It seems the only people complaining about Janet Jackson’s breast-bearing stunt at the Super Bowl are the couch-bound conservatives who have nothing better to do than decry the slippery slope of today’s haute couture.

In fact, if all of the 89 million viewers were asked if they liked Janet’s exposure, most of them will tell you it was brilliant. Especially the sun-shaped nipple shield. Great touch.

The vocal minority, like Federal Communications Commission [FCC] chief Michael Powell, are wetting their pants over such an outrageous display of indecency. “Like millions of Americans, my family and I gathered around the television for a celebration. Instead, that celebration was tainted by a classless, crass and deplorable stunt,” he said.

Did he forget that Janet was wearing a bondage leather outfit during her performance? What did he expect, a picnic?

The critics should lighten up. Sex sells. According to TiVo, this particular halftime stunt was the most replayed moment, not only of the Super Bowl but of all television moments the company has ever measured.

In his Lycos 50 Daily Report, Aaron Schatz wrote the brief flash of flesh has become the most searched-for event in a one-day period in the history of the Lycos search engine. It even beat out September 11.

In the world of college students, racier things happen on a daily basis, you can probably seen more skin on the girl next to you. Most of us are desensitized to nudity. In fact, most college kids embrace it. Some, whose parents have kept them naive most of their lives, have at times found it pretty difficult to fit in around here.

In fact, it seems the more sheltered a student is, the harder it is to enjoy college.

But the issue at hand is this: Will this stunt permanently affect our First Amendment rights?

Maybe. The FCC’s review of the incident will reportedly extend to the entire halftime show, which included crotch-grabbing moves by rappers Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs and Nelly and racy lyrics by rap-rocker Kid Rock. According to FCC regulation, “indecent” material cannot be aired between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., right when the Super Bowl took over the airwaves.

So Janet’s lingerie slip-up is potentially a federal offense.

Only in America.

The FCC defines obscene as lacking “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.” Indecent material is not as offensive but still contains references to sex or excretions. Well, Janet’s jug has more artistic value than just about anything else we saw during halftime.

And the politics are deeper than any other national topics currently being tossed around. You don’t see “John Botox Kerry” as the most searched words on Lycos.

Furthering the frustration, the Grammys will now be aired on an extended time delay. It’s not “live” anymore. How long will these delays be? Who will be deciding what we can see?

The big wigs at CBS will. A select group of couch-bound conservatives who have nothing better to do than decry the slippery slope of today’s haute couture.

What’s next? Utopia?

February 6, 2004


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.