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Only a Matter of Time: Why the Super Bowl Incident Isnít Surprising
BreakPoint ^ | 3 Feb 04 | Mark Earley

Posted on 02/03/2004 8:49:00 AM PST by Mr. Silverback

Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley.

Somehow it isn’t surprising how on the morning after the Super Bowl, there was outrage in the air—and it wasn’t just coming from Carolina fans. The MTV-produced halftime show, not to mention the commercials, left even some of the worldliest football fans sputtering. Our own Chuck Colson talked with a non-Christian friend who is usually blasé about what goes on in our culture, but who was furious over the exposure of Janet Jackson’s breast during the halftime concert—if you can call it that—and about finding out way too much about Mike Ditka’s personal problems. “There are kids watching,” she said. And, indeed, she was right.

At CBS, the network that aired the game, angry viewers lit up the switchboard. The NFL is blaming MTV; MTV and CBS are both saying that they had no idea this would happen. Pop star Justin Timberlake, who did the unveiling, claims it was merely a “wardrobe malfunction.” I can tell you that during all the years I spent as a defense attorney and prosecutor, those were the kind of arguments we heard all the time. However, since the promise of “shocking moments” in the halftime show was made beforehand, their denials don’t hold much credibility—particularly because just before Timberlake removed part of Jackson’s top, he sang that she was going to be “naked by the end of this song.”

Tom Shales, TV critic for the Washington Post, was another shocked and horrified viewer. In a blistering column, Shales wrote, “Maybe the Super Bowl will have to move from the broadcast networks to the Playboy Channel if its commercials are going to be so dirty that they embarrass parents watching with their kids.”

To all this, the Christian is tempted to respond, “So where have you been all these years?” Far more graphic incidents occur every day of the week on HBO, Showtime, MTV, and even on some network programs. (Several of these, by the way, are big favorites of Tom Shales and other TV critics who are really upset about the Super Bowl.)

You have to wonder why it is that those who worry that our mere existence offends radical Islamic cultures aren’t doing more to fight this kind of cultural rot? No wonder radical Islamic leaders are able to convince their followers that the West is decadent.

I suspect that some critics would protest, “But this was during the family hour. We never approved of this kind of thing for family viewing.” But once you’ve opened the door to explicit depictions of sexuality and violence, even on pay cable, they quickly become the norm. These are the shows the mainstream media and the more “sophisticated” viewers talk about, which means that they’re the shows every other channel wants to duplicate. They trickle from cable to broadcast network, from adults to teens to children. As adults become desensitized, many lose their ability to discern what’s appropriate for their children. And meanwhile, as overexposure limits the culture’s ability to shock, it has to push the envelope farther and farther to have any impact at all.

I’m glad people are upset about what happened Sunday night. But let’s not pretend we don’t know why it happened. It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. And unless we’re willing to work to change the culture, it won’t take long before it happens again.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: culturewar; deviance; markearley; mtv; mtvculture; perversion; popculture; popstars; sexualassault; sexualperversion; superbowl
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To all this, the Christian is tempted to respond, “So where have you been all these years?”

Yeah, that's a chuckler!

1 posted on 02/03/2004 8:49:03 AM PST by Mr. Silverback
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To: agenda_express; BA63; banjo joe; Believer 1; billbears; Blood of Tyrants; ChewedGum; ...
BreakPoint/Chuck Colson Ping!

If anyone wants on or off my BreakPoint Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.

2 posted on 02/03/2004 8:49:37 AM PST by Mr. Silverback (Pre-empt the third murder attempt-- Pray for Terry Schiavo!)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Lots of things have shifted since W took office. Clinton made a joke of the Oval Office; conservatives are trying to re-set the moral tone of this country. Keep the momentum going.
3 posted on 02/03/2004 8:54:05 AM PST by sarasota
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To: Mr. Silverback
" ...exposure of Janet Jackson’s breast during the halftime concert—if you can call it that... "

It looked like a breast to me.

Sort of, except for that thingamajig she was wearing.

4 posted on 02/03/2004 8:54:20 AM PST by skip2myloo
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To: Mr. Silverback
The FCC ahs approved the use of the "f" word as long as it is not used in a sexual content.
5 posted on 02/03/2004 8:57:09 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldnít be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Please add me to your ping list. Thank you.
6 posted on 02/03/2004 8:58:41 AM PST by TXBSAFH
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To: Mr. Silverback
You have to wonder why it is that those who worry that our mere existence offends radical Islamic cultures aren’t doing more to fight this kind of cultural rot? No wonder radical Islamic leaders are able to convince their followers that the West is decadent.

I keep hearing de-testicled wonders like this, fretting over offending the muslim "culture". If it pi$$es them off, I say Janet Jackson should go on television every night at 8 PM and juggle her untamed hoochies in the wind.

Friggin' wussies must be in charge.

7 posted on 02/03/2004 8:59:14 AM PST by Jim Cane (Vote Tancredo in '04)
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To: Mr. Silverback
bump
8 posted on 02/03/2004 9:05:01 AM PST by Lady Eileen
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To: sarasota
Lots of things have shifted since W took office. Clinton made a joke of the Oval Office; conservatives are trying to re-set the moral tone of this country. Keep the momentum going.

For sure - I emailed Hannity yesterday after I heard Alan say we should just ignore it. That's exactly the problem - too many decent people have been too quiet for too long. If we don't make it very clear (and to hell with the leftist's supposed "rights") that we won't tolerate the continued decline of society, there will be no stopping it.

I find it perverse how the Left, which prefaces almost every issue with "It's for the children", thinks we should treat our children.

9 posted on 02/03/2004 9:09:02 AM PST by trebb (Ain't God good . . .)
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To: trebb
One thing I've noticed in the liberals--broad smiles as they watch our culture deepen its descent into the porcelain throne. Just how can they find humor in this?Where is the humor? Send McDonald's an email advising them to dump Justin.
10 posted on 02/03/2004 9:14:10 AM PST by sarasota
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To: trebb
If we really wanted to hurt them we would contact companies who advertise on their network and tell them we're boycotting CBS and their sponsors.
11 posted on 02/03/2004 9:18:46 AM PST by mbynack (<a href="http://www.michaelmoore.com/" title="Miserable Failure">"Miserable Failure"</a>)
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To: Mr. Silverback
The Super Bowl halftime show has gone steadily downhill since the year it featured Michael Jackson, surrounded by children, continually grabbing his crotch as he danced.
12 posted on 02/03/2004 9:20:11 AM PST by lady lawyer
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To: trebb
There are two options - ignore it because these people want attention and we would play into their game -OR- stand up and denounce this behavior as unacceptable.

The former would only create increasingly sordid behavior as these people strive for attention and try to "one-up" each other.
The latter is the only viable choice and I think we have the majority with us.

13 posted on 02/03/2004 9:20:12 AM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: sarasota
One thing I've noticed in the liberals--broad smiles as they watch our culture deepen its descent into the porcelain throne. Just how can they find humor in this?

Because it's just what they want, and have been striving for since the 60s.

And another thing, I don't buy the "oh, it's been going on so long, just ignore it" argument. Hopefully, this is the straw that broke the camel's back.

14 posted on 02/03/2004 9:25:37 AM PST by LisaMalia (Buckeye Fan since birth!!)
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To: Jim Cane
Friggin' wussies must be in charge.

Wrong answer. Earley isn't talking about "let's all get along with our wonderful Muslim brothers, tra-la-la-la-la," he's talking about not handing the crazies any recruiting tools. It's not as if all the potential Al-Qaida recruits are sitting around watching Fox News, Disney Channel and Happy Day reruns plus a little Janet Jackson boob shot once in a while. For many people in Muslim countries, the public face of America ends up being the very worst our entertainment industry has to offer. Some guy watches all his friends ditch the faith to go watch jiggling silicone implants, some imam whispers, "See, they're seducing our young! They must be stopped." There's nothing else he sees from the U.S. that indicates otherwise, so why not believe him?

It's as if somebody beamed anti-Semitic propaganda into 1935 Germany 24/7 and then said, "Well, too bad if those Germans don't like the bloodsucking Jews, I'm not helping Hitler."

All that said, I realize the bin Laden types will hate us no matter what, but let's not make it easier for them to distort what this country is and has been.

15 posted on 02/03/2004 9:27:57 AM PST by Mr. Silverback (Pre-empt the third murder attempt-- Pray for Terry Schiavo!)
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To: Mr. Silverback
To all of the above, let me add these observations about network TV:

1. Many shows that air in the 8:00--9:00 hour, the supposed "Family Hour," have humor based on sexual innuendo, if not on outright sexually direct statements. For instance, I am often amazed that "Friends" airs during this time slot.

2. When these and other comedies that originally did air after 9:00 end up in syndication, they air in the 6:00--8:00 time slot. Can you imagine that episode of "Seinfeld" called "Master of My Domain" airing on the local Fox station at 6:30? That sort of thing happens every day!

16 posted on 02/03/2004 9:34:38 AM PST by Remole
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To: Mr. Silverback
Amen. I've been to conservative Muslim countries, as the representative of a pro-family NGO. They know I am religious, and that I have raised six religious children. They know that traditional Christian values of chastity are the same as their own. The people with whom I've met are the society's leaders. They are well to do, and they have satellite dishes, bringing them American television and movies. The question I was asked in meeting after meeting, by men and women alike:

"How do you raise decent children, when they are bombarded with the stuff we see on our satellite dishes."

They are genuinely concerned for their children and grandchildren, as I am concerned for mine. They are not disposed to be sympathetic to terrorists. But the spiraling depravity, family dissolution, and complete amorality that is marking our culture scares them to death.


17 posted on 02/03/2004 9:36:15 AM PST by lady lawyer
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To: LisaMalia
I heard one of them say, "Aw, this'll blow over in a couple of days." We'll see. As for the 60's, yeah, I was a liberal then but something happened on my way to adulthood: I achieved maturity.
18 posted on 02/03/2004 9:42:06 AM PST by sarasota
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To: lady lawyer
Excellent post. It scares me to death as well.
19 posted on 02/03/2004 9:43:28 AM PST by sarasota
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To: Mr. Silverback
Muck the Fuslims. Their "holy" book says they can four different wives and any number of concubines. (Simultaneously?). That's what I call an orgy. And then there are the 72 virgins and 28 boys waiting for them in heaven if they kill a non-muslim. The whole "religion" is a fusion of pornography and torture and mass murder.

P. S. - I don't like Janet Jackson either.
20 posted on 02/03/2004 9:48:10 AM PST by hang 'em (Algore invented the low flush toilet and for that alone may he burn in hell for all eternity.)
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