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Wardrobe Malfunction Case
                                        Still in Court by Stan Silliman
                                        humor sports comedy cartoons


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
Wardrobe Malfunction Case Still in Court

On November 2, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for CBS and against the FCC on Nipplegate from the 2004 Super Bowl.  

Can you believe this, eight years later and Janet Jackson’s nipple is still in court?  Talk about the legal system milking it for all it’s worth. This case had a longer shelf life than any of Janet’s albums.

Between Janet’s nipple and Michael’s penis, Jackson family body parts spent more time in court than Justice Thomas. Don’t believe me? When the case went to the Supreme Court in 2009, Clarence Thomas was on vacation… and mad. He wanted to see the evidence.

The court ruled 9/16 of a second of nip slippage didn’t warrant the $ 550,000 fine the FCC levied. I don’t know about the FCC but to many it was a traumatic experience. My little niece was so traumatized she still can’t drink chocolate milk.

For anyone who was at the Super Bowl in 2004 when the Patriots played the Panthers, Janet’s nipple wasn’t even the most offensive thing during the halftime. A streaker named Mark Roberts ran naked around the field with the words “SUPER BOWEL” written on the front side of his body, an ad for a gambling website on his back and a miniature football covering his genitals.  Players from both teams chased him before finally tackling him. The offensive part: an overweight middle-aged naked guy ran thirty yards before pro football players could tackle him.

Wardrobe Malfunction Case Still in
                              Court by Stan Silliman humor sports comedy
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Yes, we think the incident was intentional, even though Janet insists it wasn’t. Too many things say otherwise. It fit the last line of Justin Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body” song which went “I’m going to have you naked by the end of this song.” Possibly, neither CBS nor MTV (the producer of the halftime show) knew what was going to happen. And what did happen was totally ironic in this way:  MTV was involved for political purposes in that it was a vehicle to encourage young people to get out the vote. Instead, Nipplegate sparked enough controversy George Bush used “moral values” and “media decency” as vehicles to ride home on the election.  

Interested in the aftermath? It appears CBS won’t have to pay the $ 550,000 fine. We’re sure they’ll be comforted in that fact after doling out $ 6.5 million in attorney fees. By the way, based on seconds of nipple exposure, their legal fees amounted to $ 12 million per second.  Janet Jackson’s career took a nose dive. She still made albums but sales were lackluster, with singles failing to break the Top 40 when previously she had ten number one records. Janet went on to mock her incident on Letterman and SNL. In one SNL skit she portrayed Condi Rice answering questions with wardrobe malfunctions. Justin Timberlake’s career fared much better. He won two Grammys in 2004, had a number one album in 2006, became the most popular host on SNL and launched a movie career.

What does all this prove? 1) A double-standard. If a cute white guy helps a lady disrobe, it boosts his career. 2) If MTV thinks they can affect our political system, they’re wrong and 3) Our court system is as slow as molasses.


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