in New York City owned by Pacific Radio Foundation. The man complained to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which subsequently sanctioned WBAI. The Pacifica Foundation then sued the FCC and the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled 5-4 in 1978, that the regulatory agency could establish indecency regulations in American broadcasting.
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