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T.V. Got A Lot Worse Today

A federal appeals court on Monday threw out a $550,000 indecency fine against CBS for the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that ended with Janet Jackson's breast-baring "wardrobe malfunction." They said it wasn't shocking enough to warrant a fine.

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 court found that the FCC deviated from its nearly 30-year practice of fining indecent broadcast programming only when it was so "pervasive as to amount to 'shock treatment' for the audience."

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. So having a man on television seemingly forcibly ripping clothes off of a woman during a song with millions of children watching isn't shocking.

So these judges essentially made this ruling on the subjective premise that the video didn't "shock" them.

Essentially this ruling guarantees that the networks will show anything they darn well please and their liberal un-shockable friends in the judiciary will back them up.

Television networks are already snickering and the sickening spiral promises to get steeper starting today.

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16 comments:

francis said...

Why any practicing Catholic still owns a TV is beyond me...

John Hetman said...

You expected what from so much of our judiciary? Sanity? Common sense? Decency? Morality? Have you checked out our law schools--just to see the lunacy that comes out of them? Have you checked out the ABA's nonsense?

And as Francis noted, how can any Catholic still watch television? Not only is it a source of sexual immorality, but it causes any sane, normally peaceful, gentle loving person to suddenly crave a handgun simply to blow it apart.

There is EWTN, and then there are public libraries that loan out dvds of all kinds from recent releases to classics and foreign films. There is no excuse for people to watch commercial television...short of lack of imagination or, in the case of Oprah, Larry King et al, deep-seated masochism.

Frusciante Maria Portman said...

but if we didn't have TV's we wouldn't know what was going on in the world. we wouldn't know how to respond to the situations in the world and we wouldn't be able to take a stand. we are called to be in this world and not of it. that means that we can't just turn a blind eye to what is going on. it may enrage us and make us go insane, but it should. this is how we are going to be able to keep ourselves and our faith in check.

in response to this actual article, it is an outrage and ridiculously stupid, but are we really all that surprised? this ruling really isn't all that shocking to me. just another reason to treasure my faith and know that there is more to life than just the here and now.

John Hetman said...

"but if we didn't have TV's we wouldn't know what was going on in the world."

Dear Maria, child of God--

You are either young and don't remember how to use radio news well nor the still abundant newspapers, or have not yet to learn how to swim in the oceans of news on the Internet. No one, absolutely no one, needs to get their news from commercial television--nor should they--as it destroys brain cells and causes fat buildup around waists. Not to mnetion that it often causes bad complexions.

Try searching the news sites on the Net... I'll bet that there are fine links right here.

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of trash on TV, but it's pretty easily avoidable for the most part. As I can't generally afford to attend live sporting events, it's nice to know I can catch them on TV. As a practicing Catholic, I hardly think that's scandalous.

Steve

Subvet said...

The "wardrobe malfunciton" was the straw breaking the camel's back in our home. Since then the only time the tube has gone on has been for the Presidential debates and to check out Glenn Beck's TV show (which we stopped watching because it interfered with other activities).

Other than that it's used only for videos we've rented. Kind of a shame, we get cable for free (another story).

As for the trash being "easily avoidable", I must be missing something. Even the commercials during supposed children's programs were off-the-charts offensive. An example of this happened when I caught one advertising the series "Angel", it showed a sequence where some guys head got chopped off. Admittedly the actual decapitation wasn't shown, but that was no cantelope they showed rolling across the floor. Just what I want my kids to see.

Or not.

Peter said...

I could sum up three reasons to own a t.v. ice road truckers

francis said...

but if we didn't have TV's we wouldn't know what was going on in the world. we wouldn't know how to respond to the situations in the world and we wouldn't be able to take a stand.

I'm sorry, but that is simply not true. I haven't had a TV for 8 months now, and I could tell you all the important things going on in the world - much better, in fact, than most Americans who watch hours of TV every day.

Knowing who won American Idol is not necessary for being "in the world." Knowing who is running for President and their stands on issues perhaps is. I can't do the former, but I can do the latter.

nightfly said...

"What's going on in the world" isn't just the news... it's also cultural. I agree that there's no need to expose our kids to that sort of culture degradation, but it's up to the mature Christian to judge what will tempt them vs. what will inform them. Likewise, it's up to the mature Christian to decide what effect boycotting advertisers or programming will have to push the line back (if at all).

More on topic, I fully expected this fine to be upheld and I'm surprised the 3rd Circuit tossed it. This wasn't an accident. It was definitely a planned act, as highlighted by the lyrics and Ms. Jackson's precaution of a pasty blocking out her excitable bits. In retrospect, calling it a "wardrobe malfunction" probably slanted the argument against decency - this was no malfunction. I doubt an appeal will be heard any higher up on something like this, too, so this will probably be the end of it.

Anonymous said...

I guess I don't see the road to hell being paved with catching a Brewers game on the old TV set

I'd also argue that even had the "wardrobe malfunction" not occurred, that halftime show was still indecent.

Steve

Frusciante Maria Portman said...

this is a cultural issue. as mature Christians, we should be able to decipher and discern what is good and evil. that is a grace that our faith will give us if we continually turn to Christ.

we can't just hide from all the junk going on in the world. if we hide from it, we don't know what it is and we can't fight against it. we shouldn't be exposing our kids to this, but we should be teaching them how to discern the material out there and giving them the tools to respond to it and still be able to live in this society.

and yes, i am young. im just some 20something rolling along in life right now. i grew up in a family that taught me good morals and helped give me the tools i needed to succeed in society without giving in to it. i grew up listening to old records like elvis and b.b. king on the record player and dancing to the beatles in my living room. i also would sit in the basement with my grandpap and listen to popeye the sailor-man records. i listened to baseball games and rush linbaugh on the radio. and now i subscribe to several online news sources a day. and still, i feel a tv is necessary.

WillyJ said...

"sensibility malfunction" is more like it, fleeting or otherwise.
and its not the fault of the medium per se.

mostly young said...

"Why any practicing Catholic still owns a TV is beyond me..."

The same could be easily said for the internet!

Anonymous said...

You know, we missed the whole incident--even though we had friends over to watch the Super Bowl. We exercised our right to choose and switched to another channel during the halftime show. Do I think that some of the "entertainment" on the tv is evil, you bet. Do I hate having to edit the tv with the remote, yes. Do I think that the tv in and of itself is evil, no.

Sharon

Tom said...

I think I must have been watching Celebrity Death Match on MTV that night (not a practicing Catholic at that time.) Just a little hard to find conspiracy in every crook and crany. Anyhow, although I watch a little too much TV, still practicing Catholicism. There's plenty of educational TV, such as Discovery Channel, History Channel, PBS, etc. as well as sporting events and news.

Anonymous said...

I like to think of T.V. (and the internet) as like a claw hammer. A very useful tool if you want to build something, but can sure do a lot of damage in the wrong hands.


cbs

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