Vice Squad
Monday, February 02, 2004
Super Breast, I Mean Bowl...Super Bowl

All right - I know everyone and their dog is talking about this, but I just wanted to point out the hypocrisy of CBS and the NFL on this issue. And exposed breasts are vice related, aren't they?

By now, you probably all know about Janet (Ms. Jackson if you're nasty)'s little flash at the end of the big Super Bowl halftime show. Justin Timberlake pulled off part of her costume to reveal a partially nude breast with a metal plate covering the nipple. Here is a picture (you have to go to the sixth slide in the slide show). NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue tisked, "The show was offensive, inappropriate and embarrassing to us and our fans." Um...yeah, o.k. So what is the NFL's stance on the fact that Carolina's cheerleading uniforms look like a panther chewed up these women's skirts? Or what about the Budweiser ad that aired during the game featuring a monkey who hit on his owner's girlfriend? There were quite a few close up shots of the woman's breasts. You can view this ad here.

The point is that sex, beer, and football go hand in hand. If Mr. Tagliabue wants to draw his "decency" line in a different place than the producers at MTV, that's fine, but he has no business acting like he's suddenly the commissioner of All That's Innocent and Righteous in the World. He uses sex to sell his product just as much as the next guy.

I'm also annoyed with CBS execs for acting mortified about this. CBS and MTV are both owned by Viacom. You can't tell me that CBS wasn't aware of last year's MTV video awards show where Madonna frenched Britney Spears and Christina Auguilera. Or of the 1999 Video Music Awards where Diana Ross felt up Lil' Kim's exposed breast. When MTV told CBS there would be some "shocking" surprises in the halftime show, don't you think CBS probably asked for specifics?

Bottom line - I certainly don't think the stunt was a mistake, as everyone involved is now claiming, and I find it hard to believe that CBS and the NFL would be unaware of what was going to air in their multimillion dollar half time show. For them to act so indignant about it after the fact is just nauseating. I personally don't think the exposed breast was all that big of a deal, but if the FCC thinks it's indecent, so be it. I just think the executives responsible for making the decision to put this on the air should be honest about their role in it.

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