Does The CBS Fine Mean Anything?

The FCC’s decision to fine CBS a record $550,000 is getting plenty of press. In fact, it’s such a hot topic that if you didn’t know better, you’d assume that the fine actually heralded some sort of substantive change. But surveys show that a vast majority of Americans couldn’t care less that Janet Jackson’s breast got a second of airtime, and are far more concerned about the overall quality level of TV than they are about tightening the decency screws. Still, in the months following the Super Bowl flap, 5-second delays abound and some Hollywood producers are complaining that their shows are being sanitized.