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February 7, 2005
The AP Misses The Point

The NFL delivered a much classier halftime show yesterday than its MTV-produced fiasco of last year, choosing the more elegant option of just having a truly talented singer perform instead of the crotch-grabbing bondagefest that climaxed in Justin Timberlake's pantomime rape that "inadvertently" released Janet Jackson's decorated breast. Somehow this seems to have offended David Bauder of the AP, whose satirical look at the performances of the acts before the game and Paul McCartney during halftime makes clear his preference for less mundane fare:

It was strange seeing the former Beatle, a bold and shocking performer for another generation, now presented as the sedate option. NFL censors were probably hoping the "California grass" reference in "Get Back" slipped by unnoticed, or figured people would think he was simply referring to a football field. ...

The closest thing to a wardrobe malfunction during all the performances were courtesy of country singer Gretchen Wilson's guitar player. His jeans had a strategically placed rip in the crotch. ...

Although with the NFL watching so closely, it's a wonder how Wilson's "Here For the Party" managed to slip through.

"Gonna have a little fun," she sang. "Gonna get me some."

One can almost hear the small voices in living rooms across the country: "Daddy, what does 'get me some' mean?"

I know Bauder can't be that dim, and so I can only assume that he wanted another MTV-produced shlockfest, where performers lip-synched while either gyrating while simulating masturbation, or lip-synching while simulating bondage-rape fantasies. Bauder would consider that relevant to the new generation. Apparently, having people with talent regardless of age actually play music and sing is just too old-fashioned for Bauder and the football fans of today.

Well, I disagree, and so did the fans of Jacksonville who showed up at the stadium. McCartney delivered what fans wanted to hear in a very short set -- his standards, the songs that made the world stand still for moments and against which Justin Timberlake is revealed as the substanceless nobody he is. Alicia Keys gave us a tremendous remembrance of Ray Charles with her remarkable voice, reminding us what a has-been a tired and semi-naked Janet Jackson has become.

Perhaps the Super Bowl entertainment lacked a certain amount of relevance. However, it had class and talent by the boatload, apparently two commodities that Bauder cannot recognize. If so, I recommend he continue to watch MTV and write on other topics.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 7, 2005 5:28 AM

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