Volume 16 • Issue 36 | February 06 - 12, 2004

TALKING POINT


CBS hypocrisy exposed on Super Bowl Sunday

By Wickham Boyle

Does anyone other than me find it hilarious that CBS is facing a big, fat fine for crossing the bounds of good taste? A huge cash lay out is about to be slapped on, not just the CBS parent company, but the affiliates as well, punishment for the Super Bowl half time show, that is now deemed lewd and lascivious

For those of you who have been in a cave with no TV for the last week here are the facts. Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson sand a duet, “Rock Your Body,” which ends with “I’ll have you naked by the end of this song.” Justin sings these words and whips across Miss Jackson’s barely clad bodice and rips off her bustier revealing naked flesh and an intricate nipple ring. The crowd goes wild and the Federal Communications Commission goes into hyper mode.

This kind of nudity is not allowed here in America and certainly a network like CBS knows better. You remember CBS the network that preempted the mini-series about the Reagans because it wasn’t flattering to this icon of Republicanism. Oh sure Les Moonves, CBS president, made excuses about the dearth of artistic content in this mini-movie. Moonves said “The Reagans” was not up to the rigorous standards that make CBS the sterling avatar of artistry that gave us the first network reality television show, the sine qua none of art, “Survivor.” Now that is artistry and Richard Hatch’s, saggy, naked butt is allowed on TV with a blur that is not even big enough to cover his flab. But naked breasts, especially as Jay Leno remarked, unaugmented natural naked breasts are forbidden.

CBS, also for this very Super Bowl, refused the advertising request of a liberal change agent called Moveon.org, which had raised sufficient dollars from donations to air their spot. The advertisement, called Child’s Play, shows world-weary children toiling at adult jobs full of drudgery and sadness and it ends with the tag line, “Guess who’s going to pay off Bush’s one trillion dollar deficit?”

To see this ad go to BUSHIN30SECONDS.COM

CBS refused to run this fully paid ad saying that it didn’t accept political advertising, but yet they ran an ad from the Bush administration’s war on drugs saying that was a public service. To me alerting people to this growing deficit is a greater public service.

In my life, my favorite moments are the comeuppance that emanates to the big dogs at random. Justice is rarely even handed, so when one of the major players gets a taste of their own medicine it makes me laugh. After all there is no real schadenfreude in this scenario, no sad defendant or injured party, so I can laugh. Right? The people who are decrying the horror of having eight-year-olds see one breast for a split second really need to get over it. Many would have missed the moment if there hadn’t been such a huge brouhaha. My husband and son were at the game and my husband, the Jackson fan, missed it, but you can rest assured my son caught it and nudged his dad saying, “Hey did you see that.” This is a kid who grew up backstage in an experimental theater so the actuality of “it” doesn’t unseat him; it’s the crowd’s reaction that alerted him to a scandal. I’d love to see us all return to a time where there was a little less censorship. Perhaps that would inspire a society where we all made more choices for ourselves.

When I woke up the morning after the Super Bowl, contemplating the cloud in my coffee I saw the universe, the Great Spirit, god, the puppet master, laughing at CBS. The joke was amazing. Take the mighty modern telecommunication censor and set them up as the uncompliant one. “Fine their ass” as they say in football and show them how much fun censorship can really be. Anyone else get a chuckle out of this or was it just my coffee talking back to me again?


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