FCC Upholds CBS Fine In Janet Jackson Case
May 31, 2006 at 3:51 PM (PT)
In a TV case with implications for all of broadcasting, the FCC has denied CBS' appeal of the ruling that the SUPER BOWL XXXVIII halftime show (the "JANET JACKSON incident") was indecent. The MAY 4 decision (released TODAY), rejecting CBS' claim that the incident wasn't indecent, affirming that the violation was willful, and rejecting any reduction of the $550,000. fine, also rejected CBS' argument that the indecency rules are unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.
Commissioner JONATHAN ADELSTEIN concurred with the outcome but dissented "because I continue to believe the Commission has erred in fining only CBS owned and operated stations, not all stations that broadcasted the indecent material." He also said that he has "grave concerns with the failure of this Order to provide clear guidance on the nature of the Commission’s new fine imposition policy.... Rather than stating what the new policy is not, as today’s Order does, the Commission should state affirmatively the key features of our new “more limited approach towards the imposition of forfeiture penalties. After all, it is still unclear how the Commission determines the sufficiency of a viewer’s complaint in light of this new enforcement policy."