Janet Jackson’s Five-Years-Moldy Wardrobe Malfunction Will Never Die

noah | May 4, 2009 2:00 pm

Did you know that the Super Bowl that featured Justin Timberlake’s forced disrobing of Janet Jackson celebrated its fifth birthday this past February? It was a more innocent time; why, those of us who wanted to see Justin’s awkward unleashing of Janet’s painfully pierced nipple couldn’t even go to YouTube to relive the moment, since that site wasn’t born until 2005. (I had to find an animated GIF of the thing in the wake of my friends asking “wait, what just happened?”) Well, the courts of this fine nation seem hell-bent on reliving that moment for as long as they can; the Supreme Court today ordered a Federal appeals court to revisit a previous ruling and possibly reinstate a $550,000 fine levied against CBS in the wake of the disaster, thanks to that court upholding the FCC’s ridiculous punishments for straying from its completely silly “obscenity” standards last week. When will our long nightmare end? (Maybe when Antonin Scalia retires.)

The high court on Monday directed the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia to consider reinstating the $550,000 fine that the Federal Communications Commission imposed on CBS over Jackson’s breast-baring performance at the 2004 Super Bowl. The order follows the high court ruling last week that narrowly upheld the FCC’s policy threatening fines against even one-time uses of curse words on live television. In a statement, CBS said the Supreme Court’s decision was not a surprise given last week’s ruling and expressed confidence the court will again find the incident was not and could not have been anticipated by the network.

In case you’ve forgotten just what the fuss was about, Jackson’s performance has been resurrected by the YouTube powers that be. Get ready to get bummed out:

The denouement Jackson’s career has experienced since this happened may be one of the saddest things in pop music over the last decade–just listen to the songs that lead up to Justin taking over the stage! “All For You” was a frothy bit of Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis-helmed pop, and “Rhythm Nation 1814” stil owns. Court sends Janet Jackson case back for review [AP] JANET JACKSON SUPERBOWL PERFORMANCE [YouTube]