A federal appeals court on Monday threw out a $550,000 indecency fine against CBS for the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that ended with Janet Jackson’s breast-baring “wardrobe malfunction.” They said it wasn’t shocking enough to warrant a fine.
The three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Communications Commission “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” in issuing the fine for the fleeting image of nudity.
The court found that the FCC deviated from its nearly 30-year practice of fining indecent broadcast programming only when it was so “pervasive as to amount to ‘shock treatment’ for the audience.”
The 90 million people watching the Super Bowl, many of them children, heard Justin Timberlake sing, “Gonna have you naked by the end of this song,” as he reached for Jackson’s bustier. So having a man on television seemingly forcibly ripping clothes off of a woman during a song with millions of children watching isn’t shocking.
So these judges essentially made this ruling on the subjective premise that the video didn’t “shock” them.
Essentially this ruling guarantees that the networks will show anything they darn well please and their liberal un-shockable friends in the judiciary will back them up.
Television networks are already snickering and the sickening spiral promises to get steeper starting today.