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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Janet Jackson's Breast Ruled 'Decent' By Federal Court on Technicality

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia ruled the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) "acted arbitrarily and capriciously" in issuing a $550,00 fine against CBS for the split second television exposure of Janet Jackson's breast during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.

The 3rd Circuit judges rules that the FCC deviated from its long-held approach of applying identical standards to words and images when reviewing complaints of indecency. The court found that:

"The Commission's determination that CBS's broadcast of a nine-sixteenths of one second glimpse of a bare female breat [with the nipple covered] was actionably indecent evidenced the agency's departure from its prior policy."

The court recognized the impossibility of completely blocking all fleeting material during live broadcasts. Justin Timberlake participated in the now infamous 'wardrobe malfunction' when he pulled the cup from Jackson's bustier.
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