U.S. Breast Freak-Out -

An International Perspective

From e-mail:

I can't believe how people in the United States freaked out over a breast being exposed for a fraction of a second on national TV. [Janet Jackson in Super Bowl halftime, 2004].

My God, with people being murdered every day in your country, with so many of your people without homes or jobs, with all the drugs, and your media concentrate day after day on that!

Do you have any idea of how much other countries are laughing at you? If there was any doubt that people in the United States have their values all screwed up, that definitely settles the question.

The FCC in the United States received 450,000 complaints from viewers after this happened.

Do we have any idea of how other countries viewed this? Yes, here's a small sample.

From a major paper in Europe:

We, the poorly informed old Europeans, wouldn't have realized that Jackson's breast was a more important issue that Iraq's missing weapons of mass destruction. But the U.S. media is covering the breast-baring incident like the story of the century, repeatedly showing Jackson clinching at her chest, just in case a single American missed the "contaminating image."

From Munich:

What's particularly hard for Europeans to grasp is a moral standard that allows every Uzi and explosion to be shown but--for God's sake--no breast.

From a major London newspaper:

There's no comprehending the 'uptight yanks,' ...in most of Europe bear breasts can be seen on TV in the middle of the day...but in America, even a two-second "boob flash" is grounds for a national meltdown.

>> July 19, 2008 update.  An appeals court today threw out the $500,000 FCC fine against CBS for allowing this 9/16th of a second incident to air. Although the FCC fine originally placated many viewers, by 2008 even many conservative organizations said they thought the half-million dollar fine was irrational.

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