From the “Misunderstanding the Way the World Works” File

The BBC reports:  Miley Cyrus MTV performance draws complaints.

From the piece:

The Parents Television Council (PTC) issued a complaint against the channel over the 20-year-old’s routine, which saw her dance suggestively in a nude bikini with singer Robin Thicke.

It argued the show should not have been rated as suitable for 14 year olds, adding: "Heads should roll at MTV."

Given that this is more attention that MTV, the VMA, or, for that matter, Miley Cyrus has received in some time, I expect that heads will most certainly not be rolling at MTV.

To wit:

Cyrus appears to be unaffected by the criticism, tweeting: "My VMA performance had 306,000 tweets per minute. That’s more than the blackout or Superbowl!"

Music industry sources say the former Disney star can expect a sales boost of between 10 and 20% as a result.

The best description I have seen of this was by a colleague of mine, Scott Nokes, on FB:

If I am to understand the images I’ve seen on the interwebs, Beetlejuice and a teddy bear opened a rather gross and untalented strip club.

I finally watch the video, which is truly one of the stranger things I have seen in a while. I am not sure what to say about the teddy bear imagery (or, really, any of it).

However, am I shocked to find such things at an MTV awards show?  I think not.

Amusing side note to the complaint from the PTC:  “Miley’s father Billy Ray Cyrus is among those on the PTC’s advisory board.”

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Popular Culture, , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Tony W says:

    Music industry sources say the former Disney star can expect a sales boost of between 10 and 20% as a result.

    Libertarians Rejoice!

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    What nobody is talking about is that this is just the latest example of a very messed up adult coming out of the “Mouse Factory.” Think Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.

  3. Apl says:

    I watched this show and over all it was only fair in my opinion.
    I do not think The Miley Cyrus performance was entertaining
    or well performed. This is what is wrong with our Society today.
    Far too many shocking and gross uncalled for actions by our
    youth just to get attention and make money. How do you as
    parents think this affects our children? This would be Banned
    when I was growing up. Again, only my opinion.

  4. Anderson says:

    @Apl: just maybe, the parents should be “parenting” their children instead of letting them watch whatever they want on TV?

    And if the parents can’t be bothered, why should they expect MTV to care more about their children than they themselves do?

  5. PD Shaw says:

    The complaint is about MTV rating the program TV-14, i.e. “contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age.” Whatever you think about the appropriateness of the material and the rating system, the v-chip system is pretty much the bedrock of the compromise between concerns over child access to inappropriate content and first amendment expression.

    I’ve not seen it, nor want to, but sounds like the material was more for 17 and up.

  6. wr says:

    I’m afraid this is at least partially my fault. I gave Billy Ray Cyrus his first acting job. If it hadn’t been for that, who knows — maybe he would have retired happily to Laughlin and the world would never have seen Miley…

  7. ernieyeball says:

    The Internet is a wonderfull creation.
    Per google answers:

    The quote may have come from Plato’s Republic Book 4, where Socrates
    is quoted saying the following regarding things that he thinks have
    been neglected: “I mean such things as these: ? when the young are to
    be silent before their elders; how they are to show respect to them by
    standing and making them sit; what honour is due to parents; what
    garments or shoes are to be worn; the mode of dressing the hair;
    deportment and manners in general. You would agree with me? ? Yes.”

    The Greek philosopher Plato studied under Socrates. Plato complained
    about the youth of the day, also. “What is happening to our young
    people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They
    ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions.
    Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?” I think this is
    a direct quote, but can’t find the reference at the moment.

    Here’s another one:
    “I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on
    frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond
    words… When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and
    respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise
    [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint” (Hesiod, 8th century BC).

    And more recently:
    Kids from Bye Bye Birdie

    Why can’t they be like we were, Perfect in every way?

  8. Franklin says:

    @wr: LOL, is this true?

  9. MarkedMan says:

    What was all that with her tongue? Very unsettling. Like a cringe-bad SNL skit.

  10. al-Ameda says:

    More evidence that Disney runs the busiest Casting Couch in Hollywood.

  11. rudderpedals says:

    @MarkedMan: She was channeling Gene Simmons?

  12. Trumwill says:

    The complaint, as outlined by PD Shaw, sounds pretty reasonable.

  13. ernieyeball says:

    They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Plato

    Apparently I have been wrong all along. The ancients could predict the future!
    See Wild in the Streets (1968)

  14. Tyrell says:

    @PD Shaw: I would say that this so called “entertainment” was for no one of any age. It should be only on some pay for view station and maybe not even then. I thought the FCC was going to control things like this. There was not any warnings about this kind of behavior. Is this the result of some US Supreme Court ruling? I am tempted to take the tv and throw it in the garbage where it belongs. I am going to try and block every channel except cartoons, family programming, public broadcasting, History and Discovery Channel, RFD, and Speed Channel. I would not want children to be around and happen to see stuff like what was on the other night. Now some of the news networks (CNN) are showing it over and over. Shameless ratings strategies. Mr. Turner would never have allowed that.

  15. wr says:
  16. Franklin says:

    The problem with Apl’s and Tyrell’s response is they act like this is something new. I was raised in the age of Madonna. She was “shocking” in the same way. My understanding is that Elvis gyrated his hips even earlier than that. There’s nothing new here. The people calling it “news” and the people consuming said “news” are the problem, if there is actually even a problem here.

    In the meantime, we’re apparently going to be taking military action. Oops, that’s nothing new either.

  17. @Tyrell: I sincerely ask: is your response sincere or meant to be satire?

  18. NickTamere says:

    @wr: for a second there I thought “holy crap! David Lynch is posting here!”

    Then i realized that I do’t have to spend hours googling the hidden meaning of your comments and figured you weren’t him…..

  19. ernieyeball says:

    @Franklin: Elvis the Pelvis. Ed Sullivan 1956. I was 8 years old.

    Although at first Ed Sullivan said he would never want Elvis on his show, Sullivan changed his mind when The Steve Allen Show with Elvis as a guest had about twice as many viewers as Sullivan’s show that night (they were competing for the same audience since they were in the same time slot).

    Honestly don’t remember which (if any) of these broadcasts I saw.
    What shocked me was my mom’s take on all this. “I hate Elvis Presely.” she said.
    “But mom.” I said, “I thought Jesus wanted us to love everyone?”
    Don’t recall if she had an answer to that.
    That may have been a very early start of me “Losing my Religion.”

  20. ernieyeball says:

    @Tyrell: Shameless ratings strategies.

    The History Channel more or less abandoned the pretext of history years ago. As programs like “UFO Hunters”, “Swamp People” and “Hairy Bikers” added up, the network’s decision to broadcast The Bible as a mini-series seemed like an obvious disaster. It is, too, in all ways except one: ratings. The scriptures according to basic cable don’t purport to be historical, but they’re about as bad and cynical as TV can be.

  21. David in KC says:

    @ernieyeball: The number of channels that no longer resemble their name continues to grow, TLC, History, A&E are the ones that I really miss when they were actually what they said they were. Hell, even MTV doesn’t do videos much anymore, think they have them on early in the morning sometimes. History’s Military Channel is somewhat better than the main one, in that it stays true for the most part. Science channel seems to go in spurts of good stuff and crappy reality/and/or/bizarre alien stuff.

  22. ernieyeball says:

    @David in KC: My TV at home doesn’t get any channels. Never made the transition to digital broadcast. All I use it for is DVD’s.
    Don’t remember if it was A+E, History or Discovery many years go that showed a woman with her head wrapped in a scarf and wearing very dark large lens sunglasses on the screen. The only credentials provided for her was “Psychic”. She was the authority for what ever the subject matter was on that show. I pretty much gave up on that channel then.
    I do watch many hours of TV, mostly sports (Go Bears!), at the local Buffalo Wild Wings and other multi screen resturants.
    About the only thing that would get me to fire up the Direct TV again, (CATV is not available on my private road) would be a replay of the ThrillBillys episode that featured the Rocket Toilet. I can’t find it anywhere on the Fuel TV website.
    Everything else I get via the ‘net or the radio.

  23. @David in KC: Cue the song “1985” by Bowling for Soup?

  24. Tony W says:

    @ernieyeball: +1 on cutting the cable. We have not supported these folks financially for many years and have not looked back.

  25. ernieyeball says:

    @Tony W: I did not “cut” the cable. As I stated, it is not available on my private road. If the facilities were there I might be using it.

  26. Tyrell says:

    @ernieyeball: As long as I can get “Gunsmoke” I am set.

  27. Matt says:

    @MarkedMan: I think she’s trying desperately to make it her trademark thing like gene simmons and his tongue for example.

    Personally I think she’s trying waaay to hard to show the world that she’s “grown up”. In the end she’s just proving how immature she really is.

    Whoever let her out there with that outfit must hate her. With how flabby her ass is she should of went with boy shorts or something.

  28. ernieyeball says:

    Everyone likes a little ass…Nobody likes a smart flabby ass…