Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Everybody's talking about Janet Jackson's bare breast during the SuperBowl half-time show. First were the demands from outraged Texans that she be arrested for indecency, followed by CBS' distancing themselves from the MTV produced segment, and topped off with an FCC investigation.

Well, I'll tell you - The whole damn incident happened so quick that I, and the other dozen or so people in the bar where we watched the game, all missed the breast live. I remember paying attention to Janet ("that's Miss Jackson to you")'s first number, but must have gotten more interested in my rum & coke when Timberlake showed up.

Monday morning, after the initial denials that it was planned, I decided to find out if it all was "just an accident", did a little search, and downloaded the clip. I watched it again and again, frame by frame, (and again and again), and I came to the conclusion, long before the afternoon's confessions, that yes, it was all a publicity stunt.

I really don't give a crap about the near nudity. I've always thought that Janet should show a lot more flesh, a lot more often. I was disappointed in her because of the violence of the act. Playing out the rape fantasy is the type of thing I expect from a lot of talentless performers trying to extend their 15 minutes (like Justin Timberlake), but not from a (usually) class act like Janet.

So I'm disappointed with a popular performer. Does that mean I think she should she be arrested for indecency? Should CBS be fined for allowing this to happen? Should I rush right out and buy her new CD? Should anybody continue to care now, 48 hours after the show? Hell no.

A handful of insightful people have assessed that it's all a smoke screen to get people off of the real scandal, which is CBS' refusal to air the moveon.org advertisement. Moveon.org (an organization I'm not always a fan of, to be quite honest) held a "Bush in 30 Seconds" ad contest, and had tried to pay full-price to air the ad last Sunday. The winning ad showed children laboring to pay off Bush's trillion dollar deficit. CBS refused their money and the their advertisement. (go to Moveon.org to read more and see the ad.)

How is CBS going to handle the upcoming election season? Will they refuse 90% of the ads of (John Kerry? Howard Dean? Whomever the Democrats nominate) because they might question the President's policies or decisions? Is the deficit off limits for the opposition? What about the war in Iraq? What will the Democrats (or anybody else) be allowed to say when on "the Tiffany network"?

These are the questions that the FCC should be demanding an answer to. This is why we should be questioning CBS' continued use of the public airwaves.

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