NY Times Story: The George Carlin/WBAI connection

[In 1978, WBAI broadcast the George Carlin routine about the 7 words you can’t say on television. The FEC reprimanded WBAI, and the battle went all the way to the Supreme Court.]

excerpt from The New York Times
The Station That Dared to Defend Carlin’s ‘7 Words’ Looks Back
By GLENN COLLINS
Published: June 25, 2008

…“It’s a bad time here for us because George Carlin was part of the family,” said Anthony Riddle, the station’s general manager. “I think all the producers are dealing with it in their own way,” Mr. Riddle said, some doing commentary and others running archival material, including a bleeped-out version of the “Seven Words” routine…

The station that for generations has spoken truth to power is incongruously situated on the 10th floor of 120 Wall Street, and smack in the middle of the FM dial, at 99.5. Now in its 48th year, WBAI was both an expression, and ringleader, of the counterculture during its peak in the mid-1960s through the Vietnam War…

Mr. Riddle, who joined the station in February, said that “it’s always difficult to run a democracy,” adding that “a lot of people believe in the kind of radio we provide,” since the station does not accept advertising, underwriting or grants.

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