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Was a federal court right to toss the fine over Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction?

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Nipplegate_l

Nipplegate_lIt’s been four years since Janet Jackson shocked—shocked!—our genteel country with her infamous nip-slip at the 2004 Superbowl, prompting the FCC to slap CBS with a $550,000 penalty that sent the major networks into a puritanical tizzy. Thankfully time has given us all a little perspective on the incident, and a federal court yesterday threw out the fine, saying that the FCC had acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” (translation: stoopid) in its response. The decision is another setback for the FCC in its crusade against indecency, setting the stage for more debate about how tough the agency ought to be against stations that air accidental nudity or expletives. I tend to fall into the “It’s Just a Boob” camp, and would even argue that the only real and lasting damage from the whole debacle was the introduction of the term “wardrobe malfunction” to the pop lexicon. But what do you think, PopWatchers? Was anyone really harmed by a fleeting glimpse of Miss Jackson’s oddly accessorized bosom? And hasn’t her nose-diving career been punishment enough for us all?

addCredit(“Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake: Elise Amendo”)

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