Sep 12, 2007

American court hears Janet Jackson costume malfunction

American TV station giant CBS protests the fine issued by Federal Communications Commission, roughly their equivalent of our MTRCB amounting to $550,000 or P24,750,000.
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CBS took many precautions before the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that aired with Janet Jackson's"wardrobe malfunction," a lawyer for CBS said Tuesday (US).

There was nationwide furor about the "dubious" nipple slip of Janet Jackson as she performed with Justin Timberlake. Many argued they did it on purpose to cause a scandal which will surely make them the talk of the town, thus giving them more publicity.

But CBS Corp. lawyer Robert Reeve insists the network made the necessary precautions to avoid such situations, such as choosing Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake over more provocative performers, reviewing the script,
voicing concerns about ad-libbed remarks and applying a 5-second audio delay.

"I think the precautions CBS took even satisfied the FCC's standards," Corn-Revere said.

FCC lawyer Eric Miller argued that CBS was indifferent to the risk that "a highly sexualized performance" might cross the line.

Timberlake sang the lyrics, "Gonna have you naked by the end of this song," and that's exactly what happened, Miller said.

CBS should have known ahead of time what it was going to broadcast, the FCC said. The commission noted that Jackson's choreographer was quoted three days earlier as saying the performance would include "some shocking moments."

The case is the second recent test of the federal government's powers to regulate broadcast indecency. Last June, a federal appeals court in New York invalidated the government's policy on fleeting profanities uttered over the airwaves.

Some 90 million Americans watched Timberlake pull off part of Jackson's bustier, briefly exposing her right breast, which had only a silver sunburst "shield" covering her nipple, during the halftime show. The episode was later explained as a problem with her costume.

CBS challenged the FCC's fine, claiming "fleeting, isolated or unintended" images should not automatically be considered indecent. The agency noted it has long held that "even relatively fleeting references may be found indecent where other factors contribute to a finding of patent offensiveness."

Miller argued that Jackson and Timberlake were employees of CBS and that CBS should have to pay for their "willful" actions, given the network's lack of oversight.
Yahoo News

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