Friday, November 24, 2006

CBS Still Hasn't Paid Up for Janet Jackson's Super Bowl Stunt

It has been nearly three years since Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl halftime show and yet CBS still hasn't paid the fine imposed by the Federal Communications Commission for the incident. In fact, the network recently asked for another review of their case.

Here's the take on the story from Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council...

The same network that calls the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show "good business" is challenging the FCC's fine for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction." Lawyers for CBS say that while the incident was unfortunate, they shouldn't be fined a half-million dollars for airing it. Despite their apologies after the 2004 Super Bowl, executives now argue that there was nothing indecent about the stunt in the first place.

As they see it, CBS has a "right" to air primetime smut. In its 76-page suit, the network states that the "blink and you miss it" nature of the episode was "largely unrecognized for most of the broadcast audience."

Tell that to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, who spent weeks sorting through thousands of complaints from families--all demanding that CBS be held accountable. Stung by the $550,000 fine, CBS now claims the agency is choking its First Amendment Rights. Meanwhile, families are the ones in a stranglehold, trying desperately to hold the line on network pollution with little help from broadcasters. Fortunately, the FCC is backed by a law that reminds the networks that their definition of "free speech" is going to cost them.

It isn't a bad idea to send along a quick note to the FCC right now, urging them to follow through with the CBS fine AND to follow through with the dire need to clean up the airwaves altogether. The Janet Jackson episode was just the...well, you fill in your own simile.

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554

Phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322)
Fax: 1-866-418-0232