Martin Surprised by Appeals Court Ruling

Third Circuit said no on the Janet Jackson/CBS fine.
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FCC Chairman Kevin Martin expressed disappointment this week to the federal appeals court ruling on the Janet Jackson indecency fine.

The Third Circuit ruled that the CBS airing of the Jackson’s brief breast exposure was not indecent, turning over the FCC’s ruling and $550,000 fine against CBS Corp. and its O&O television stations for airing the incident during the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show.

Saying he was surprised and disappointed, Martin also said he’s glad the Supreme Court has agreed to hear another case involving “fleeting” indecency this fall. That case involves Fox TV; the FCC appealed a different court’s finding throwing out the agency’s fines for fleeting, single utterances that the FCC said were indecent.


Appeals Court Throws Out FCC Profanity Ruling

There was much industry discussion this week after a ruling by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, which went against the FCC’s policy of fining broadcast stations and networks for airing profanities.