A lot of responsibility, being avant garde, cutting edge, and just too damn sexy for your shirt. Being a pop star now days not only involves the requisite provocations, can’t let your talent stand on it’s own, but certain signed documents are necessary stating that if you are going to be a dick or a buffoon, open up your wallet:

M.I.A.’s Super Bowl middle finger could potentially cost her in a big way. TMZ reports that if the NFL is fined by the FCC, M.I.A. will be responsible for the payment.
According to TMZ, M.I.A. signed a contract with the NFL in which “M.I.A. agreed to indemnify the NFL for any money it might be forced to pay if the FCC comes down on the Peacock Network [NBC].”
In 2004, NBC was charged $550,000 by the FCC, for Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction,” but the fine was dropped in appellate court.

About time, narrowing down culpability to only punish the sinner, makes sense to me.

We can take this any direction you like:

1)Do we need an FCC telling us what is and what is not acceptable of nation broadcast TV?………….My own opinion, yes, we do, more on that in a bit.
2)Any comments on the half time show in general, I assume everyone watched it.
3)Why are pop stars so insecure, and lacking in self confidence and their own ability to entertain that they need a crutch/prop of controversy to make them relevant?
4)Are these contracts necessary and should the networks fit the bill for any shenanigans done by their hired performers?

Let me talk a bit about the halftime show. Understand that this is not my generation (although Madonna probably is, as old a she is) so I don’t follow pop culture and hadn’t a clue who MIA, Ce Low, or any of those other people are, but I really enjoyed her performance and the half time show in general. I don’t diss people because it would seem hip or cool to do so, so I had no real opinion on Madonna since I don’t (and never have) listened to her music, and many of those songs were brand new to me. But I read somewhere last week that she was more nervous for this performance then any others because she understood the pageantry, precedence, and the royalty of SB performances and she was going to make the effort. I think she did fine. I especially liked that last gospel style song with Ce Low (I was wondering who that bald/fat guy was), maybe because I like gospel music anyway, but in general, I thought she hit it out of the park.

Here’s a dumb question, I got the distinct impression that she was lip syncing most of that, anybody know for sure and is this common?

A few words on the FCC, when the Janet Jackson kerfuffle came out I wrote post on it and had a knock down/drag out with MW, not only on the fine but the role of the FCC in policing the airwaves. He wanted total freedom in all and everything networks put on the tube, leaving up to the viewer (or parent of the viewer) to make the call and switch channels if they found the content offensive.
With the advent of paid programming (HBO, Showtime, etc) people are given more choices (which I am all for) in their programming and their ability to find something worth watching, no small feat these days. But premium cable television networks are not bound by the same rules by the FCC, for obvious reasons. They are bound by rules of proper labeling, they are to adhere to the mandates of the TV ratings system, giving their viewers a heads up on the type of show that is about to air.

I remember the NYPD Blue flap over the partial nudity scenes (jesus, how many times do we need to see Sipiwitz’s naked butt?), them pushing the boundaries got them big ratings. The Charlotte Ross/shower scene got them the biggest fine. ABC officials made it clear that the fines were worth it because of the ratings they got and the money they could charge for ads. ABC could have moved the show to the 10pm slot (that made up ceiling for when the kiddies should be in bed and the adult can get titillated) but they chose not to. And ABC got the last laugh in the process.

I have no problem with standards in broadcasting, parents have a right to leave their kids in front of a SB half time show (or a regular broadcast network show aired before 10pm) and be confident that no nudity/profanity, or disturbing images will be aired.

I guess another question would be, is “The Finger” so disturbing or profane that fines are even necessary? On a scale or degree of outrage, this seems miner to be then say a beaver shot, naked breasts, a decapitation on air, or some choice f bombs strategically placed.

Comments are closed.

  1. Seattle Outcast

    I’ll take the view that the FCC could be done away with almost entirely. It doesn’t really serve much purpose to begin with, the arbitrary nature of the “decency” as applied by the government is facing challenge after challenge, and the very intrusiveness of the FCC into our lives as an obnoxious parental figure that you outgrew decades ago is, at the very least, insulting.

    As for assigning broadcast frequencies, you most certainly don’t need much government oversight for that. Others do quite well without it from what I have read in the past year.

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  2. richtaylor365 *

    Hoho, what happened? You were doing so well there for a while. But lately you have reverted back to your normal drug addled, sophomoric rants that are convoluted beyond coherence. Come on, you can do better if you really try.

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  3. hist_ed

    1) no
    2) Didn’t watch, I don;t like football and don’t like watching sports in general unless I know someone who is playing.
    3) I think that MTV created a generation where appearance (including actions) became as important as music. While I appreciate some energy in a performance (I saw The Cars once in the late 80s-they really sucked- barely moved from their mike stands and played every song as close as possible to the record), when the dance routines and costume changes become so vital I think the performers have gone from concert to theater.
    4) Anyone who willingly enter into a contract should be bound by its provisions. If I ran a network, I’d have the same type of thing. In fact, I’d put a clause in that says the performer had to pay the network twice whatever fine was imposed.

    And Madonna has always lip synched-she has defended herself by saying that she is such an athlete in her performances that she needs to. I think anyone who pays to see someone lip synch is an idiot.

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  4. Mississippi Yankee

    $550,000 is chump change for American pop idols slavishly adored and worshiped by generic Americans who don’t give a #%#$% #$ about no fag ass morals, $%#%$#% and rush to download MIA off the Web cuz she bad, yo, word.

    1) She is not an American pop idol. She’s a Brit and that fact sorts negates her “it was adrenaline and nerves” defense. The finger is an American gesture, the UK has it’s own equivalent.

    2) Simply because the tiniest ray of limelight was stolen from Madonna miss M.I.A.’s career has effectively ended. Super-egos like the Material Girl don’t play dat shit. Any FCC fine will just be collateral damage to the appropriately named MIA.

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  5. Section8

    I think this is way overdone. A few people actually noticed at the time, and when one of those few put it in a still photo on the Internet is when everyone freaked out (maybe regulate that to death instead). I bet if anyone watches close enough for a season they can catch a few shots of the coaches mouthing some not so nice things, and if made headline discussion, one could call for banning the NFL altogether.

    If she sucks, people will stop listening to her. If they’re offended they’ll stop listening to her. If not, then she goes on to do what she thinks will get the attention. That’s her choice and those who bother paying attention to her.

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