Well, we'll all sleep better now, won't we?
A federal appeals court on Monday threw out a $550,000 indecency fine against CBS Corp. for the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that ended with Janet Jackson's breast-baring "wardrobe malfunction."
The three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Communications Commission "acted arbitrarily and capriciously" in issuing the fine for the fleeting image of nudity.
The 90 million people watching the Super Bowl, many of them children, heard Justin Timberlake sing, "Gonna have you naked by the end of this song," as he reached for Jackson's bustier.
The court found that the FCC deviated from its nearly 30-year practice of fining indecent broadcast programming only when it was so "pepervasive as to amount to 'shock treatment' for the audience."
Next, we'll have more arguments and the continuing and expensive litigation over whether unscripted expletives (like Bono's "F" word) should be fined. Isn't it time to just dissolve the FCC? The only excuse for its existence -- allocation of limited spaces on the electromagnetic spectrum -- has beeen eliminated.