Skip to comments.Only a Matter of Time: Why the Super Bowl Incident Isn’t Surprising
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 isnt surprising how on the morning after the Super Bowl, there was outrage in the airand it wasnt 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 Jacksons breast during the halftime concertif you can call it thatand about finding out way too much about Mike Ditkas 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 dont hold much credibilityparticularly because just before Timberlake removed part of Jacksons 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 arent 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 youve 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 theyre 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 whats appropriate for their children. And meanwhile, as overexposure limits the cultures ability to shock, it has to push the envelope farther and farther to have any impact at all.
Im glad people are upset about what happened Sunday night. But lets not pretend we dont know why it happened. It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. And unless were willing to work to change the culture, it wont take long before it happens again.
Yeah, that's a chuckler!
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It looked like a breast to me.
Sort of, except for that thingamajig she was wearing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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