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"Nipplegate" controversy at the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show

October 22, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

A singular event occurred during the halftime show of the Super Bowl on February 1, 2004. While performing a duet with Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake briefly exposed one of her breasts in what was later described as a “wardrobe malfunction.” The performance was airing live all around the world—an estimated 143.6 million people tuned in for all or some of the broadcast —and coincided with the rise of digital video recording and internet technology, as well as a national discussion about technology’s impact on children. As such, “Nipplegate” became one of the most-viewed, most-searched-for, and most-talked-about moments in the history of the internet.

Jackson and Timberlake, along with Jessica Simpson, P. Diddy, Nelly and Kid Rock, performed a lavishly-produced medley of songs. Halftime shows were traditionally conservative affairs, featuring marching bands and family-friendly music, but this changed in the 1990s. Jackson’s brother, the iconic pop star Michael Jackson, had played the halftime show in 1993, proving to the NFL and television executives that high-powered pop performances could dramatically increase ratings and ad revenue.

During the final song, “Rock Your Body,” Timberlake and Jackson danced suggestively. They claimed that the show was supposed to culminate in Timberlake ripping off Jackson’s bodice to reveal her red lace bra as he sang the final line, which included the lyric, “Bet I’ll have you naked by the end of this song.” Instead, the bra fell away with the rest of the bustier, and the prophecy of the lyrics was fulfilled.

Jackson immediately moved to cover herself up, and CBS immediately cut away; her breast was exposed on television for less than a second. Many speculated, and continue to assert, that either Timberlake, Timberlake and Jackson acting together, or the event’s producers themselves had exposed her breast on purpose as a publicity stunt.

The Federal Communications Commission received 540,000 complaints about the incident, 65,000 of which came from a single organization, the Parents Television Council. Coming as it did at a time when the right-wing “family values” movement was still a major presence in American culture, and amid a growing paranoia that the internet and mass media were exposing children to inappropriate content, “Nipplegate” caused a sensation that lasted months. Viacom, CBS’ parent company, received the maximum fine the FCC could issue for such offenses, and paid $3.5 million to settle indecency complaints about the broadcast.

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Source: HISTORY

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How Are Socialism and Communism Different?

October 22, 2019 in History

By Sarah Pruitt

Though the terms are often used interchangeably, socialism and communism are different in key ways.

Both …read more

Source: HISTORY

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President Trump Understands What Congress Does Not: Syria Is Not America's War

October 22, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Congress wouldn’t declare war or even approve presidential troop deployments in Syria. But sanctimonious legislators now are preening for the cameras, demanding that U.S. military force remain entangled in that tragic nation, seemingly forever. They show greater concern for foreign fighters acting in their own interest than for American soldiers, as well as civilians who have suffered from blowback to Washington’s succession of Middle Eastern wars.

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It needs to be said bluntly: Syria doesn’t matter for U.S. security. The Assad family has ruled Syria since 1971. The regime was allied with the Soviet Union during the Cold War but never attacked America. After steady losses, the Assads even abandoned war with Israel. Rule by father and son has been brutal — like those of assorted American friends: Mubarak, el-Sisi, the Saudi royal family, Bahrain’s al-Khalifas, Iran’s Shah Pahlavi, and even Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, when he was fighting Tehran.

Syria’s implosion in 2011 only added to the humanitarian tragedy. The Obama administration’s determination to oust President Bashar al-Assad discouraged both sides from negotiating. Yet Syrians, especially among minority Christians and Alawites, warned, à la Louis XV, “après moi, le déluge.” On a visit to Syria last year an Alawite told me that supposedly democratic protesters were chanting “Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave.” Religious minorities saw the horrors unleashed when the U.S. ousted a secular dictator next door in Iraq and understandably feared a repeat.

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The administration’s efforts were hopelessly ineffective, incompetent, confused, and contradictory. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent to train a handful of supposedly moderate insurgents who were promptly killed or captured. The U.S. simultaneously sought to destroy ISIS and its main enemy, the Syrian state. Washington assumed that it could dictate events from thousands of miles away, somehow ousting Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia, which all were invited in by Damascus to defend interests far more pressing to them than those claimed by U.S. officials.

Even worse, both the Obama and Trump administrations believed they could pacify …read more

Source: OP-EDS