Editorial- "The Long, Low Road"

Essay by princessjss21 April 2004

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You've heard all about it by now: More than 90 million viewers watching the Super Bowl got a flash of Janet Jackson's bare breast after half of her leather bustier was ripped away by her partner Justin Timberlake in the finale of their performance.

Officials at CBS issued an apology, claiming the exposure caught them by surprise. MTV, which spent millions and months planning the halftime show, claimed the exposure was "unrehearsed, unplanned, and completely unintentional." Timberland blamed a "wardrobe malfunction." Jackson admitted she cooked up the whole thing, but it's unclear who else knew.

The Super Bowl halftime show has turned into a spectacle all its own, a way to keep the non-football fans engaged in the nation's biggest game. In fact, many younger viewers tend to skip the game and just tune in for the halftime concert.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Michael K. Powell, ordered an investigation into whether the display violated regulations that bar the broadcast of indecent material during hours when children are likely to be watching.

The crotch-grabbing and gyrating on display Sunday were hardly family fare even before Jackson's garment was ripped off. Television has been going down the low road for a long time. Sex sells, apparently, a lot buy.

Is the Jackson incident really that big a deal? Was a bare breast any worse than all those booze and erectile-dysfunction ads the bombarded Super Bowl viewers? Truth is... all of it is tacky.

The chill already has begun to set in. As in all things trendy, what matters is not what the government says but what the buzz on the street says. The buzz, which is what is being said by the very kids the show was meant to pull in, recognizes the "wardrobe malfunction" for what it is: a...