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November 17, 2004

JUST SAW JEFF JARVIS ON AARON BROWN, debating Rebecca Hagelin of Heritage regarding broadcast indecency and the Nicolette Sheridan Monday Night Football commercial.

I saw the commercial for the first time in that broadcast, and I have to say that it was an absolute disgrace, and that it should not have been allowed to air. It didn't show nearly enough of Nicolette Sheridan to justify all the hoopla, and that's a tragedy because, despite her perhaps overdone plastic surgery, she's still hot.

The Aaron Brown show was good TV, though. Although I've chastised Jeff in the past for making the FCC's indecency crusade -- which, remember, has been led by a Democrat -- into some sort of Bush/Religious Right campaign, he's refined his approach since. As I've said before, I'd be happy to lose the broadcast indecency standards, which have no First Amendment basis. I have to say, though, that if you have standards at all I'm not shocked to see the Howard Stern and Janet Jackson complaints. (The Sheridan spot, however, really did seem quite tame and I don't understand the fuss.)

Jeff also made a good move by in essence accusing Hagelin of being anti-American -- he said there's nothing evil or raunchy about American culture. Nice rhetorical move, and basically a good point.

To me, though, the whole debate seems a bit surreal. Broadcast TV is rapidly diminishing in importance, and broadcast radio isn't far behind. It's not yet like debating buggy-whip design, but it's heading that way.

UPDATE: Reader Chuck Pelto doesn't like this post:

All of our 'best' television glamorizes adultery. There's nothing higher in our culture than sex. Nothing at all.

And just what denomination of "christian" are you? I want to make sure I avoid that particular group. They've got serious problems if you are representative of their beliefs.

I'm a Presbyterian. But I'm not very happy with the growing antisemitism I see in the leadership.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Perhaps the real sacrilege here was against football. Reader Sam Lindsey emails:

Actually, I didn’t see the promo when it aired, just replays. I agree with you that she is still hot. However, I thought the spot was notable for its tastelessness; if I want to see sexy sluts, I will tune to “Desperate Housewives”; when I want to watch football, I want to see football, not a mix of the two.

By the way, I think everyone is complaining to the wrong person; complain to the NFL, not the FCC.

That last point is a good one.