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Family groups lash out

Family-oriented organizations strongly denounced CBS, the NFL and MTV today for the broadcast of nudity on the Super Bowl halftime show yesterday.

As WorldNetDaily reported, during the last song of the show, singer Timberlake reached across Janet Jackson’s leather gladiator outfit and pulled off the covering to her right breast, exposing her to millions of viewers. The move came as Timberlake sang the lyric: “Going to have you naked by the end of this song.”

Janet Jackson performing at Super Bowl halftime (Photo: MTV)

Although Timberlake chalks up the incident to a “wardrobe malfunction” and CBS vows it knew nothing of what would cap the halftime show, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell has decried what he calls a “deplorable stunt” and has launched an agency investigation of the matter.

Focus on the Family’s media and sexuality analyst, Daniel Weiss, expressed his disgust today.

“Last night’s Super Bowl halftime show was appalling in its utter disregard for American families,” Weiss said in a statement. “No child – or adult – should be assaulted by such a profane and indecent performance. It was nothing more than a high-tech striptease foisted on tens of millions of unsuspecting Americans. To make it worse, there are reports that top CBS officials not only knew about the planned nudity, but also approved it. I would expect pink slips to be in the mail today, because CBS has destroyed its family-friendly image and reputation for high-quality entertainment.”

Besides implicating CBS, Weiss took aim at the FCC.

“After the FCC ruled in October that Bono’s use of the ‘F-word’ was not indecent, we have seen a steady torrent of coarse, degrading, and indecent material on broadcast television,” he said. “The complete breakdown of enforcement by this agency is virtually guaranteeing that this torrent will soon be a flood. It’s not surprising that the FCC has opened an investigation – considering that this gross display is the direct result of decades of institutional malaise at the agency.”

Referring to the NFL’s use of a scantily-clad Britney Spears in an event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., last fall, Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media, slammed the football league:

“The future of the NFL will depend in large measure on whether parents can continue to be proud to have their children participate in the great sport called football. A great football game notwithstanding, Sunday’s halftime performance was a national disgrace.”

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council expressed his dismay in a letter to the FCC.

“The entire half-time program was tasteless and not family-friendly,” Perkins wrote. “CBS should know better than to turn the half-time entertainment over to MTV, which relishes its ability to shock. CBS would do well to adhere to the adage: If you sleep with dogs you’ll get fleas. I am sure there is a lot of scratching going on at CBS today. …

“We’re glad the FCC has thrown a flag on the half-time show, but it should not take long for the agency to determine that rules were broken, and that fines are necessary. Not only was the show during family hours but on a program that can be expected to have one of the largest viewing audiences on television. CBS must be held responsible for this affront to America’s families.”

Said Robert Knight of Concerned Women for America: “It’s impossible for CBS to scramble its way out of this, and we are encouraged to see the FCC taking immediate action to investigate. Even if the Jackson stunt was a surprise addition, the network should be held responsible for its inability to protect the innocence of millions of kids and teens during TV’s biggest night.”

Besides the Timberlake-Jackson number, the show featured other things that pushed the limits of family entertainment and broadcast standards, including:

The NFL itself has joined in the chorus of disgust.

“The show was offensive, inappropriate and embarrassing to us and our fans,” NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said in a statement. “We will change our policy, our people and our processes for managing the halftime entertainment in the future in order to deal far more effectively with the quality of this aspect of the Super Bowl.”

Previous stories:

Oooops! Janet Jackson flashes 140 million

FCC chair ‘outraged’ by breast ‘stunt’