CBS Argues That Halftime Show Was Not Indecent
September 12, 2007

At Tuesday's "nipplegate" hearing before the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, CBS Corp. argued that it should not be held liable for the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that ended with Janet Jackson's breast-baring "wardrobe malfunction" because the stunt was both unscripted and unintended. CBS also said that if the FCC's $550,000 fine is upheld, it will effectively censor U.S. broadcasting. CBS lawyer Robert Corn-Revere urged the court to overturn the fine and said the ruling has had a "profoundly censorious effect" on U.S. broadcasting by deterring stations from showing material that could possibly be considered indecent, according to Reuters. The network feels that by fining them, the FCC has abandoned its policy of avoiding penalties for "fleeting" or "isolated" images.

However, FCC attorney Eric Miller defended the decision that the halftime show was indecent because it was a "highly sexualized performance" even before the brief breast exposure. Miller claims that CBS had been "willful" in its broadcast because it failed to guard against indecency. He said the National Football League had expressed concern beforehand about the sexually charged performance and that Jackson's choreographer said in advance the show would contain "some shocking moments." "CBS was indifferent to the fact that an obvious risk can constitute a deliberate omission," Miller argued, according to Reuters.

Miller also said that Jackson and halftime co-star Justin Timberlake were employees of CBS, therefore the network should have to pay for their actions. However, Julio Fuentes, one member of the three-judge panel, challenged that claim. "That doesn't make sense at all," Fuentes said, according to Reuters. "They were not employees of CBS, were they?"

The network immediately apologized after the incident aired and both Jackson and Timberlake confirmed they planned it "independently and clandestinely" without informing anyone, according to court documents. At the time, Jackson released a statement saying, "The decision to have a costume reveal at the end of my halftime show was made after final rehearsals. [Halftime show producer] MTV was completely unaware of it. It was not my intention that it go as far as it did."

The court is expected to rule in the coming months but it did not indicate exactly when.




 
Breaking News
Nielsen Reports Second Quarter 2014 Results
WRQX's Marc Orem Named Cumulus' "CBOS Star of the Week"
In Brief - July 30, 2014
July 29, 2014
SiriusXM Reports Second Quarter 2014 Results
Do It For Kidd
In Brief - July 29, 2014
July 28, 2014
CCM+E Names Maynard SVP of Programming
Bob Rivers Ending Long-Running Morning Show
In Brief - July 28, 2014
July 25, 2014
eQB NOW
The Week In Review: 7/21-7/25
Pandora Reports Increase In Revenue, Net Loss In Q2
WRQX/Washington, D.C. Announces New Morning Show
In Brief - July 25, 2014
July 24, 2014
WQHT (HOT 97) New York Names Jay Dixon As Program Director
Townsquare Media, Inc. Announces Pricing of Initial Public Offering
iHeartRadio Survey Reveals Funniest Woman in America + Best Disney Song Ever
In Brief - July 24, 2014
July 23, 2014
Taylor Swift, Coldplay & More To Headline 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival
CC Media Holdings Reports 1% Revenue Increase In Q2
CBS LOCAL Personalizes Event Discovery, Content Delivery With Agreement To Acquire Eventful
Jacobs Media's 6th Annual Public Radio Tech Survey Released
In Brief - July 23, 2014
FMQB FYI... Links You Should Know About
July 22, 2014
Music News
5 Seconds Of Summer Debut At #1, Announce 2015 Tour
Quick Hits: Foo Fighters, Iggy Azalea, Virgin Free Fest, Maynard James Keenan
Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett Jazz Album Officially Announced
Quick Hits: Jessie J + Ariana Grande + Nicki Minaj, Muse, TV On the Radio, Hozier, Primus, Led Zeppelin
FMQB Retro-Active: Ken Sharp Gets Up Close with Graham Nash and Tom Petty
Quick Hits: Nicki Minaj, Fences / Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Courtney Love / Kurt Cobain biopic, Wings, Bleachers
The Week In Review: 7/21-7/25
Quick Hits: Lil Wayne, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Lionel Richie
MTV Names Iggy Azalea New Host Of House Of Style
Quick Hits: Farm Aid 2014, Beyoncé, Ozzy Osbourne, Stevie Nicks
"Weird Al" Yankovic Lands First #1 Album Of His Career
Quick Hits: Hilary Duff, Pharrell & Miley Cyrus, Jack White, Ryan Adams, Mudvayne / Greg Tribbett
Godsmack Unleashes Epic "Generation Day"
Quick Hits: MAGIC!, One Direction, Kimbra, Uncle Kracker, Billy Joel
Weezer Goes "Back To The Shack"
FMQB NOW

Farshad Family, SVP
Local Media Product Leadership
Nielsen Audio

Advertisement:
Search FMQB.com
Advertisements:
FMQB Member Login
Email:
Pass:

Save
Not a member yet?
Sign up Now!
Sign Up for Breaking News!
Enter FMQB E-Tracking!