Feb 052004
Authors: Brittany Burke

So Justin Timberlake popped Janet Jackson’s boob out of her

black leather bra on national television during the Super Bowl and

maybe the blame lies on the seamstress working in a sweatshop

producing dominatrix clothing for faulty stitching. All parties

involved reverted to their natural instinct and immediately blamed

everyone else for the stunt pulled on Sunday. Who should really

empty their wallets and pay hefty fines?

The blame train begins with CBS who would like the world to

believe it’s MTV’s fault. The music-based television station

produced the halftime show featuring Nelly, Kid Rock, P. Diddy, as

well as Jackson and Timberlake.

Chris Ender, entertainment spokesman for CBS, defended the

network claiming the stunt was done completely without CBS’s

knowledge. “It wasn’t rehearsed. It wasn’t discussed. It wasn’t

even hinted at. … This is something we would have never approved.

We are angry and embarrassed.”

MTV is known for brash stunts, Britney and Madonna’s kiss for

one example, and CBS made no precautions to delay the feed in order

to curb such “vulgarities.” I think CBS should blame themselves for

not taking the proper precautions.

Poor MTV was receiving criticism from other angles when the

National Football League also blamed them for the breast exposed on

live television. They announced they would unlikely invite MTV to

produce another halftime show, as they were unhappy with the

overall performance, not just Jackson’s unexpected guest.

CBS announced Tuesday that it would rely on “enhanced delay” to

keep the Grammy’s show reasonably clean. CBS hadn’t released the

actual amount of delay to be used.

The delay would allow for editing of both sound and video and

will bleep out profanities uttered from rock stars and rappers. The

new delay will replace the network’s traditional five-second,

audio-only delay used in previous circumstances. Wow, what one boob

can do to live television!

According to TiVo Inc., Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction”

attracted almost twice as many viewers as the game highlights.

TiVo, a San Jose based operation allows users to pause and do

instant replays of live television. Didn’t CBS and the NFL want

high ratings? Quit your complaining!

Then surprisingly enough, MTV blames Jackson and Timberlake

claiming “(the incident) was unrehearsed, unplanned, completely

unintentional and…inconsistent with assurances we had about the

content of the performance.” However mtv.com, boasted “shocking

moments,” at the halftime show prior to the performance. Of course

they added an “Editors Note” after Sunday claiming they thought the

“shocking moment” expected during Jackson’s performance was the

addition of Timberlake. The channel that thrives on shocking images

by raising the bar from Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie making out

to Little Kim’s boob covered only by a purple nipple sticker.

One might think that Jackson and Timberlake would be the caboose

of the blame train. Although both have apologized for the incident,

they claim a “wardrobe malfunction” was to blame and Timberlake was

only supposed to reveal the red bra underneath the leather layer.

Instead, and almost violently, Timberlake grabbed at Jackson’s

clothing in tune to the words “I better have you naked by the end

of this song.”

Regardless who claims responsibility, the Federal Communications

Commission chairman, Michael Powell wants to launch a “thorough and

swift” investigation in order to find where the blame truly


If the FCC finds CBS to be in violation, they could be fined

$27,500. If all of the CBS affiliates around the nation are fined

this could add up to millions. Will CBS forward the bill to MTV who

would politely send it to Miss Jackson? Will Jackson and Timberlake

split the cost of postage to send the bill to the manufactures of

the wardrobe that unfortunately malfunctioned?

Although I’ve seen Miss Jackson’s goods, I respect her actions

during and following the events. Has anyone stopped to see that she

is one of the only people to actually accept some responsibility?

The passengers of the blame train need to get off on the stop

marked “Reality” and learn that mistakes happen. Plus, whenever you

point a finger at someone else there are three hypocritical fingers

pointing back at you.

Brittany is a junior studying technical journalism. She is a

state/regional desk reporter for The Collegian.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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