Wardrobe Malfuntion Fine for Jackson Scandal Challenged in Court

Nov 3, 2011, 07:26 by R.E. Christian

CBS, fighting a $500,000 fine for airing pop singer Janet Jackson's right breast during a Super Bowl halftime show, has scored a court victory in Philadelphia.

The U.S. network has been fighting the Federal Communications Commission over the breast-baring incident -- Jackson called it a "wardrobe malfunction" -- since it happened in 2004.

CBS News said a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld its previous decision that the indecency fine was invalid.

The appellate court ruled the fine amounted to an undisclosed change in the enforcement of its indecency policy concerning "fleeting images" and therefore could not be enforced.

"We again set forth our reasoning and conclusion that the FCC failed to acknowledge that its order in this case reflected a policy change and improperly imposed a penalty on CBS for violating a previously unannounced policy," the court said.

The FCC said in a statement it was disappointed by the court's ruling but didn't say whether it would appeal.

The FCC fined CBS because one of Jackson's breasts was exposed for a few seconds when Justin Timberlake tore off a piece of her clothing. The halftime show of the New England-Carolina championship game had a television audience of about 90 million people.

Source: UPI