It was just a little overexposure

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2004

OK, you knew it was bound to happen. So, I'll be the first one to talk about it publicly. The half-time show at Super Bowl XXXVIII was wonderful.

I really don't understand what all the hoopla is about. Do you?

An assembled group of world-class entertainers performing for the largest television audience ever Š what more could CBS ask for?

Nelly, P. Diddy, Kid Rock, Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Simpson. The epitome of rock, rap and pop music - all gathered in one arena for millions to see.

Why is CBS so upset? I mean, they are the network of our grandparents Š this was their chance to rein in some younger viewers.

With that lineup of artists, the biggest fear CBS would have would be Jessica slipping up and saying something dumber than "Is it fish or chicken?"

CBS had no reason to worry that three of their performers have criminal records, one is the sister of a very embattled "King of Pop," and the other is her one-time boyfriend. And handing the reigns of the half-time extravaganza over to MTV - there's no risk in that at all.

But whoa to those who slipped up and let something accidentally "pop out" on stage in front of 85 million viewers.

And that's where all the hype and hoopla comes into play.

When Justin Timberlake reached over and grabbed Janet Jackson's right breast to rip her top, it accidentally pulled the entire top off - not just the "meant-to-breakaway" top layer.

OOPS!, I guess Brittney didn't do it this time.

I guess the sun really can shine on the entire world at one time.

That single action has prompted more disdain, debate, and rewinding of videotape ever.

And all for what? A little skin exposure?

Honestly, I don't understand the big deal.

The cameraman was not holding a tight shot on Janet; it happened so fast that some people didn't even see it. And those that did, well, to be honest, I thought at first it was a pastie.

And then there's the whole debate about was it an accident or was it planned.

I think it was planned, and CBS knew it.

There had been hints all week from MTV that this would be a "half-time to remember," and "Janet's nastiest performance ever."

Those two phrases alone should have sent a signal to the top brass.

In a Monday report on the Drudge Report, an official was cited as saying CBS' top brass knew about the planned exposure - and cleared it.

Another reason I feel CBS had prior knowledge of the incident was the fact they were able to go to black so quickly.

I feel they chickened out at the last minute, but forgot to run a five second delay. Otherwise, only those inside Reliant Stadium would have known what happened - at least until the news the next day.

Federal Communications Chairman Michael Powell said he was extremely shocked by the incident, and that the FCC would open a full investigation of the matter.


Apparently it breaks the FCC's rules regarding indecent material and explicit material.


ABC - another broadcast network - has been exposing breasts and backsides for years on NYPD Blue.

Not to mention the fact that the FCC has approved the usage of the "F" word on broadcast television under certain circumstances.

I find that more offensive than Janet's boob popping out. And I believe parents should find that more offensive as well. The incident was not pornographic. It wasn't even graphic. It just happened.

At least the "accident" happened at a key moment in the performance - Justin said, "Gonna have you nekkid by the end of this song," and by George (or Justin), he did.