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The Caligula Broadcasting System does the sleaze bowl
Townhall.com ^ | February 2, 2004 | Cal Thomas

Posted on 02/03/2004 12:08:08 AM PST by T Lady

Maybe it's appropriate that Super Bowls are numbered with Roman numerals. Sunday's Super Bowl XXXVIII, featured a halftime show that could have served as backdrop for one Caligula's orgies.

Remember Super Bowl XXXIV? The halftime entertainment was produced by Walt Disney Productions. This year's was put on by MTV, and the difference was as stark as heaven and hell, between good tast and garbage. The commercials also reflected what the networks apparently think about our remaining "community standards."

Janet Jackson, a member of America's most dysfunctional family, bared a breast during her onstage gyrations. There were the ususal network apologies to "anyone who was offended." Jackson's singing partner, Justin Timberlake, should get the award for the ultimate in disingenuousness: "I am sorry that anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunciton. ...It was not intentional." Sure. Why, then, was Jackson wearing a pasty, instead of underwear that might have limited her exposure during the "malfunction"?

Other singers, including P. Diddy, grabbed their crotches (a la Michael Jackson) and promised through their lyrics to have sex with gyrating women, who signaled their interests by removing some of their skimpy outfits.

There were so many commericals for erectile dysfunction medications, one might have thought it has become an epidemic, on par with AIDS or cancer. Other commercials featured a flatulant horse igniting a candle that blows up in a woman's face; a dog that bites a man in the crotch until he surrenders his beer; and a chimpanzee that puts the moves on a woman and then asks if she has a problem with back hair.

CBS, once known as the Tiffany network, has been gobbled up by its MTV division and morphed into the trash network. Sunday's halftime show was soft porn, and those apologies and assurances - that the excess was a surprise to management and won't happen again - are insufficient. A father, his children and grandchildren (and women who like football) should be able to experience rare family time in front of the televison set in their own home without being surprised by such sleaze.

CBS should have expected trash. Anyone who watches even a little MTV knows that raunch and roll is standard programming fare. If you hire people like these, you're not going to get gospel music.

The FCC - which recently warned it might start issuing heavier fines for indecency and obscenity, and revoking broadcast licences - announced a "thorough and swift" investigation into Sunday's halftime show. But it's a little late for the FCC and Chairman Michael Powell to be expressing outrage. Where was the commission during CBS's Victoria's Secret fashion show? Why didn't the agency take action after singer Bono uttered the F-word during NBC's airing of Golden Globes Awards last month?

It's easy for free-speech advocates to argue that if you don't like something, you shouldn't watch. But Sunday's halftime show came as a complete surpise to viewers and, I suspect, was unwelcome by many, to judge from the calls that flooded CBS.

Freedom of speech should also allow for viewers to be free from (italics) speech they don't want to hear, and images they don't want to see, on broadcast televison, especially with young children in the room. A TV ratings system is supposed to warn audiences what to expect so they can decide whether to watch or not, and shield their children or not. One doesn't expect this sort of thing from the Super Bowl.

The National Football League says it won't hire MTV to produce another halftime show. As for CBS, it has trolled too deep and gone too far in its unending quest for younger viewers. Just after the Jackson-Timberlake fiasco, a naked man streaked onto the field. If his "act" had been moved up just a few minutes, he would have fit seamlessly into their show. CBS cameramen focused elsewhere. Was the network suddenly gripped by pangs of puritanical morality?

One commentator made a joking reference to "naked football." I was ready for some football. I was not ready for this.

Copyright 2003 Tribune Media Services


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: calthomas; cbs; fcc; mtv; nipplegate; superbowl
Another day in the cultural sewer. Too bad it was witnessed by nearly 100 billion people around the world, including American servicemembers fighting in Iraq and elsewhere-- none of whom these entertainers even honored, by thanking these brave men and women for their efforts to keep us safe and free. Rather odd during a time of war, don't you think?
1 posted on 02/03/2004 12:08:08 AM PST by T Lady
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To: T Lady
100 billion people around the world

That many?

including American servicemembers fighting in Iraq and elsewhere

I think these servicemembers are not so easily offended.

A roadside bomb? Now that is offensive.

2 posted on 02/03/2004 12:12:07 AM PST by PFKEY
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To: PFKEY
Yep. There were reports that estimated that 99 billion people around the planet would be tuning in.

...And you're absolutely right about the roadside bomb. However, CBS/Viacom/MTV could have at least come up with something remotely patriotic.

-Regards, T.
3 posted on 02/03/2004 12:16:33 AM PST by T Lady (Who Let the 'RATS Out?!!)
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To: T Lady
This kind of entertainment is becoming like "tagging" on our roadsigns and buildings - a place to make a statement.

I'm afraid that people see "family entertainment" venues as an opportunity to display their brand of shock entertainment. Rather than respect the intent of the show, they choose to perform "in your face" entertainment; they choose to shock instead of wow.

They probably think they were doing the masses a favor by bringing them into 21st century.

-PJ

4 posted on 02/03/2004 12:18:58 AM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: T Lady
CBS/Viacom/MTV could have at least come up with something remotely patriotic.

Forgoing their impartiality?

Talk about something being outrageous. /sarcasm

5 posted on 02/03/2004 12:20:50 AM PST by PFKEY
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To: All
Post #36 in the nipplegate saga.

Search by keyword 'nipplegate' for complete coverage of this ongoing story...
6 posted on 02/03/2004 12:21:10 AM PST by flashbunny ("Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig." -Mark Twain)
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To: T Lady
I think sometime around 1999 we surpased 6 billion in total world population.

7 posted on 02/03/2004 12:25:30 AM PST by PFKEY
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To: T Lady
I think you need to change "billion" to million.

There aren't "99 billion" people on this rock.
8 posted on 02/03/2004 12:32:12 AM PST by DB ()
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To: T Lady
T, I read your profile page. You are hardly alone but I can only imagine that it seems that way.
9 posted on 02/03/2004 12:39:28 AM PST by PFKEY
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To: T Lady
... witnessed by nearly 100 billion people around the world ...

That means everyone on the planet saw it 16.6 times. Million is what you meant.

Still, 100 million is alot of people to witness a saggy boob. Janet Jackson had more people see her boob in those few seconds that most porn stars manage in a lifetime.

10 posted on 02/03/2004 12:57:59 AM PST by spodefly (This is my tagline. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: T Lady
A father, his children and grandchildren (and women who like football) should be able to experience rare family time in front of the televison set in their own home without being surprised by such sleaze.

Cal, Cal, Cal,
Where have you been for the last decade?
Even "family" fare is in the gutter.
11 posted on 02/03/2004 1:03:38 AM PST by polemikos
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