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CBS Feels the Heat in Idiotic Janet Hearings

WASHINGTON – It was suits vs. sex in Congress yesterday, where NFL and TV execs were called on the turf for a public sacking over the Janet Jackson nipplegate scandal.

The owner of CBS, Viacom President Mel Karmazin, said he was shocked and surprised by the Super Bowl halftime show that ended with Jackson’s right breast flopping out.

NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue labeled the crotch-grabbing MTV-run halftime show “perverse” and said that he felt like he had “been kicked in the stomach” as he watched. But he acknowledged it may have been reckless to let MTV, which also is owned by Viacom, produce the halftime show.

“I feel like we gave the keys to the car to someone else to drive without assurances that they knew how to drive safely,” he told the House telecommunications panel. “The car crashed.”

Karmazin was a little less contrite. “I would not have picked these songs. I would’ve had Andy Williams,” he said. But of the dirty bump-and-grind, he added, “I am told that’s the way adults are dancing today, the younger demographic.”

Karmazin insisted the breast-baring scheme was cooked up by Jackson and her performance partner, Justin Timberlake, but one congresswoman said he is still to blame.

“You knew what you were doing. You knew what kind of entertainment you were selling,” said Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.). “It improved your ratings, your market share, and it lines your pockets.”

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell labeled the show a “new low” in prime-time TV.

He hinted the FCC is going to throw the book at broadcasters who violate decency laws.

Asked whether Viacom will be punished with a record fine, he told the Daily News, “It’s an investigation, and I can’t say just yet.”

 

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