The FCC dodges

The FCC dodges

: I just got a reply, of sorts, to the Freedom of Information request I filed with the FCC asking for all documents “that contend or support the contention that Viacom and any of its subsidiaries — including but not limited to CBS and MTV — or executivesa were in any way aware before the fact that Janet Jackson’s breast would be exposed on the Super Bowl telecast.” The FCC said the exposure was the only illegal act and the company was the only guilty party — Jackson and Timberlake were not fined — and so I wanted to see what evidence they had the Viacom was directly responsible for the incident. My bet is that they have none and that will come out in court.

The FCC produced nothing in its reponse. Its letter says (leaving out the typographical omelet of the legal citations):

It would be inappropriate for us to characterize any evidence before us in the manner that you suggest because the Commission has issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) concerning the halftime entertainment show of the National Football League’s Super Bowl XXXVIII and the exposure of Janet Jackson’s breast.

The FOIA requires a reasonable description of the records sought. If, upon review of the NAL, you determine there are specific records you would like to obtain, you may file a new FOIA request with a better description of the documents you seek….”

I thought I was quite clear. Perhaps an attorney out there could give me better language to file this again. I want to see any interviews with the parties or documents from the parties related to Viacom and company’s foreknowledge of this event. From this letter, I’m not sure whether they’re saying I did not describe the documents properly or they shouldn’t discuss the case while it is active or both or neither. In any case, they dodged the question. So the only thing to do in dodgeball is to pick it up and throw it again.

The other way to go is for me to call the PR department but I think I’ll stay with this one more round as I also await my other FOIAs.