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Post-Super Bowl, Bare Breasts on 'ER' Raise Alarm (Nipplegate II, Coming Thursday Night on NBC)
TelevisionWeek ^ | February 3, 2004

Posted on 02/04/2004 12:41:02 AM PST by Timesink

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2004

Post-Super Bowl, Bare Breasts on 'ER' Raise Alarm

Only days after the firestorm created when Janet Jackson exposed her breast during the Super Bowl, plans to air an episode of "ER" on NBC Thursday evening that includes a view of an elderly female patient's bare breast are raising serious concerns among the network's affiliates.

Some NBC affiliates are so uneasy about the scene planned for the first night of sweeps that at least one station group executive described himself Tuesday as "considering what my options are" should NBC decide to air the hour with the exposed breast. "You're not going to find the stations very willing to take the heat," said the station group executive. "I think people are going to be backing off big-time."

NBC had no comment at presstime but is aware of the potential for some affiliates to refuse to air the episode. Senior network executives had screened the scene for members of the NBC affiliates advisory board during a Las Vegas meeting held in conjunction with NATPE in mid-January.

At the time, affiliates expressed what were described as "concerns" about the scene and whether it is, even if done in good taste, essential to the drama, but no final decision was reached. After the board discussion, some affiliates had been told that award winning "ER" executive producer John Wells was unwilling to cut the scene.

Now many affiliates are even more concerned. The post-Super Bowl climate has every station owner feeling super sensitive.

There is a pending FCC investigation of the Super Bowl incident. Last week some stations were fined for earlier incidents and the White House endorsed a call for a ten-fold increase in fines for indecency on TV. There are already indecency hearings on Capitol Hill scheduled and more being threatened.

In light of the atmosphere of fear which has been created, even a tastefully shot, full-on glimpse of a bare breast in a network primetime show inspires less academic and more fearful discussions and concerns. That context led the group executive to predict that should NBC keep the breast scene in, there could be significant defections by affiliates who won't air the show.

John Wells was unavailable for comment. #


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: cbs; culturewar; debauchery; er; hedonism; hedonist; nbc; nbcschadenfreude; nipplegate; nipplegate2; nipplegateii; noshame; romans1; schadenfreude; sodom; superbowl; trash; trashtv; worldviewconflict
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Timing is everything!!
1 posted on 02/04/2004 12:41:04 AM PST by Timesink
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To: mhking
Worth a j/d ping maybe?
2 posted on 02/04/2004 12:42:55 AM PST by Timesink (Smacky is power.)
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To: Timesink
Idiots all - why is "a view of an elderly female patient's bare breast" even necessary?

3 posted on 02/04/2004 12:42:58 AM PST by Fenris6
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To: Fenris6
Guess the next thing will be windows so people can watch the doctors examining their patients. Ewwwww.....
4 posted on 02/04/2004 12:46:13 AM PST by Terry Mross
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To: Fenris6
Hm.....wonder why the sudden necessity to show a female breast? Why is it impossible to cut that scene?

Oh, the wonders of broadcasting. Such very meaningful decisions. Sometimes it is just time for a producer to get his way in his quest to mark his legacy.

Must be a real power rush to upset the public to the point of overloading their email and phone systems.

Gee, I thought the point was to provide great entertainment in order to sell advertising space at higher rates. Why would advertisers wish to participate in something risky with their hugh advertising budgets?
5 posted on 02/04/2004 12:50:58 AM PST by ClancyJ (It's just not safe to vote Democratic.)
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To: martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; PianoMan; GOPJ; Miss Marple; Tamsey; ...

Schadenfreude

This is the New York Times NBC Schadenfreude Ping List. Freepmail me to be added or dropped.


This is the Mainstream Media Shenanigans ping list. Please freepmail me to be added or dropped.
Please note this is a medium- to high-volume list.
Please feel free to ping me if you come across a thread you would think worthy of this ping list. I can't catch them all!


6 posted on 02/04/2004 12:54:33 AM PST by Timesink (Smacky is power.)
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To: Fenris6
Exactly what I was thinking!
7 posted on 02/04/2004 12:57:50 AM PST by nopardons
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To: Terry Mross
Yes. When producers and the tv/hollywood crowd live their lives in the gutter, they know nothing but what is in the gutter.

They cannot tolerate the fact that the public has higher standards than they do and therefore they must force the public to live in the gutter with them.

Sad, they do not comprehend the joy of seeing wholesome entertainment - Lonesome Dove, Seabisquit, 24, Free Willy, and many of the old movies that had great story lines and character development. They do not even realize what a market they could have with providing the entertainment that uplifts and restores faith in the future of man.

No, they are obsessed with shock, with distastefulness, with the depravity of mankind - that is where they feel comfortable and - golly - no need to worry about being creative. All you have to do is think of what could be a new low to stretch the envelope. No need to provide an interesting story - just show nudity and shock the public.
8 posted on 02/04/2004 1:01:58 AM PST by ClancyJ (It's just not safe to vote Democratic.)
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To: ClancyJ
The media has been doing the whole "breast examination" thing for a long time. Educational content is different than looking at a mutilated (a pierce of that size and ornamenation IS mutilation) bare nipple.

Sounds like NBC is trying to pick up some viewers for sweeps by playing up a "controversy".

Adult dramas at least come with warnings and ratings these days. There was no such guide for the Super Bowl.

9 posted on 02/04/2004 1:06:36 AM PST by weegee
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To: Timesink
A few weeks ago MTV showed a breast augmentation documentary in which young, modern women were shown topless without any censoring. It was much more than just the usual in-surgery operating table shots.

I found it to be a distinctly new step beyond the primitive-peoples nudity already on basic cable and PBS.

I wonder what's next.

10 posted on 02/04/2004 1:09:38 AM PST by non-anonymous
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To: Timesink; mhking
Worth a j/d ping maybe?

Please, enough with the j/d.

11 posted on 02/04/2004 1:11:54 AM PST by PFKEY
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To: Fenris6
Idiots all - why is "a view of an elderly female patient's bare breast" even necessary?

Soley to test the waters. They can claim that if the FCC gives them guff that this was merely educational and not pruient. If the FCC doesn't raise much of a fuss, then they can go on to have younger women topless - in medical situations necessary to the plot - of course.

Also, they thought they were going to get the buzz as the first show to have an exposed breast on regular TV while maintaining the out I mentioned above.
12 posted on 02/04/2004 1:14:43 AM PST by swilhelm73
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To: ChrisCoolC
I wonder what's next.

This is the "circuses" part of the "bread and circuses" that will eventually lead to the downfall of any society. It may start with a bare breast (which by itself may be little to offend) but as the public tires of the titilation (pun somewhat intended) the bar will be lowered... and lowered... and lowered. Eventually we will reach the stage of a no-holds barred free-for-all on our TVs... if we let it.

The Half-Time debacle was an in-your-face "shot across the bow" in the culture wars by those who mistake freedom for license and entertainment for shock and startlement. There may be a legitimate reason for the bared breasts scene in ER, an adult entertainment, late at night, that gives it value. The venue is appropriate for such forays on the edge... the Super Bowl is not.

13 posted on 02/04/2004 1:21:26 AM PST by Swordmaker (This tagline shut down for renovations and repairs. Re-open June of 2001.)
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: weegee
We are going to have to make a stand that we do not wish nudity on primetime tv - no matter how "educational". This is TV - not the education channel.

I don't know why there is such an utter drive to take away all restraints on TV - but there is. And, I do not want to give them the ability to bring anything they wish into my living room. Just because they are trashy people who love more and more pornographic content - does not mean that I have to welcome the same in my living room.

And, I intend to get the message to the advertisers also. "Keep your love of trash out of my house".
15 posted on 02/04/2004 1:53:43 AM PST by ClancyJ (It's just not safe to vote Democratic.)
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To: weegee
The media has been doing the whole "breast examination" thing for a long time. Educational content is different than looking at a mutilated (a pierce of that size and ornamenation IS mutilation) bare nipple.

Do you think including such a scene in ER falls under the category of "educational content"?

Anyone who has been around older people, particularly women, in a hospital knows that one of the most difficult things they deal with is a loss of privacy related to their bodies. Contrary to what the producer might think, a scene including partial nudity of an elderly person is a gross insult to human dignity.

16 posted on 02/04/2004 3:28:45 AM PST by independentmind
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To: Terry Mross
Turn your head and cough, please.
17 posted on 02/04/2004 3:40:26 AM PST by Churchjack
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To: 2sheep; MissAmericanPie
Now that Mystery Babylon is being stripped bare, she's really not much of a mystery.

The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost, caught the last train for the coast, the day the music died.

18 posted on 02/04/2004 3:48:07 AM PST by Thinkin' Gal
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To: Timesink
CSI already broke the "bare breast barrier" a couple of years back.
19 posted on 02/04/2004 3:57:51 AM PST by Junior (Some people follow their dreams. Others hunt theirs down and beat them mercilessly into submission)
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To: independentmind
"Do you think including such a scene in ER falls under the category of "educational content"?"

It might be, depending on how it is presented.

Remember the mini-series "Roots" way back in 1977? They showed full butt-crack scenes of the "natives" on the slave ships. These "natives" were actors from Hollywood. A butt is a butt no matter what color it is. Nobody complained because it a depicted a historical fact.

I'm not condoning nudity on TV, but if it's done in the interest of science or history, then I think we should relax a bit about seeing a bare breast or a naked rump.

Janet Jackson's display was totally uncalled for.

BTW, I called Direct TV yesterday and cancelled NBC and CBS from our programming.

20 posted on 02/04/2004 4:31:39 AM PST by panaxanax
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
plans to air an episode of "ER" on NBC Thursday evening that includes a view of an elderly female patient's bare breast are raising serious concerns among the network's affiliates.

This is a warning ping..... Thought you might want to know, if you watch this show....

21 posted on 02/04/2004 4:49:43 AM PST by Arrowhead1952 (WARNING! Every name on every tombstone in the country equals one democrat vote.)
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To: Fenris6
Idiots all - why is "a view of an elderly female patient's bare breast" even necessary?

February sweeps.

22 posted on 02/04/2004 4:55:16 AM PST by mewzilla
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: Thinkin' Gal
The 10 kerata are probably plotting even now.
24 posted on 02/04/2004 5:17:34 AM PST by the-ironically-named-proverbs2
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To: Thinkin' Gal
More like an open book.
25 posted on 02/04/2004 5:18:33 AM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: Anubus
That seems to be the whole point--to mock the body of an old lady. It becomes a matter of male aesthetics--and you arrive to express your opinion as to the better qualities of one display over another.

Next we can see other shrivelled parts--nothing more pitiful than an old man's sunken-in posterior.

26 posted on 02/04/2004 5:21:42 AM PST by Mamzelle
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Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: weegee
"The media has been doing the whole "breast examination" thing for a long time. Educational content is different"

I agree that educational content is different, but the media has used every loophole possible to show breasts on television, and it all began in the name of "public health", but has contributed to the incrementalism in television programming. As with testicular self-examination for men, women have always been able to get all the information they need on breast self-examination from the doctors' office, magazine articles, et al.

28 posted on 02/04/2004 5:54:53 AM PST by Eowyn-of-Rohan
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To: ClancyJ
I honestly believe that another part of this is that the directors, producers, and movie makers in general just like to get women naked on the set for their own enjoyment. The movie makers (mostly male) have a real high time on the set with "those scenes". I know, as I have witnessed it. And BONUS-- it sells.
29 posted on 02/04/2004 6:00:22 AM PST by Eowyn-of-Rohan
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To: mewzilla
Isn't it time to get the Chairman of GE, which owns NBC, to appear before a Congressional Committee and either have him justify such an occurance. I know, I know, the GE factotum would probably have Justin Timberlake tear off the Chairman's mother's blouse just to prove it was harmless fun.
30 posted on 02/04/2004 6:04:13 AM PST by gaspar
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To: ChrisCoolC
That has always been a good question--why is it OK to show African or "primitive" breasts (even if the primitives are white actors with body make-up)? The movie "Zulu"--on AMC last night-- has a long scene involving scores of topless African women dancing...Another is "The Bounty" with Mel Gibson, shown on TV frequently, shows many topless "Tahitians"...I am sure there are many more examples.
31 posted on 02/04/2004 6:13:32 AM PST by Eowyn-of-Rohan
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To: panaxanax
I won't relax until they are as free and loose in showing those parts that men cover up, as they are with the parts women cover up.
32 posted on 02/04/2004 6:18:02 AM PST by Eowyn-of-Rohan
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To: Timesink
Please add me to your Schadenfreude ping" list. Many thanks.
33 posted on 02/04/2004 6:22:02 AM PST by albee
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To: Eowyn-of-Rohan
Yea, what's the difference between showing a man's nipple and a women's nipple? Except for the fact that one is often larger, they are the same thing.

Which brings me to the age-old question......why do men have nipples?
34 posted on 02/04/2004 6:35:35 AM PST by panaxanax
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To: independentmind
If it's so educational, why wait for a sweeps month to do it?
35 posted on 02/04/2004 6:37:51 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: Timesink
Somehow I think that Howard Dean is behind all this.


36 posted on 02/04/2004 6:44:10 AM PST by Hillary's Lovely Legs (Bush has won two wars, Kerry is French......'nuff said)
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To: Timesink
In light of the atmosphere of fear which has been created, even a tastefully shot, full-on glimpse of a bare breast in a network primetime show ....

Is this supposed to be an editorial? Or is it posing as reporting?

Dan

37 posted on 02/04/2004 6:47:54 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: Timesink
They're trying to shove these things down our throats!
38 posted on 02/04/2004 6:49:54 AM PST by steveo (Alwyas use you're spell checkor)
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To: ClancyJ; Timesink
ClancyJ has summarized what is happening in the upper and lower parts of the tv nets: "They are obsessed with shock, with distastefulness, with the depravity of mankind - that is where they feel comfortable and - golly - no need to worry about being creative. All you have to do is think of what could be a new low to stretch the envelope. No need to provide an interesting story - just show nudity and shock the public."

They watch BBC and watch their two critical audience groups flock to BBC for T&A and vulgar language. Those two critical groups, the aging liberals of the 1960/70s and their spawn.

Just watch what appears on BBC and you will see it in America later on.

39 posted on 02/04/2004 7:00:41 AM PST by Grampa Dave (John F' Kerry! You are not John F. Kennedy!)
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To: ClancyJ; Grampa Dave
Well said. However there is an increasing number of producers and the tv/hollywood crowd living their lives in the sewer instead of the gutter.
40 posted on 02/04/2004 7:01:49 AM PST by EdReform (Free Republic - Now more than ever! Thank you for your support!)
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To: BibChr
a tastefully shot, full-on glimpse of a bare breast

What the heck does "tastefully shot" mean?

41 posted on 02/04/2004 7:04:46 AM PST by Eowyn-of-Rohan
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To: ChrisCoolC
I wonder what's next.

Maybe ER could come up with a scene about a full gynocology (sp?) exam. The audience needs to see that.
42 posted on 02/04/2004 7:07:55 AM PST by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
Fantastic new picture of Dean ... His next stint will be Saturday night live ... Giggle....
WTG
43 posted on 02/04/2004 7:10:54 AM PST by joan_30
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
Fantastic new picture of Dean ... His next stint will be Saturday night live ... Giggle....
WTG
44 posted on 02/04/2004 7:10:56 AM PST by joan_30
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To: Eowyn-of-Rohan
Good question.

My guess would be that it means that the writer he knows it is tasteless, but he likes it.

Dan
45 posted on 02/04/2004 7:16:30 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: Fenris6
Idiots all - why is "a view of an elderly female patient's bare breast" even necessary?

Does it advance the plot or help develop the characters? If not it's just gratuitous titillation.

46 posted on 02/04/2004 7:59:19 AM PST by kanawa (that which is born in blood must need die in blood)
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To: All
Bah, now I remember why I quit watching ER years ago.
47 posted on 02/04/2004 8:03:05 AM PST by COEXERJ145
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To: the-ironically-named-proverbs2; MissAmericanPie; 2sheep; Jeremiah Jr

Why they did it? Because they could.

There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Looks like it's way past mene, mene, and tekel, and past the time and times, and on to peres at the dividing of time er half time.

48 posted on 02/04/2004 8:03:22 AM PST by Thinkin' Gal
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To: EdReform
You are right - a better choice of words - the sewer.
49 posted on 02/04/2004 8:07:15 AM PST by ClancyJ (It's just not safe to vote Democratic.)
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To: Timesink


Here's another take on the Superbowl and family values, by Tammy Bruce:

Exposing Viacom’s Indecency
By Tammy Bruce
FrontPageMagazine.com | February 3, 2004


I will admit that I don’t normally watch football, but I sure was on Sunday. As fate would have it, I arrived at a Super Bowl Party at Halftime. As they say, timing is everything.


Those of you who read my book The Death of Right and Wrong were not entirely surprised by what you saw Sunday night masquerading as the Halftime show—a variety of so-called singers and dancers providing nothing less than a Peep Show for your family.


All day long I’ve been fascinated with the focus being on the baring of Jackson’s breast during the family hour on the West Coast (considering Ms. Jackson’s family problem, perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised that she didn’t consider the combination of sex and children problematic). In fact, the entire production was insulting and offensive.


Come on now, I immediately knew America was in for an assault when rap singer Nelly got on stage and was unable to keep his hand off his crotch. It was astounding—here was a man on broadcast television, with millions of children watching raptly, holding onto his penis as though it were a weapon throughout his performance.


And CBS stayed with it!


Then, of course, we get to the supposed “wardrobe malfunction” as singer (and I use that adjective with reservations) Justin Timberlake described it. Let’s be honest—either these people are complete idiots or they think we are. During a song with a main refrain of “I’ll have you naked by the end of this song” Timberlake managed it quite aptly, and exposed Jackson’s breast—a breast, mind you, that looked like it had been adorned for a very special coming out party.


Personally, and as a cultural critic, I am concerned with those who do not think this a big deal. Let me assure you, it is. Why? Because it’s reflective of Incrementalism—a slow, gradual effort at cultural change, a change that is decidedly downward.


The goal of Incrementalism is to present the depraved or offensive slowly, progressively and then more regularly over a period of time so it becomes apparently normal. That’s what’s happening here. Keep in mind, it’s only the horrible that needs to sneak up on us. Americans always let the wonderful in the front door.


If you’re wondering how Incrementalism works, let’s, however painful it might be, look at Howard Dean. Dean, the one-time top Democratic presidential challenger, said the uproar over the exposure of Jackson’s breast is “silly.”


And then in a comment which really sums up why this man is better suited to be managing a shift at Taco Bell instead of running this great country (Yeeeaaarhhgh!) said, “I find that to be a bit of a flap about nothing. I'm probably affected in some ways by the fact that I'm a doctor, so it's not exactly an unusual phenomenon for me."


Wow! So, doctors see strangers having their clothes ripped off in sexual situations in front of the children of the nation on a regular basis!? Of course, he’s reduced this to the sight of a breast. Just like finding Saddam was the equivalent of catching some weird homeless guy. Depth seems to escape Dr. Dean.


But he didn’t stop there. Dean, who does not have cable television at his home in Vermont, exemplified the moral relativism that has a stranglehold on the American left: "I don't find it terribly shocking relative to some of the things you can find on standard cable television…”


Slowly but surely, because awful things are out there, we are expected to lower our bar of standards, quality and decency. The this-is-okay-because-of-that-thing-over-there syndrome. This is the heart of Howard Dean’s reasoning.


By the way, AOL/Time Warner was the sponsor for the Halftime show. Why is that worth noting? And why does Howard Dean feel the need to be the new apologist for what happened during the Halftime show? Guess who is Howard Dean’s (who will not, will not, be a shill for Special Interests) second largest campaign contributor? You have one more second…that’s right! Time Warner.

And don’t be surprised if you suddenly hear John Kerry, the now-leading Democratic candidate, chime in with a roar of indignation about our displeasure with the pathetic indecent display sponsored by AOL. Guess who is John Kerry’s second all-time contributor? Time Warner, just under Kerry #1 contributor (a law firm) and just above the Kerry #3 contributor (a law firm).


Lawyers and media companies. Yep, the Democrats are gonna sock it right to those Special Interests—like the American people, decency, and the right of our children to not be sexualized by the time they are 5 years old.


Now let me make something clear here—I have not been possessed by the ghost of a nun who is shocked at the sight of flesh. But there is a time and place for everything. I happen to think, as I hope most of you do, that a woman’s body is a beautiful thing. As adults if we want to see a woman’s breast bared on television, we have that option—late at night, when we’ve chosen the program, we’re aware of what we’re getting, and the children are tucked away.


And accepting that option is not meant as a complete abdication of what (and when) we feel certain material is appropriate. We can draw lines for the public airwaves, and we do.


I personally like films and television that challenge our notions of who we are, including our sexuality. But that’s my interest as an adult, and it very well may be an interest very different from yours. The choices we make about sexuality and its imagery are and should be private choices. Viacom and its two mutant children—MTV and CBS—took that choice from us, and decided their view of sexuality would not only be put upon us, but on our children as well, contemptibly wrapped up as ‘family entertainment.’


Despite what the nihilistic heads at Viacom may think, Americans are not asleep at the cultural wheel. First, for a list of what Viacom owns, go to Who Owns What at http://www.cjr.org/tools/owners/ and scroll down to Viacom. Complain to the FCC at www.fcc.gov and let Chairman Michael Powell know you support the investigation and want Viacom and its subsidiaries to face severe consequences for their actions. The Parents Television Council at www.parentstv.org is also leading the way on many issues, including the Halftime debacle.


It’s worth remembering that radio network Infinity was fined for a St. Patrick’s "Sex in the Cathedral" radio stunt. Viacom, which also owns Infinity (surprise!), was told by the FCC that future violations by the company could prompt a license revocation proceeding.


Now isn’t that a novel idea! Broadcast licenses are not granted for eternity. Licenses can be revoked or not renewed. Would it be unusual? Yes, but it’s time for the unusual, including the need to take back our culture. Tearing down certain institutions which continually betray us, and reminding the cultural gatekeepers about who is really in charge, is our responsibility. That time is now.




Tammy Bruce is a Fox News Channel Contributor and author of The Death of Right and Wrong.
50 posted on 02/04/2004 8:12:15 AM PST by Eva
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