Brent Bozell

MTV really knows how to stage the stunts that generate big publicity for their major events. In 2004, MTV produced the CBS Super Bowl halftime show where Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson's breast. In the fall of 2003, Britney Spears kissed Madonna suggestively at their Video Music Awards program. They've done it again with the 2009 MTV Movie Awards show. Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's dressed like an angel and his flying over the audience during the live show went badly awry. He crash-landed in the audience and ended up upside down with his bare buttocks exposed right in the face of the rapper Eminem.

The seeming perfection of this gross-out embarrassment, complete with Eminem wearing a microphone, having a swearing fit, and walking out of the theater, caused some to smell a calculated stunt. Cohen seemed to be wearing a thong so the gross-out didn't include an upside-down whole-crotch hangout. So was it a fake? Scott Aukerman, head writer of this sorry program, admitted they staged this disaster. "That's all anyone wants to talk about, so let's get it out of the way. They rehearsed it at dress and yes, it went as far as it did on the live show then."

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Can you believe the chutzpah of MTV, disparaging the media they're shamelessly exploiting, that "all anyone wants to talk about" is that they'd manufacture this new low, this shock-jock-strap plot? This certainly should make any doubters reconsider whether the Janet Jackson Super Bowl breast exposure was staged. The only surprise for MTV was that people were more outraged than they expected.

At the center of this latest sordid publicity stunt is commerce, of course. Cohen is plugging a new movie after his America-bashing sensation "Borat." This time, he's "Bruno," another self-involved idiot, this time a flamboyantly gay fashion reporter. But the biggest controversy for Cohen is his exploitative modus operandi: He doesn't make fictional films. His fictional idiot bursts in on real-life Americans unsuspectingly to get their shocked nonfiction reactions.

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
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