We had just discussed how two separate appeals courts were trying to determine whether or not the FCC's indecency fines over "fleeting nudity" on TV were legal. The case involving Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction"
is just beginning, but the other case, involving Charlotte Ross's bare behind being shown on NYPD Blue has now concluded with the (not surprising) decision to toss out the $1.43 million fine the FCC issued
against ABC. This wasn't all that surprising, given that the courts had already struck down
FCC fines over "fleeting expletives," and had suggested that fleeting nudity would fall under the same analysis
. Even the FCC had admitted that under the ruling concerning "fleeting expletives," the NYPD Blue fine was probably a goner. It's still appealing the original ruling about fleeting expletives, however, so it's not over yet.
Of course, the history of almost all of these cases all tracks back to the infamous Parents Television Council (PTC), the group that is famous for flooding the FCC
with bogus "complaints" from its members who never actually saw the content in question, but were urged on by the PTC to send complaints. We recently had noted that PTC was coming under some serious scrutiny
concerning some of its more questionable practices.
However, what we still found most amusing about this particular case is the fact that when Kevin Martin (who headed the FCC when the original fine was issued) decided to pursue this fine over Charlotte Ross's nudity, all it really did was drive a tremendous amount of interest
in people seeing what the clip was about. In other words, in trying to fine ABC for "indecency," the PTC and Kevin Martin helped to publicize the video, which for a while was apparently the most popular video on YouTube. And now, not only did the PTC and Kevin Martin help millions of people learn about ways to see Charlotte Ross' bare behind, but the FCC got absolutely nothing for it, given this latest ruling.