Remember the “wardrobe malfunction” Janet Jackson sustained during her 2004 Super Bowl halftime performance with Justin Timberlake?
CBS got a $550,000 fine for that scandalous nine-sixteenths of a second, but on Wednesday, a Philadelphia appeals court ruled that the Federal Communications Commission had no grounds to impose the fine.
The FCC has a clause in its rules that makes “fleeting” indecency exempt from punishment. Since Janet Jackson’s brief exposure was certainly fleeting, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the FCC broke its own rules when it fined CBS.