Brent Bozell

If there is an entertainment trend ripe for satire, it is the begging-for-attention smut routines at nationally televised music awards shows. How low can these "artists" go? Sadly, there is always another frontier. "American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert was the latest offender at the Nov. 22 American Music Awards on ABC, with a routine complete with S&M bondage slaves, deep male-on-male kissing and simulated fellatio on stage.

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All in front of millions upon millions of impressionable youngsters. It was another in-your-face Janet Jackson moment.

There's only one thing that makes this funny. It's the idea that somehow none of this was planned, that it was just a spontaneous eruption. ABC was embarrassed enough by Lambert to cancel a planned performance on "Good Morning America." If they expected cheers for that, they're sadly mistaken. ABC clearly wanted to avoid making its news division question the entertainment division's horrendous decision-making.

Every piece of evidence we have suggests ABC and Lambert knew exactly what they were going to do. Lambert told MTV to expect something really sexy. "I was looking for a certain sensuality," he explained about choosing his dancers, and said the S&M wardrobe was "amazing." MTV reported it would feature the sensibility of his music video for the song he performed: "Adam Lambert is fully embracing the S&M lyrics featured in his single. Greased up dancers are dolled up in leather, dog collars, nipple clamps (zoinks!) and platform boots."

The rough-sex lyrics of the song ABC approved for national consumption are very clear: "I'ma hold ya down until you're amazed/Give it to ya till your screaming my name." And this: "Baby, I'm in control/Take the pain/Take the pleasure/I'm the master of both."

For their part, ABC repeatedly told viewers to stick around for Lambert's routine. They scheduled it at the very end of show so they could suggest it was irresponsible for parents if their children caught this porny show right before the late news.

It is clearly offensive to watch ABC and Dick Clark Productions now play dumb in their official statement: "Due to the live nature of the show we did not expect the impromptu moment in question," they jointly declared after the edited West Coast version. There was no "impromptu moment" that was in question. It was the entire disgusting performance, approved and promoted by ABC and Dick Clark Productions.

Brent Bozell

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