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Judges rescind fine for Janet Jackson’s Superbowl “wardrobe malfunction”

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In what the Parent’s Television Council called “a sucker-punch to families everywhere” a court ruling which “reaches the level of judicial stupidity,” has ruled that there was nothing indecent about pop singer Janet Jackson’s breast being bared before 90 million people during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.

Janet Jackson covers herself after the famous incident

The Third Circuit Federal Court of Appeals has thrown out the $550,000 fine the Federal Communications Commission had ordered CBS-TV to pay.

The judges ruled that the FCC imposed the original fine “arbitrarily and capriciously.”

If you remember, CBS billed the incident as a “wardrobe malfunction” when Justin Timberlake seemingly ripped off the leather flap covering her breast.

“The F.C.C. failed to acknowledge that its order in this case reflected a policy change and improperly imposed a penalty on CBS for violating a previously unannounced policy,” the court said in a 2-to-1 decision authored by Judge Marjorie O. Rendell and joined by Judge Julio M. Fuentes.

Chief Judge Anthony J. Scirica dissented. He wrote the unanimous opinion in 2008 when the appeals court first ruled against the FCC.



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bill Kilpatrick

    I applaud the Third Circuit Court of Appeals for upholding the rule of law. Back in 2004, when the country was still stumbling through the patriotic fog of our post-9/11 trauma, the Bush administration got everything it wanted – from continued occupation of Iraq to a Patriot Act that redefined the meaning of “big government” – including this stab at “the lamestream media.” It was one of many salvos in the “culture war” being waged from the Right, but it represented capricious prosecution. If the Bush FCC wished to change its policy, in terms of how it intended to interpret the meaning of “indecency” – as that term is applied to television broadcasts – it should have given due notice of the policy change. Going after CBS, a network the Bush administration had issues with (because of CBS News’ criticism Bush policy in other areas) represented an abuse of government. It’s nice to see the federal courts correcting this wrong. It’s a victory for the judicial branch.

  • http://pausinitimes.com/ Laura Pausini Lyrics

    In my opinion it was not Janet Jackson fault. It was totally wardrobe faults so no need to impose big fine on her.

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