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Press Release

November 21, 2008

PTC Praises FCC for Seeking Supreme Court Review of Janet Jackson Decision

LOS ANGELES (November 21, 2008) – The Parents Television Council™ applauded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice for asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appellate court ruling on the Janet Jackson striptease during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show which aired on CBS. In July, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the FCC fine that was issued against CBS stations for the “wardrobe malfunction” that shocked millions of unsuspecting families.


According to PTC President Tim Winter, “We are delighted to learn that the FCC and the Justice Department will seek Supreme Court review of the infamous Janet Jackson breast flash during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. The magnitude of that CBS sucker-punch is evidenced by the fact that the incident was the number one news story for months during a time when the nation was at war. We are anxious for the high court to hear this case in which FCC fines were overturned and the will of the American people was hijacked by a three-judge panel in Philadelphia.”


“While CBS lawyers defend ‘fleeting’ f-words and ‘fleeting’ breasts on live television as unpredictable and unpreventable, their programmers are editing ‘fleeting’ f-words and ‘fleeting’ penises into their non-live entertainment programs. It seems to me that the term ‘fleeting’ more appropriately describes the network’s commitment to abide by the two consent decrees it signed with the FCC, promising not to air indecent material.

“It’s unfortunate that the broadcast networks shirk responsibility at every turn and fight the FCC’s work to simply uphold the broadcast decency law. Recent reports linking sexual content on TV to teen pregnancy and violent programming to violent behavior by the Rand Corporation and Rutgers University respectively, greatly underscore the importance of the broadcast decency law in the first place. We call on those who will join the FCC as part of the new administration to ensure that the networks are held accountable and the broadcast decency law is enforced,” Winter concluded.


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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