30.3.04

Viacom told to clean up its act

Executives at US media giant Viacom are giving some of their subsidiaries a spring clean after outrage over Janet Jackson's escaping nipple and Howard Stern's 'blumpkin' broadcast.

Taste and decency guidelines are in for a shake-up after the the super bowl nipple flash attracted some 200,000 complaints. Unfortunately for Viacom they own both the channel that broadcast the match - CBS - and MTV - which was responsible for the half-time musical extravaganza.

The timing of this was not good as the FCC has just fined Infinity - another Viacom subsidiary the maximum penalty of 27,500 dollars for Howard Stern's expletives about sexual activities.

Details of Stern's 'blumpkin' here

18.3.04

Paul McKenna's dodgy degree complaint rejected

The PCC has this week rejected a complaint by hypnotist Paul McKenna about what the Mirror had headlined as a 'load of doc and bull'.
PCC Ruling HERE In the article Mirror columnist Victor Lewis-Smith had discussed the credibility of degrees-by-post and suggested that McKenna's PhD from Lasalle University in Louisiana was one of these dodgy degrees.
McKenna had said that he was not aware that his PhD did not match up to the exacting academic standards normally associated with such works and had discontinued using it in his publicity material.
The PCC ruled that Lewis-Smith had been fairly expressing his opinion and readers would be aware of that.

3.3.04

On the Beak this week: The latest libel and contempt cases

The Beak is back this Friday with the latest cases from the FT being in the firing line for contempt to more defamatory dirt-dishing PLUS Ofom's recent rulings - do they pack any more punch than the PCC?