Do you believe the excuse? Here you thought
the Madonna/Britney Spears liplock was the ultimate in crass publicity stunts.
You've probably not seen anything yet -- now someone has to top this!
Here's the story as it appeared in the 1 February 2004 issue of the news
commentary column This is True (subscribe free below):
The Other Wacko Jacko
MTV, which produced the Janet Jackson halftime show for Super
Bowl 38, promised a "shocking surprise". Fans got it at the end of her duet with
Justin Timberlake (sample lyric: "Gonna have you naked by the end of this song")
when he grabbed the front of her costume and yanked the cover off her right
breast, which flopped into the clear view of the worldwide audience. Timberlake
called the incident a "wardrobe malfunction" that was "not intentional".
(Houston Chronicle, AP) ...After days of rehearsal, that's the best excuse
they could think up?
So let's take a look at the evidence. (Shocking, sure, but it's nothing you
can't see on national network TV, right?)
To state explicitly for the record, I definitely think it was intentional,
unlike some who "just can't believe it." Believe it! Take a look at the zoomed
Macromedia Flash (heh heh) sequence to the right. (Note: right-click to
see options, like stopping the playback loop.) As you can clearly see, Justin
grabs the cover and yanks it off, and is still holding it as Janet "realizes"
what happened. In the closeup below, you can see that the bra cup of Janet's
"gladiator" outfit is attached with snaps for easy release:
(My apologies that the closeup also makes it clear how her nipple ornament
Update! We have a photo of the
other side, too, which proves another Jackson excuse is a lie. See below.
So get real: does this truly look like a "wardrobe malfunction" to you?
Or is it indeed a crass publicity stunt? The evidence is staring you right in
But let's get real here. So what?! The world comes screeching to a
halt because of a one-second peek-a-boob? Yeah, Janet is an idiot, trying to
grab the spotlight to hype a new album. But a federal investigation? Yet
something else for the world to snicker over. Clue for Washington: there are
far more compelling things that need to be investigated.
The American media uses sex to sell everything, but god forbid that
at the end of a bump and grind routine we catch a glimpse of a titbit -- which
people in pretty much all of what we consider the "civilized" countries
can see on regular broadcast TV during the same hour. Have those civilians gone
nuts? Nope, we have; they simply yawn.
The media censorship community falls to the floor sobbing when a mammary
gland sees the light of day -- though it's fine if someone wearing a hockey
mask comes up and lops it off with a chainsaw. When faced with a choice between
sex and violence (remember, oh out-of-touch politicians, that sex is a
desired part of healthy life, while violence is an aberant horror
that we actively try to avoid), I'll take the sex any day. And so will most
everyone else. Yet a flash of Janet's sagging charms isn't, by any
stretch of the imagination, sex. Grow up, Washington! And grow up, America.
(links open in new window)
Woman files federal lawsuit seeking perhaps billions of dollars for
herself and "all Americans who watched the halftime show" for their "outrage,
anger, embarrassment and serious injury".
(Knoxville News Sentinel)
Timberlake's friends say Janet set him up. "She lied to him."
(NY Daily News)
Not knowing who will do what, ABC announces they will add a
delay to the Academy Awards telecast in order to be able to bleep out anything "objectionable".
CBS, afraid Janet will flash her other breast during the Grammy Awards,
announces it will put up to a five-minute delay into its broadcast of the awards
show (USA Today)
Super Bowl streaker whines, "If she hadn't done that I would have been front
page material." (No longer online.)
The Houston Chronicle reports that Marcello's
Alterations in Houston's Galleria Mall admits it did some alterations
on Jackson's costume before the Super Bowl, but won't reveal exactly
what was done. Maybe the addition of snaps? (No longer online.)
Federal Communications Commission will conduct "thorough and swift"
investigation of halftime show, promises "outraged" FCC chair Michael Powel.
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Parodies and take-offs inspired by Janet and Justin's stunt:
Another Red Herring
Several readers have said that Janet explained that her red bra
was supposed to remain after Justin pulled off the leather cover -- her breast
wasn't supposed to show. We have a few problems with that: 1) They'd be idiots
not to ensure that it worked that way (but then, they are idiots); 2) If
he tore her bra, why aren't shards of cloth visible in the close-up above? And
3) Maybe it's because there is no red bra!? Here's the proof: look at the
leather cover -- you're seeing the inside (note the snaps!). And pay
particular attention that the red fringe is not a bra cup, but a sewn-on
fringe just along the top edge.