Well, it’s happened. The suits have whipped out the “c-word” in response to the uber-boob and subsequent panic attack.
Yes, it’s true. If the FCC fines you for indecency, then the only result is, “a serious risk of chilling free speech.”
Okay everyone, deep breath. It was an inappropriate tit. Those responsible (and by that I mean Jackson, Timberlake, and MTV) should be fined and issue an apology. Then we can all move on. And trust me, we’d like to move on.
For those of you following along at home, moving on does NOT include freaking out, banning the owner of the aforementioned inappropriate tit from ever appearing live on tv again (OMG! Like, stone her!), putting kill switches all over every piece of live broadcasting equipment ever made, or declaring that a monetary penalty by the FCC is the Death of The First Amendment (OMG OMG OMGWTF!). Additionally, moving on does not include desperate finger pointing, baldfaced lying about how “shocked and appalled” you and your ENTIRE FAMILY were, and modelling the latest in hair shirts for the enjoyment of the ATONE NOW police.
Repeat after me: It was an inappropriate tit. A publicity stunt perpetrated by an aging sex symbol, a man-child desperate to one-up his ex on the “shocking” scale, and a broadcasting company so mired in sleaze that it never occurred to them that turning the Super Bowl into a titty bar might be a little over the top bad taste-wise.
Hey, networks? Pay the fines. Then dig deep and TRY to remember that while dropping the f-bomb on a bunch of eight year olds during prime time might be within the purview of free speech, it is certainly not within the purview of good taste and as such, you might need to pay a little cash to the FCC if you’re bound and determined to do it. If the thought of losing cash chills you, then it’s merely filling the role once played by self-restraint.