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Justice or overkill?

by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / June 30, 2004 11:15 PM PDT
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A basic principle of law is that you are responsible
by Kiddpeat / June 30, 2004 11:51 PM PDT
In reply to: Justice or overkill?

for your actions or lack thereof. If I run over someone on the street who I did not see, I cannot defend myself by saying I had no knowledge or intent. It is my responsibility to have the knowledge and avoid failure in my responsibilities. CBS had control. It should have exercised it.

You certainly don't have any problem castigating President Bush for things where he had neither knowledge or intent. Why the double standard?

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Yeah ...
by Evie / July 1, 2004 12:00 AM PDT

... and MoveOn.org had no knowledge of the content posted on their website Wink

Evie Happy

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Re: A basic principle of law is that you are responsible

Hi, KP.

Depends why you didn't see him. If you were negligent, you'd be guilty of vehicular manslaughter -- but not vehicular homicide. OTOH, if he ran out from between two parked cas w/o warniong, you're not liable or guilty.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re: A basic principle of law is that you are responsible
"OTOH, if he ran out from between two parked cas w/o warniong, you're not liable or guilty."

Since you like "Depends", the above depends on whether or not traffic conditions and area indicate the potential for such to happen. Contributing negligence is a legitimate factor that is considered.

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It could be I was momentarily distracted by another
by Kiddpeat / July 1, 2004 12:40 PM PDT

motorist. Am I negligent? Probably.

Was the network negligent? Absolutely! It had control of how the contracts were written. It could have precluded the actions in question with financial penalties. Time delay technology has been around for years. The network didn't use it. The risks of live TV are well known, but no precautions were taken. Why did the performance have to be live? In short, there were many ways the network could have exercised control. It failed to do so.

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Re: Justice or overkill?
by Evie / June 30, 2004 11:53 PM PDT
In reply to: Justice or overkill?

Hi Dave,

It seems that the "wardrobe malfunction" was only the icing on the cake in the indecency ruling. The show in itself, which there was (or should have been) advance knowledge of content was bad enough. I mean who would have thought an MTV produced show would be sexually based? I mean it's not like they promised "something spectacular" would happen or anything! [/sarcasm]

Evie Happy

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Re: Justice or overkill?
by Josh K / July 1, 2004 12:10 AM PDT

CBS is ultimately responsible for what is broadcast over its network, but I think they ought to pass the baton and sue MTV and/or Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake and recoup any money they have to pay in fines.

I agree that they probably showed poor judgment in the selection of halftime show "talent" but I don't think you can draw the conclusion that they had a reasonable belief that FCC regs would be violated.

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Re: Justice or overkill?
by Evie / July 1, 2004 12:26 AM PDT

Oh I dunno Josh, the MTV producers were hinting at something well in advance. Major parts of the show itself violated the following:

sexual or scatological material may not be broadcast over the airwaves between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., when children are most likely to be watching.

Absent the "wardrobe malfunction" the show contained considerable explicit sexual content that CBS should have been aware of. That part precipitated by Jackson/Timberlake stunt I don't hold CBS responsible for, but even though that might have been the impetus for the investigation ("final straw" type response), large parts of the show as scripted were already in violation.

Evie Happy

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Re: Justice or overkill?
by Josh K / July 1, 2004 12:40 AM PDT

Well they were certainly in violation of everything I believe constitutes "music" and "talent," I'll give you that. Happy

But you know, Michael Jackson has been grabbing his privates for years and nobody ever got fined for it. I'm not sure that sensationalism-in-lieu-of-talent is against FCC regs, though from a creative standpoint I'll agree it's a crime. Wink

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Did MJ ...
by Evie / July 1, 2004 12:46 AM PDT

... grab his crotch on network TV? I honestly don't recall, since I've had cable since I moved out on my own so what I've seen where is difficult to distinguish. I was not aware of the 10pm thing ... sure seems to me that there are an awful lot of shows on these days that would violate the decency standards if that is the case.

Evie Happy

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Re: Did MJ ...
by Josh K / July 1, 2004 12:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Did MJ ...

He must have; he's grabbed it just about everywhere. The Motown 25th Anniversary show was on network TV (I don't remember which network).

I don't know all the regs either; I just know what I find personally objectionable and what I don't. I only saw bits of that halftime show and I was more offended by the idea that these people have record contracts than anything else.

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Re: Did MJ ...
by Edward ODaniel / July 1, 2004 1:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Did MJ ...

The difference "could be" that no one was sure he was really grabbing anything Josh.

PS - I agree with you that CBS should attempt to recover at least part of the fine (if any) from MTV and even if they are not fined should see about redress for putting them in this position in the first place. There is a lot of shared culpability/negligence.

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(NT) (NT) Grabbing it, trying to find it, same difference. ;-)
by Josh K / July 1, 2004 1:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Did MJ ...
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Reasonable belief, Josh...
by J. Vega / July 1, 2004 1:29 AM PDT

Josh, ... Oh, you too, Dave K. The Network had good cause to believe that something unusual was about to happen, the promos of it even mentioned it.
You must act as a reasonable person or company would. "tape delays" (generally of about 5-10 seconds) are a common precaution when you supect that something might happen.
Josh, just because I don't happen to believe that someone will walk off of a some high viewing platform does not mean that don't have to put in safety railings, nor absolve me from blame if I don't and somebdy does.

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Re: Reasonable belief, Josh...
by Josh K / July 1, 2004 1:42 AM PDT

The question is whether they had good cause to believe that the "something unusual" would involve violations of FCC rules. Since I'm not a fan of any of the performers who appeared, I don't know what their past performances may have been like.

At any rate, and as stated previously, I think the blame is shared, or should be.

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I'm not a fan either, Josh...
by J. Vega / July 1, 2004 2:20 AM PDT

Josh, I'm not a fan either, but I worked many years in TV and know the "drill". I have seen MTV programming, and would have had someone with their hand on the cutoff switch, especially after MTV had promoed the fact that something unusual would happen. I've had my hand on the "button" myself in the past.

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I agree. They should sue everyone
by Kiddpeat / July 1, 2004 12:43 PM PDT

involved. When performers get hit in the pocketbook, their antics will stop.

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It's not a criminal penalty
by Dick White / July 1, 2004 12:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Justice or overkill?

but rather it is a civil fine. Intent and fore-knowlege are not required. The issue is that control structures and oversight were lacking, which allowed inappropriate activity to occur.

dw

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Re: Justice or overkill?
by Del McMullen / July 1, 2004 2:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Justice or overkill?

According to the article.."..... If three of the five commissioners approve the order, parent company Viacom Inc. would be liable for the fine......

So where does CBS figure into paying the fine ?

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Justice
by C1ay / July 1, 2004 2:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Justice or overkill?
A basic principle of law is that criminality requires knoweldge and intent -- CBS clearly had neither.

Broadcasters are required to censor their broadcasts to prevent illegal material from hitting the airwaves. Most, if not all, radio stations use a delay so that they can interrupt portions of the broadcast as needed. This is how they keep call-ins from blurting obscenities on the air. They do not have the luxury of claiming, "we didn't know he/she was going to say that". They are prohibited from broadcasting obscenities (PERIOD)

CBS has the means to use this technology and chose not to do so.

FWIW, I think some of the obscenity laws in this country need to be changed. Jackson's stunt should not have been as severe a violation as it was under current law.

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Re: Justice
by Josh K / July 1, 2004 3:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Justice

I remember watching the Super Bowl a year or two ago, and there was a live mic on the players as they were being introduced. Player after player ran out onto the field and greeted his teammates with shouts of "Let's get these motherf*****s!" and things like that. The mic wasn't turned off even after it happened several times. I don't recall any complaints being lodged. Some consistency in this sort of thing would be nice.

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Re: Justice
by Dan McC / July 1, 2004 3:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Justice

It's got to start with a definition of what's not allowed. Until there's one in place the entire system reeks of selective enforcement.

Dan

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(NT) (NT) Overkill. HUGE overkill.
by Dan McC / July 1, 2004 3:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Justice or overkill?
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