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Parents Television Council - Because Our Children Are Watching


Press Release

February 2, 2004

PTC Outraged with CBS' Raunchy Super Bowl

CBS Reaches New Low with Bare-Breasted Half-Time

Hollywood, CA-Today the Parents Television Council expressed its outrage over the lack of responsibility that CBS demonstrated during last night's broadcast of the Super Bowl.  The PTC, with 850,000 members nationwide, has filed an indecency complaint with the Federal Communications Commission. The PTC will also ask the FCC to levy a hefty fine for every affiliate that aired the egregious half-time show.

The following is a statement from PTC President Brent Bozell:

"Despite promises from MTV that the live half-time show would feature something outlandish, CBS took no steps to prevent Justin Timberlake from exposing the breast of mega-pop-star Janet Jackson during the live performance. The performance, including the offensive material, was obviously scripted. In fact Jackson's people promised that there would be "shocking moments" in the performance. We find Justin Timberlake's apology and explanation to be dishonest and disingenuous.

"We do not accept the apology of CBS, nor do we accept the statements of regret by MTV. It is absolutely reckless for CBS to claim that it had no prior knowledge that such activity was likely to take place. MTV is known for exactly this type of conduct. MTV and CBS are both owned by Viacom. Whether or not CBS executives did or did not know in advance is irrelevant; Viacom executives had the duty to know.

"To those who insist that a parent's sole remedy for such filth is to simply "turn the channel," we ask this: Does this mean that parents shouldn't allow their children to watch football games anymore?

"Advertisers who bankrolled this insult to every parent, every woman and every child in America, deserve to have their money refunded in full by CBS. And in fact every advertiser deserves to have their sponsorship dollars refunded in full so long as indecent material is included in live network television programming. Perhaps then the networks will take broadcast decency standards seriously.

"The FCC is absolutely correct to launch an immediate investigation into yesterday's live broadcast of the Super Bowl. Chairman Michael Powell accurately stated that "Our nation's children, parents and citizens deserve better." We urge the FCC to leave no stone unturned in its investigation. We urge the FCC to find notices of apparent liability. We urge the FCC to impose the maximum fine allowable under the law to every CBS affiliate airing this offense. And we urge the FCC to consider license revocation as a real option should this outrage ever be repeated."

Related Articles

FCC Chairman Powell Calls Super Bowl Halftime Show A "Classless, Crass, Deplorable Stunt." Opens Investigation.
Powell Statement: Word | Acrobat

Commissioner Abernathy Expresses Dismay Over Super Bowl Half-time Show. Abernathy Statement: Word | Acrobat

- According to the preliminary Nielsen results, the Super Bowl averaged a 22 rating among kids 6 to 11 at the game’s midpoint, right around the time that Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed during her halftime duet with Justin Timberlake. Among teens, the coverage was averaging a 27 rating.

- In the wake of Infinity’s indecency fine for the St. Patrick’s "Sex in the Cathedral" radio stunt, the FCC has said that future violations by the company-Viacom owns Infinity, CBS and MTV, which produced the halftime show-could prompt a license revocation proceeding.

The Parents Television Council was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has over one million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.

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