Ten Things: Tits

Or: The Puritanical Streak in This Country Makes Me Want to Bare My Breasts

1. When Janet Jackson flashed her tit (singular) on national television during a championship professional football game, she was ‘excused’ from the Grammys, forced to apologize twice and excoriated in the press for bringing the overall moral decency level of a country currently fighting a war that no one apparently knows the real reason for to a new low. When Diane Keaton showed her tits (plural) in the motion picture Something’s Gotta Give (rated PG-13), she received a nomination for best actress in a motion picture from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science, AKA an Oscar®, the highest award within her chosen field.
2a. When Janet Jackson flashed her tit on national television, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Michael Powell, called for an immediate investigation into the matter, calling the act a “classless, crass and deplorable stunt,” further adding that he was “personally offended by the entire production.” Death toll: 0. Time between the act in question and the launch of a federal investigation: 1 day.
2b. When, repeatedly, the White House was asked to provide proof of the weapons of mass destruction it claimed that the nation of Iraq was stockpiling and which it used as the reason for an invasion currently costing the United States approximately $5.5billion per month with an overall cost projected by the Pentagon to hit $100billion, and it turned out that the claims of WMD in Iraq were fabricated, the President called for an investigation into the matter. Death toll: 5,000 to 10,000 Iraqi civilians, 500+ U.S. Troops. Time between the act in question and the launch of a federal investigation: 10 months and counting.


3. Digital Video Recorder manufacturer TiVo reported that the “wardrobe malfunction” was the most replayed moment ever measured by the company. Viewership spiked 180%, attracting twice as many repeated viewings as any other portion of the game or its commercial breaks.
4. Janet Jackson’s breast has become the most searched-for image in the history of the Internet. Janet Jackson’s breast is more popular than September 11th, Paris Hilton Sex Tape, and Britney Spears. By Wednesday, February 4, three days after the breast exposure event, 20% of all search terms on Yahoo included “Janet Jackson.” Google searches for Janet Jackson on the day following Appocatits Now increased by a factor of 10.
5. In order to improve her singing abilities and, apparently, improve her Internet search statistics, Britney Spears has had three boob jobs in as many years.
6. In light of Janet’s nipple, the Laguna Beach Unified School District has cancelled an MTV reality series based around the lives of high school students at an O.C. school. Citing ‘opposition from angry parents’ who didn’t seem the slightest bit upset that Britney tongued Madonna just last year, the district will now forfeit the $12,000 to $40,000 (plus royalties) for college scholarships it would have made on the deal. That is one expensive nipple.
7. Nipplegate has resulted in time-delayed broadcasts of the Grammys and the Oscars. Janet’s breast was exposed for approximately one second during the Super Bowl telecast. CBS is planning a 10-second delay on the Grammys to avoid the exposure of up to ten nipples. The Oscars, to be telecast on ABC, will institute a 5-nipple delay, a first for the movie awards.
8. Janet’s nipple is apparently toxic to some Super Bowl advertisers. Even though the bared breast is one of America’s highest-rated televised events, exclusive halftime show sponsor America Online, a haven for chat room lotharios, is reportedly demanding a partial or total refund of the $10million it paid for the rights. Other sponsors are reportedly considering demands for refunds as well, rather than be associated with a woman’s exposed breast. Gillette chairman Jim Kilts even sent a letter to the NFL labeling the Janet & Justin Show an “affront to values, decency, ethics and a family-oriented environment.” Gillette paid for one minute ($4.6million) of advertising during the broadcast, or 59 seconds more than Janet’s breast.
9. Terri Carlin, a 47-year old female bank clerk from Knoxville, Tennessee, has launched a civil suit against Jackson, Justin Timberlake, CBS, network owner Viacom and event organizer MTV on behalf of herself and “all American citizens who watched the outrageous conduct,” because she could not turn away from the carnage in time to save herself from being eternally damaged by the sight of another woman’s exposed breast. While the amount cited in the suit is “in excess of $75,000,” compensatory and punitive damages caused by the “outrage, anger, embarrassment and serious injury” caused by seeing a nipple for one second in a longshot at the end of a halftime show should not exceed the gross revenues of all defendants for the past three years, in other words—billions of dollars.
10. Breasts, Tits or Jugs? A Primer

February 6, 2004

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