Janet Jackson made #039;boob#039; of herself #045; and Super Bowl

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Somewhere along the line, we have let a precious piece of Americana slip from our hands.

The Super Bowl was once a showcase of the two best professional football teams going head to head. Sure, pregame and halftime entertainment has always been part of the mix, but in recent years it seems to have stolen the spotlight from the game itself.

While we had so much to talk about after Sunday's suspenseful Super Bowl that was decided in the waning seconds, it's a shame that all of the attention is being paid to a cheap publicity stunt during the halftime show.

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Few could argue that the majority of the water cooler and playground talk on Monday wasn't about the New England Patriots or the Carolina Panthers, but instead about how much of a "boob" Janet Jackson is.

Super Bowl history was made when Justin Timberlake - after singing the lyrics "I'm gonna have you naked by the end of this song" -

ripped off part of Jackson's costume, exposing her breast (which was partially obscured by a decoration of some sort). Timberlake apologized and blamed a "wardrobe malfunction." Please, I'm not buying that.

The Federal Communications Commission has announced an investigation into the incident. The FCC prohibits network television from airing "indecent" material between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. I'm not really sure what "indecent" is, but my guess this would fit in that category.

The stunt was simply inappropriate during a national event broadcast at prime family viewing time with 100 million television viewers. If Janet and Justin want to do their thing on cable television after hours, more power to them. But when a significant portion of the viewers of the Super Bowl were young boys in the 7-12 age range, I've got a problem with it.

In fact, my 10-year-old son told me Monday that he and his friends were talking about the stunt. "Justin Timberlake should have been arrested for ripping off Janet Jackson's clothes," Brandon said to me. When he asked why Timberlake did it, the only answer I could give him was "He's stupid."

To me, if you want to talk about something non-football at the Super Bowl, let's talk about the tribute to Columbia astronauts David Brown, Rick Husband, Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla, Michael Anderson, William McCool and Ilan Ramon, who lost their lives a year to the date that Houston - "Space City" -hosted the big game. Instead, we're talking about a couple of idiot pop stars pulling a childish prank.

Well, at least Janet's brother Michael is happy. For the first time in a long time, another Jackson is in the news.

This truly was not your father's - or your children's - halftime show. Whatever happened to marching bands?

Shawn Doyle is managing editor of The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached at (740) 532-1445, extension 19 or via e-mail at shawn. doyle@irontontribune.com