Media Relations: media commentary and criticism

Sunday, February 01, 2004


-- television -- halftime

You know, about ten minutes into the usual 45-minute Super Bowl halftime show behemoth, the marching bands of the University of Houston and Texas Southern University had to be wondering just what the hell they'd gotten themselves into. "Hey Ricky" had been resurrected as a call to P. Diddy and Nelly, Kid Rock had punched a hole in an American flag to declare to all that, yes, he was still definitely Kid Rock, and there were a bunch of men and women in corsets cavorting around with Janet Jackson. The Super Bowl halftime show was, clearly, turning into quite the experience.

And then it got just a wee bit more full of experience for everyone.

Leaving aside The Unfortunate Incident (and given that Miss Jackson was wearing a silver pastie over her nipple, one can but conclude either that the action was planned or that she came prepared for the unexpected), one wonders what the hell CBS was thinking with that Super Bowl halftime show. I mean, the ceremonial Baring of the Boob was merely the ending to a seriously risque section in which Justin Timberlake variously committed frottage with Janet Jackson across the stage.

Everyone later apologized and said it was unintentional, but somehow, I don't quite believe them ...

Super Bowl Has Some Eye-Popping Endings (San Jose Mercury News, February 1, 2004): ... Jackson and Timberlake were dueting on the song, "Rock Your Body," when Timberlake reached across Jackson's outfit and yanked off part of her top. Timberlake later said it was unintentional; apparently some clothing was to have remained over her breast. CBS quickly cut away from the shot and didn't mention it on the air. But the network later apologized to viewers and said network officials were surprised, too. An NFL official also said it was unlikely MTV will be invited back to produce another halftime show.

In their quest to produce a family-friendly broadcast for all (full of mayhem and murder, of course), the local CBS affiliate has shown the (somewhat pixellated) Baring of the Boob again and again and again and again. And the problem with the official explanation would seem to be this: there ain't no material there that could have stayed over her breast. Justin has the complete leather cup, there don't appear to be any torn shreds of material behind, and, you know, there's that silver pasty thing.

One could also wonder what CBS and the NFL were thinking to ask MTV to produce the show in the first place. One could think that perhaps, they got pretty much the sort of thing they were asking for in the first place, allowing that perhaps they didn't expect Miss Jackson-if-you're-Nasty's right breast to suddenly make its national debut on their broadcast. But something loud, a bit raunchy and scandalous? Oh, my goodness, yes, that was probably exactly what they were looking for.

And then there was a streaker. In this day and age.

Oh, and the game? Actually, it wasn't bad at all. Came down to a last minute field goal.

But that halftime show .....

Posted by iain at 11:34 PM in category television