Goodbye, $550,000 Janet Jackson boob fine
I remember watching the halftime show of the 2004 Super Bowl and seeing Janet Jackson's nipple at the end of her duet with Justin Timberlake. I couldn't believe what I had just seen and I knew it was going to be a big thing. Of course, no one knew at the time just how big it was going to become. It actually changed the way TV shows are presented now.
But here's some good news for logic: a federal appeals court has thrown out the $550,000 fine that the FCC gave CBS for broadcasting the football boob scene. In the ruling the court said the FCC acted "arbitrarily and capriciously" when they handed out the fine.
I'm happy about this. I have no idea what was in the mind of Jackson and Timberlake when they did this, whether it was planned before hand for shock value or an honest mistake (though I always thought it showed a certain amount of integrity on Timberlake's part that he sang "gonna have you naked by the end of this song" and actually kept his word - a nice lesson for younger viewers). But even if it was planned, I severely doubt CBS would have signed off on it, and it was a live event so how could CBS have stopped it? I also think that the way they handed out the fine - $27,500 for each station that broadcast it! - was ridiculous.
Of course, this doesn't excuse CBS/MTV from putting on a really raunchy, over the top Super Bowl halftime show to begin with.