The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia ruled that the CBS television network should not be held liable for giving 144.4 million viewers a live peek at Janet Jackson’s decorated mammary during a 2004 “wardrobe malfunction” incident that highlighted the Super Bowl XXXVIII half-time show.
One judge noted that the incident lasted “nine-sixteenths of one second.” His Honor must have forced himself to watch the video incident over and over and over again to make this determination with such exactitude, and we salute his dedication to the cause of Justice.
The judges ruled that the “indecency” decision of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had been “arbitrary and capricious,” threw out the $550,000 fine, and sent the matter back to the FCC for review during a TV season in which CSI crime technicians exhibit more décolleté than Ms. Jackson did five nights a week.
Janet Jackson must be even happier than CBS, since the incident has been the crowning achievement of her entire career.
Super Bowl XXXVIII was a pretty good football game, with a tie-breaking field goal in the last four seconds. Look it up in the reference books, though, and you find: “Super Bowl XXXVIII — see ‘wardrobe malfunction.’”
Image by Mike Licht, with the assistance of CBS Corp., Justin Timberlake, and Janet Jackson (what an odd place for jewelry, especially in the winter. Brrr). Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com