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 Viacom Exec Threatens Court Battle With FCC Over CBS Nipplegate Fines - antiTainment NEWS


07-20-04
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The nipple seen around the world is still causing controversy. Viacom co-president and co-chief operating officer Leslie Moonves vowed that CBS would take the issue to court if the FCC imposes fines on the CBS stations that aired Janet Jackson’s breast-baring Super Bowl half-time performance. 

Moonves spoke out at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday, he called the proposed FCC plan to fine only CBS owned stations "grossly unfair" and reiterated that CBS had absolutely no prior knowledge that Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake were going to pull the stunt during the broadcast. 

There is speculation that the FCC is planning to fine each of the 20 CBS owned stations that carried the broadcast, but the over 150 affiliate stations would not face the estimated $550,000 fine. 

"We think the idea of a fine for that is patently ridiculous, and we're not going to stand for it," Moonves said. "We're going to take that to the courts if it happens. That's our attitude toward it."

Moonves also addressed what he sees as a danger to freedom if regulators go too far in policing indecency.  "A media free of government censorship is essential to our democracy and our business. Some of the developments coming out of Washington are coming dangerously close to infringing on First Amendment rights."
 
 
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