Saturday

Breast sight = $930,000!

NB: You may want to read this 7 September 2004 post first.
Janet Jackson's breast peek will cost CBS $930,000. That's the merciless fine imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on those CBS stations that aired the now famous peek-a-boob. As if CBS didn't have enough on their hands.
'The US Constitution is generous in its protection of free expression, but it is not a licence to thrill,' said FCC chairman Michael Powell. 'The context of the half-time show leads us to conclude that the breast-baring finale was intended.'
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A little excessive for a breast on television, I seem to think. It is strange, nevertheless, that the tongue-kisses of the Madonna-Spears-Aguilera trio, also on-stage and on the air, have not raised a quarter of the stink the Jackson-Timberlake peek-a-boob has. Not as many condemnations as the duo, and certainly no fines. Is it considered better by the FCC, then, for America's children to ogle at three women tongue-kissing than to ogle at a woman's breast? Here, I've finally found someone who fully agrees with me:
What I don't understand is that Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Madonna can make out at an awards show, and there is no fine for showing this on the airwaves. You have people stripping down to nothing on prime time television (see Survivor), people showing off their bare butts (see N.Y.P.D. Blue), sexual innuendoes being said all over the TV dial, yet one woman's breast is the cause of moral decay in American society. Go figure.

(I realize that most TVs do not have dials anymore, but you get my point.)
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I've asked the question before: is this because of the Jackson name, or because of the colour of the breast? It is disturbing to see the chasm that lies between reactions to the two incidents. Conditions concerning the type of audience and the age-groups exposed were similar, although I feel it is likely that there were more children watching music awards (woman to woman tongue kiss) than the Super Bowl (exposed breast).
Somebody says, Sadly, the MTV Video Music Awards didn't feature a Madonna, Spears and Aguilera snog-fest. Someone else adds, "It was an impressive spectacle," the Times said. "But it was hard not to be reminded that 19 years ago Madonna could cause this much fuss all by herself." Television channels didn't seem to mind, though, replaying the kissing footage throughout the morning.
Susan says, "Couldn't say for sure, but I don't doubt that it would be more politically incorrect to pan a three-girl kiss in the midst of these times of accepting open homosexuality. Anything said against the act could be misconstrued as being against lesbianism rather than the sexual display going beyond good taste in ANY gender format.
The black/white interracial scenario with Timberlake/Jackson, has to a certain degree become acceptable finally, and so the focus is more on the act rather than the individuals, and can then more safely be censored."
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Aven says, "Basically, I'd assume that it's because, to many people, a naked breast is unacceptable on "family" television while a kiss is acceptable. The identity of the various participants is a secondary issue. A woman and a man kissing (open-mouth or not) on "family" tv isn't a problem, so why should two (or three) women kissing be? While a naked breast is seen as a problem, whether it is a man or a woman who causes that breast to become bare.
It's all about the arbitrary standards of "sexuality" -- nakedness is automatically condemned, while graphically sexual actions, movements, and lyrics are acceptable (see MTV, as you said). Within that set of standards, the reactions are predicable."
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