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.