FCC still obsessed with Janet Jackson’s nipple

November 22, 2008 | By | 8 Replies More

As though the FCC doesn’t have real work to do (media over-consolidation, net neutrality, diversity in broadcasting).   No, the FCC is still worked up about Janet Jackson’s breast, which “flashed for nine-sixteenths of a second during her [2004 Superbowl] performance with Justin Timberlake.”

Egads!  I hope that the numerous young children who were exposed to the sight of Jackson’s breast are OK.   On further thought, if the sight of a woman’s breast is harmful to a child, including to children who are nursing, don’t we need to rewrite hundreds of child-care books?

Postscript: I’ve thought further about all of this time and effort the NFL is putting into this nipple incident.

Compare this Jackson incident to the ubiquitous exposed breasts of “legal” cheerleaders. How is it that a brief glimpse at a nipple is such a game-changer?    Consider, also, the sexually provocative dance number by Jackson/Timberlake.  How is it, again, that a nipple is such a game-changer?


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About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (8)

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    It's certainly a case of making a mountain from a molehill. The actual video shows very little, and the trivial aired exposure could easily have been ignored.

    See for yourself; there's nothing to see here.

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/gOLbERWVR30&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/gOLbERWVR30&hl=en&fs=1&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

    But still cameras with long lenses did show what the video didn't really show. Given the hype, images from the incident like this have had very wide distribution.

  2. The thing that annoys me most is the apoplectic apologies that came out of the Janet Jackson press army. It's clear that the "event" was carefully coreographed and that little star-burst decoration wasn't visible outside the cup and the cup was very much a "quick release" thing and….

    Oh, but we are so sorry! Boo hoo! Bad nasty Justin….

    Gimme a break. Before and after, large men were trying to break each others bodies in a modern gladiatorial sport. Priorities, people!

  3. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    could it be that the interracial nature of the routine was what really offended the censors.

    The famous "Price is Right" wardrobe malfunction, which happed on live daytime tv lasted much longer, and was the big deal for about 2 weeks. Then it was soon forgotten.

    Aa slightly censored version is here

  4. random guy says:

    I like how if you break down the numbers of children's age at the time of Jackson event those that were 16-13, who I'll assume knew what they were seeing, are now in their late teens at least and a solid majority of them are sexually active. Those 12-8 who might have known what they were seeing are now in the previous age bracket and now have gone through sex education and many are most likely beginning their own sexual experimentation. Those 7 and under, who I don't think are very interested in super bowl half-time in the first place, probably didn't see it or understand what even happened.

    So when you consider that in the grand scheme of things that kids don't stay kids for very long, who exactly is the FCC protecting and from what? Their assumptions about what children can and can't be exposed too are almost Victorian. And I don't think that they've noticed that they are the only ones still talking about Janet's nipple. All the other easily excitable types have moved on to obsessing over the inevitable collapse of western civilization due to an African-American president elect.

  5. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Actually, no nipple was o be seen, it was hidden under a pastie.

  6. Hank says:

    How the hell is this still news?

    When this happened, I saw it (a) as an indication that the superbowl is getting more and ridiculous every year and (b) as a stark reminder that some sections of US society really aren't that far removed from the 17th century Puritans that founded the colony. The colony that now rules the world when it comes to pornography!

    Where were these concerned prudes when Iraq was invaded or domestic terrorist bastard Tim McVeigh was poisoned to death? Oh, that's right, goddamn well cheerleading! Because violence is ok if it's against bad guys or brown people. Two seconds of a fading pop-star's partially-clothed boob, however, is a one-way non-refundable bus-pass to New Gomorrah.

  7. Dan Klarmann says:

    Niklaus, look at the "like this" picture. That isn't a pastie.

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