It’s time once again for The Future American’s FAIL OF THE WEEK! Every Saturday, I name a person or group who has spent the past seven days behaving in a particularly idiotic way. Since it’s my belief that idiocy knows no politics, nobody is safe.
This week’s fail was brought to you by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in collaboration with the U.S. Supreme Court. I’m sure many of you wanted me to mention the high court in this week’s fail over something completely different, but sadly for you, that was not meant to be. This is about FCC v. Fox Television Stations, in which the FCC has found itself barred from fining Fox over this. (Yes, I’m showing the uncensored photo. What’re you gonna do about it? Besides run to the bathroom to vomit, I mean – why would anyone do that to their nipple?)
The court ruled that a previous FCC rule which exempted “fleeting expletives” from fines had been changed without Fox’s knowledge, which, under the Due Process Clause, keeps them safe from this fine in particular. Since the FCC has since been very clear about the change, however, there will be no more second chances. A brief flash of tit during a live televised performance and you’re doomed, possibly to the tune of $550,000. But that’s OK – the FCC is clear about it now! Well, that makes every single rule they pull out of their collective arse just dandy, doesn’t it?
No. It doesn’t. Look at this sort of thing from the perspective of the person in the control room. No one at Fox expected the tit, and if you conducted an informal straw poll, I’m pretty sure no one would have asked for it. These people are often too busy lining up shots and building graphics even to pay much attention to what’s happening on the screen. This, they would have noticed. But why are they the ones being fined? Why not our Ms. Jackson herself? Why not Tenderflake? It’s their fault.
My point is that what ends up happening on the screen is a matter of individual responsibility, be it the person tasked with spelling things correctly in the banners, or the person who’s actually being taped. To fine the network for a completely unexpected and, in this case, unavoidable error (on their part, anyway) is sheer lunacy. I’m not sure if the principle of malice aforethought applies to obscenity laws, but there was none here.
I love this: “. . . Roberts said that calling it a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ when Justin Timberlake ripped away part of Jackson’s bustier ‘strained the credulity of the public.’” Yeah, it sure did. It was all his fault. Fine him. He can afford it five times over and he sucks at music anyway.