Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

First Page



This Note discusses the proposed legal responses to the problem of fraud by televangelists. Finding the solutions constitutionally deficient, politically unsound, or practically ineffective as deterrents, it then explores the possibility of a content-based restriction on televangelists' speech. The Note concludes that such a deliberate restriction on speech cannot withstand First Amendment scrutiny, regardless of the dishonesty or disingenuousness one may find in televangelists' tactics. Accordingly, despite the great potential for deception, televangelists' activities are, and should be, absolutely protected by the First Amendment. Any proposed remedy to deal with televangelism must occur in the marketplace of ideas, which is an approach consistent with First Amendment values. Thus, each individual must determine what worth, if any, exists in televangelists' speech.