The FCC late today defended its decision to fine 20 CBS owned and operated television stations $550,000 for airing that Janet Jackson boob shot. According to Reuters, the agency said in a brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit it rejected CBS’s argument that her role in the 2004 Superbowl halftime show didn’t violate decency standards. I, for one, still can’t believe CBS’ lawyers are trying to claim it didn’t know about this in advance when MTV’s website was promo-ing the “shocking” nature of the Justin/Janet duet. It seems a long time ago that the FCC ruled CBS broke its b’cast indecency rules “willfully” and justified the huge fine. U.S. TV network and radio b’casters are supposed to keep it clean between 6 AM and 10 PM, when children are likely to be watching. CBS apologized and paid the fine, $27,500 for each of the 20 stations it owns, but said it was not clued in ahead of time about the stunt and in July appealed the decision. The network contended that, in the past, the FCC had not taken action against fleeting instances of nudity and profanity. The agency denied that its standards for such incidents was subjective.

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