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Tuesday November 8, 2005 2:35 am

Newsflash! Americans Want Their Sex - And Their Violence, Too.

janet JacksonWhen Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed during her routine with Justin Timberlake at the 2004 Super Bowl, the world seemed to explode. Suddenly, every channel was carrying censored footage of the event. Newscasters rambled about it. The exposure was the hot topic, everywhere from news stations to the work water cooler.

The reaction was almost violent in its intensity. The FCC fined CBS a record $550,000 for the incident. The NFL swore to never let MTV—surely the most qualified for the position—ever produce a halftime show again. The FCC called the incident “disgusting” and “indecent,” and swore that stricter codes of morality and decency would be enforced upon entertainment media. But who has the right to decide what is decent? More importantly, is it even a relevant issue?

The top 5 television shows in a current Nielsen Rating were:

  1. CSI
  2. Desperate Housewives
  3. Lost
  4. Without A Trace
  5. Grey’s Anatomy

Let’s review what the driving force behind each is, shall we?

  1. Violence. Death. Gross stuff. Really, really gross stuff.
  2. Sex. Quirky sex. Forbidden sex. And Sex.
  3. Violence. Death. Sex on the beach.
  4. Violence. Crime.
  5. Sex. Doctors doing gross stuff in operating rooms. Doctors having sex right after doing gross stuff in operating rooms.

Obviously, Americans are not as concerned with ‘decency’ as the FCC may like to believe. Perhaps it’s time to step off the soapbox and examine the real evidence: Americans want their sex, and their violence too.

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Well, the difference with the super bowl incident and the top 5 shows is the intent the viewer on watching the show. The top five list shows are directed toward adults who watch for the sex, violence, and gross stuff. The super bowl is more family oriented so all age groups were exposed to something that would usually be reserved for adults. I would say that was the problem the FCC had. I don’t think anyone could truly disagree with the fact that violence and sex or more or less the conerstone of television. That and comedy are the only reasons television is worth watching.

After saying that I still disagree with the MTV being penalized, becase like you I also think they are most qualified for the job.


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