Four-and-a-half years ago and for 9/16ths of a second, the world was exposed to a large percentage of one of Janet Jackson's breasts. The FCC went on to fine the Eye to the tune of $550,000, a penalty which has loomed... until now. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday threw out the fine, ruling that the Federal Communications Commission "acted arbitrarily and capriciously" in levying it for such a marginal and non-calculated incident.
Holding the FCC to its historical standard for indecency - which says that the content needs to be "pervasive as to amount to 'shock treatment' for the audience" - the court said that the Super Bowl halftime show "oops" didn't qualify. "Like any agency, the FCC may change its policies without judicial second-guessing," the AP quotes the court as saying. "But it cannot change a well-established course of action without supplying notice of and a reasoned explanation for its policy departure."
In a statement, CBS says it hopes the ruling returns the FCC to its "policy of restrained indecency enforcement." - Matt Mitovich
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