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Press Release

May 4, 2009

PTC Praises Supreme Court for Ordering a Second Look at Janet Jackson Super Bowl Striptease Ruling


LOS ANGELES (May 4, 2009) – The Parents Television Council™ praised the U.S. Supreme Court for ordering the Third Circuit Court to reexamine its ruling that threw out the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fine given to CBS for airing Janet Jackson’s breast during the 2004 Super Bowl, which shocked tens of millions of unsuspecting families and children. Just last week, the Supreme Court ruled that “fleeting” violations of the broadcast decency law can be considered indecent and result in fines for broadcasters.


“Today the Supreme Court is siding not only with families, but with Congress and the overwhelming will of the American people in asking the Third Circuit to take another look at its absurd ruling. Just last week, the High Court affirmed the FCC’s ability to sanction a broadcaster for so-called ‘fleeting’ violations of the broadcast decency law. Today’s decision is absolutely consistent with last week’s announcement,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“Last year’s decision by the Third Circuit Court was simply preposterous. The Court attempted to justify its ruling by saying the Super Bowl incident didn’t result in enough public outrage. Not enough public outrage? Congress was inundated with phone calls and letters. The FCC was bombarded with complaints. The story became a top news story for weeks, even while our country was at war. If that isn’t enough outrage and a striptease during the Super Bowl in front of 90 million people isn’t indecent, then what is?


“We are grateful that the Supreme Court is asking the lower court to take another look at its ruling. If broadcasters are going to use the publicly owned airwaves for free, then they must agree to abide by the terms of their licenses and by the broadcast decency law, rather than fight it at every turn. We call on the FCC to act quickly on the backlog of broadcast indecency complaints filed by the public,” 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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