It was expected that MTV's website would promote the controversy to boost Internet traffic. But even they were forced to concede that the sale of promise rings has risen substantially over the summer, well before this dustup. Sales of the rings have apparently soared at the jeweler James Avery, where spokeswoman Sara Hegener said there has been a "huge swell" over the past few months. "There's a lot of buzz with the Jonas Brothers and these purity rings, and I like to think some of it is tied to that," she said. Sales of the company's signature "True Love Waits" ring were up 78 percent in July over last year and up 113 percent in August.
MTV brought on Brand not only to play the scandalous bad boy, but to lob several libertine grenades. Brand also lit into the family of GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin. He suggested the pregnancy of Palin's daughter Bristol was a "P.R. stunt" and then lamented that Bristol's fianc Levi Johnston was being punished for "joyful, unprotected sex" with a trip to the Republican convention. Brand went on, "I think that is the best safe sex message of all time. Use a condom, or become Republican!"
Apparently, that joke was the tame one. Brand told the London Telegraph he wanted to say Palin "was forcing her teenage daughter to have a baby because she is so anti-abortion. But also, as a Republican she is pro-execution so she is going to give her the electric chair for being a little slut."
What is it about parents with traditional values that make the MTV and VH-1 hordes come so unglued? Maybe it's just unacceptable for the feels-good-do-it lobby to have anyone else threaten to redefine for young people what it means to be "cool."
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