FCC: Janet Jackson Still Out of Bounds

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Janet Jackson, star of the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, is still out of bounds.

The Federal Communications Commission ruled Wednesday that CBS Corp. violated federal indecency rules when the network aired Jackson’s fleeting breast exposure to millions of viewers. The FCC reached the same conclusion in an earlier decision released in September 2004.

Under the ruling, 20 CBS stations were each fined $27,500, the maximum then in effect. CBS’ independent affiliates were exonerated because they were not involved in the “planning or approval” of the halftime broadcast, the agency said.

TV and radio stations are banned from airing indecent content between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. The Jackson incident occurred at 8:30 p.m. (EST).

The FCC defines indecency as material that “must describe or depict sexual or excretory organs or activities and must be patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium.”

“CBS continues to disagree with the FCC's finding that the 2004 Super Bowl was legally indecent," the network said in a prepared statement. "More than two years ago, we apologized to viewers for the inappropriate and unexpected halftime incident. We will continue to pursue all remedies necessary to affirm our legal rights. Today’s decision by the FCC is just another step in the process.”

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