During the 2004 Super Bowl, singer Janet Jackson exposed her nipple for 9/16ths of a second, resulting in 8 years of litigation over whether CBS would have to pay a $500,000 fine for the “fleeting nudity.” In the end, courts ruled that the proposed fine was “arbitrary and capricious.”
Want to make up your own mind? Here’s the section of the halftime show in question:
(Of course, when Nancy Grace did the same thing on Dancing with the Stars, no one talked about fines….)
Then this year immediately following the Super Bowl, Ravens player Joe Flacco drops the F-bomb, calling the game ” F&$%ing awesome” in front of a live microphone. Again, a fleeting offensive moment that could potentially lead to substantial fines.
This morning, I asked the students in my Global Media Literacy class how they felt about both Jackson and Flacco. The question was: Are you more bothered by Jackson’s 9/16ths of a second exposure, Flacco’s F-bomb, or are you unable to get upset about either. Here’s the results:
- Jackson – 4
- Flacco – 1
- Don’t care about either – 16
And this is in central Nebraska. FCC, perhaps there are better things for you to worry about these days.