CBS paid big bucks for the rights to broadcast Super Bowl XXXVIII into the living rooms of 89.6 million Americans on Super Bowl Sunday. But public response to a truly exciting football game, won by the New England Patriots 32-29 on a last-minute field goal, may be overwhelmed by public disgust at CBS's airing of indecency during the halftime entertainment.
CBS-TV proved again that it is determined to offend our moral sensibilities and trash our culture. The shocking display of Janet Jackson's breast, decorated for maximum eye-catching attraction, was undoubtedly deliberate.
Performer Justin Timberlake issued this statement afterward. "I am sorry that anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance of the Super Bowl. It was not intentional."
His statement is without credibility. Moments before pulling off the covering to expose Janet's bare breast during the song "Rock Your Body," Timberlake sang these lyrics: "I'm gonna have you naked by the end of this song."
That's exactly what he did. The song's lyrics described exactly what was to come moments later. Janet's bare breast was accentuated by a metallic sun-shaped eight-pointed star with a cutout for the nipple.
Of course it wasn't a wardrobe malfunction at all. Her garment had to have been carefully stitched and cut to come off quickly and exactly as it was intended to tear, no more, no less.
MTV issued this statement: "The tearing of Janet Jackson's costume was unrehearsed, unplanned, completely unintentional." MTV's alleged apology is not believable because for hours before the Super Bowl, MTV was advertising that "Janet's Shocking Moments" were scheduled to air during Super Bowl half-time, and there were other shocking moments in addition to tearing off the blouse.
It is impossible to believe that the halftime entertainment was not scripted down to the last millisecond. Every 30 seconds of precious Super Bowl time has a market value in excess of $2 million.
CBS can't duck responsibility for Viacom's MTV. It's CBS's sister outlet and the halftime entertainment was full of sexual lyrics and objectionable simulated behavior. Drudge reported that "the decision to go forward went to the very top of the network," as indeed it must have. It has always been CBS policy to exercise dictatorial control over everything that is aired. It is impossible to believe that this outrage wasn't cleared at the top.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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