10 February 2012

Another moral outrage failure for Bozell

Brent Bozell, founder of the Parents Television Council, finally has written a column condemning NBC over M.I.A. giving the middle finger during this year's Super Bowl halftime show: "Another Fleeting Failure for NBC". Of course it's predictable he'd be outraged, but this column is stilted in several ways. He opens: "Super Bowl XLVI was a good football game, marred once again by the bohemian elite at NBC." Well, the last time the "bohemian elite at NBC" played the Super Bowl (that was in 2009 with the Cardinals and Steelers and halftime with Bruce Springsteen...but I don't recall Bozell complaining that NBC had a commie pinko labor advocate perform!). I personally disagree and see this game more a carbon copy of the 2008 one with the same teams (Patriots and Giants) and a similar ending: Eli Manning with a last-minute winning drive and Tom Brady failing to reach the end zone as time runs out.

Of course after reporting how NBC couldn't blur out MIA's middle finger on time this conservative Christian activist must play the persecution card: "The same network skillfully edited God out of a clip of children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during last year's U.S. Open golf tournament." Funny how he dismisses complaints from Muslims about drawing Muhammad yet leaving God out of the Pledge of Allegiance (by the way the ORIGINAL Pledge didn't include "under God")!

First he misleads readers into thinking that M.I.A. used a similar routine from the halftime show in the music video:

While she was launching the obscene gesture, she was rapping, "I'm-a say this once, yeah I don't give a (S-word)." That's in the newly recorded Madonna song they were performing ("Give Me All Your Luvin'"), and it's also in the video. How does NBC not prepare for a bleep and a camera shift when it knows it's coming?
I rewatched and then noticed at 2:17 mark of the video (that's during Nicki Minaj's performance) M.I.A. had her middle finger up albeit with a bandage on the finger:

HOWEVER, during her rapping part of the song (including the "I don't give a..." line) she actually uses her index finger, as Bozell concedes: "In the Madonna video, [M.I.A.] points her fingers like a gun."

Concluding his column, Bozell dismisses Sasha Frere-Jones's criticism of the PTC (but Bozell didn't mention that the PTC declined to file complaints formally with the FCC): "[Frere-Jones] tried to be offended instead that the Super Bowl show featured 'ad after ad that likened women -- negatively -- to sofas, cars and candy.' He raised his middle fingers to 'anyone who thinks profanity is somehow more harmful to our children than images of violence and misogyny.'" Bozell lets his mindless authoritarianism get in the way of addressing the issue of misogynistic ads like the GoDaddy ads and the Teleflora ad featuring Adrianna Lima. Bozell has complained about media misogyny in the past (see "MTV, Both Sleazy and Sour" from Dec. 10, 2011; "Exploiting the Teen Temptress" from Dec. 18, 2010; "Moms vs. Hip-Hop" from Oct. 20, 2006). But somehow, Super Bowl ads get a free pass even if those blatantly objectifying messages reach millions of children. Where's Bozell's outrage? (I don't want to know where his hands were on Super Bowl Sunday.) Maybe football is such an obligately macho sport that you can't have it without the cheerleaders or woman-hating ads. Plus, apparently Bozell is more scared about kids who are scarred for life because of an unnoticeable middle finger! (Case in point, that middle finger registered so slowly in many people's eyes including to NBC's control room staff.)

Credit to post #18 on Free Republic's repost of Bozell's column: "M.I.A.'s bird-flipping is far less offensive to me than the behavior tolerated by the NFL of so many of their players." (Michael Vick, Donte Stallworth, Plaxico Burress, and other players with criminal records come to mind.)

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