Sunday, February 10, 2013

CBS: The Grammys Cover Up

CBS is determined to avoid any "wardrobe malfunction" during tonight's telecast of The Grammys.  Entertainment news has reported the "no breasts, butts or private parts" orders from the network for performers who will be onstage.  That just makes me chuckle.  This is the same network that gave us Richard Hatch on Survivor.  Remember him?
He embraced the "Undress for Success" code and became the big winner.  Millions of TV viewers remember him as the guy who walked around naked on Survivor.  In prime time.
The Ghost of Grammys Past could show us Jennifer Lopez onstage in that dress.
Women have worn more clothing in a doctor's office waiting for a mammogram.  JLo was on CBS.  Remember Howard Stern as Fartman on the Video Music Awards on MTV?
Remember Madonna and Britney Spears during the Video Music Awards on MTV?
MTV and VH1 (where I spent three of the happiest years of my TV career) and CBS are under the same corporate umbrella.  Madonna did go on CBS late night, The David Letterman Show, and dropped the F-bomb a record-breaking number of times in that one sit-down chat.  In March 1994, she got on CBS TV and said "f**k" thirteen times in her guest appearance.  I had a couple of drinks at a club one night with actor Harvey Keitel.  He didn't say the f-word that many times -- and we were drinking Scotch.  This was all before Madonna became British and started writing children's books.
But it wasn't until the Super Bowl Half Time show in 2004 when the tit really hit the fan.  Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performed a piece of risky business that was later explained in a term now part of our pop culture-speak:  "wardrobe malfunction."
I thought Conservatives were going to take Janet Jackson out and burn her as a witch.  I have my own personal theory on her whole FCC and CBS drama.  I was, I'm pretty sure, one of the few heterosexually-challenged men in New York City's Chelsea area who kept his TV on to all the CBS pre-game shows and festivities.  At one point, the group of network sports anchors and commentators were making their predictions and what-not. Then one announced that they had a special surprise guest whom they were cutting to for a live interview.  The guest was ... President George W. Bush.  His appearance had not been promoted.  He was a surprise guest and talked about the game.  He also talked about how evil steroid use amongst athletes is -- and the sportscasters praised him for taking a public stand against steroids.  I thought there were bigger things to worry about ... but that's just me.  President Bush told us all he'd be watching the game.

And then comes Janet.  "Miss Jackson...if you're nasty."  I feel that's why it became such a hot issue.  Because President George W. Bush was on CBS live and told us he'd be watching the Super Bowl.  When Janet and Justin did their number, I was watching too.  The scandalous moment happened so quickly, I wasn't quite sure what it was.  Also, I didn't have my glasses on.  I saw this brown thing pop out for a second or two and I thought, "OK...does that mean six more weeks of winter or an early spring?"  Anyway, controversy ensued.  The network that seemed to be pushing us towards edginess was now feeling conservative backlash.  A few days ago, rock stars and actors were ordered to dress for The Grammys as if they're attending that music competition where the Von Trapps sing "Edelweiss" in The Sound of Music.  After years of letting well-paid music stars, movie stars and reality show celebrities act like unruly middle schoolers on national television, getting them to behave now may be as easy as duck hunting with a rake.

So, let's see if anyone tries to crack the new CBS dress code.  Or let's see what cuts of beef Lady Gaga will be wearing.  And let's hope the music is really jammin'.  That's the main reason why I watch.  It's all about the music.

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