It’s been almost eight years since the nation was subjected to a full nine-sixtheeth of a second of Janet Jackson’s bare breast on television — and the evil perps still haven’t paid a price. Sodom and Gomorrah are clearly just around the corner.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission fined CBS $55,000 for the brief “wardrobe malfunction” when part of Jackson’s costume slid open during a live Super Bowl performance. A long legal battle has ensued over whether the FCC had the legal power to do this, and a federal appeals court ruled this week that the decision was arbitrary.
The outcry from advocates for “decency” was swift and heartfelt:
“Today’s ruling reaches the level of judicial stupidity and is a sucker-punch to families everywhere,” said Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel sucker-punched. I just feel as though a bunch of people with nothing better to do are still pursuing something that would have been best forgotten by the day after the day it happened.
Honestly, I don’t want a bunch of nudity on television, simply because it coarsens society, in my view. But even if you accept the notion that it’s the job of the state to police what is shown on television — a notion that I don’t accept — you’re setting yourself up for ridicule when you pretend that roughly half a second of breast exposure on a television programs somehow threatens the moral foundations of families everywhere. You’re just pandering to the people who you send your fundraising letters to.
The Jackson nipple slip wasn’t a big deal. It’s been nearly eight years. Get over it. And if Tim Winter and his buddies at the Parents Television Council want to make sure they never see such a thing on TV again, I suggest he follow the advice I follow myself. Turn your television off and read instead.