I’m sure the blogosphere will be buzzing about the Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake incident at the Super Bowl halftime show. DRUDGE REPORT® has photographs and what it claims is the inside scoop:

Top CBS executives approved a musical skit where Janet Jackson would expose her breast during the MTV-produced Super Bowl half-time concert, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

“The decision to go forward went to the very top of the network,” a well-placed source explained from New York.

The groundbreaking scene came during the most-watched television broadcast of the year — and during the dinner hour for the nation’s west coast viewers.

Officially, CBS drew distance from the show: “CBS deeply regrets the incident that occurred during the Super Bowl halftime show,” the network said in a release. “We attended all rehearsals throughout the week and there was no indication that any such thing would happen. The moment did not conform to CBS broadcast standards and we would like to apologize to anyone who was offended.”


CBS’s main New York switchboard was immediately bombarded with complaints about the stunt, network sources said late Sunday.

The NFL claimed outrage over the stunt:

Statement by NFL Executive Vice President Joe Browne regarding the Super Bowl halftime show: “We were extremely disappointed by elements of the MTV-produced Halftime show. They were totally inconsistent with assurances our office was given about the show. It’s unlikely that MTV will produce another Super Bowl halftime.”

Frankly, I wish they’d just cancel these idiotic halftime spectacles. I can’t recall one of them that was enjoyable. Janet Jackson hasn’t had a hit record since Michael was black and Justin Timberlake is, as best I can tell, famous mainly for once having dated Britney Spears.

Update (1012 2-2): Timberlake’s take that this was an accident is rather absurd, unless we’re to believe Jackson routinely wears pasties under her clothing.

Timberlake said the flash was unintentional, calling the incident a “wardrobe malfunction.”

“I am sorry that anyone was offended,” Timberlake said in a statement. “It was not intentional and is regrettable.”

While CBS pleaded ignorance, Jackson had hinted last week that she was planning something outrageous.

A Jan. 28 story on MTV’s Web site promised “shocking moments” during her performance. MTV, which produced the halftime show, is owned by Viacom, CBS’s parent company.

Evidence–not work safe–in Extended Entry.

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. mark says:

    Justin Timberlake also rebounded from Britney with Janet, so it’s not like he saw something he has never seen before.

  2. mark says:

    As an aside, you really should make one of those photos an OTB Caption Contest. It would be priceless.

  3. Oh, yeah: CBS and the NFL will all exclaim that they are shocked – shocked! – to see a bare breast at halftime. Then they will examine the ratings, hear the buzz, count their millions and laugh at us idiots who keep tuning in to such crap, time after time after time.

  4. jen says:

    The last good halftime was U2 in 2002 – their tribute to 9/11/01 was great and to have the one artist/band for the whole halftime was good.

    Sadly, though it’s all about ratings and money – and the spectacle we saw tonight is what brings both in to the network.

  5. Paul says:

    I might have a naive question… But what is Drudge’s track record?

    Forget the fact that he hypes stuff. Hyping stuff does not make it wrong… How do most people think he stands on the actual facts on scoops like this?

    I don’t follow him that close but I don’t recall too many things like this he has been wrong on.

    Did I miss any biggies?

  6. Rodney Dill says:

    The bigger boob exposed Janet’s

  7. McGehee says:

    Guess the joke was on the people who paid to watch the Lingerie Bowl instead of sticking around for the free show.

    Seriously, though, I muted the sound and picked up a book during halftime. I usually do.

  8. Paul says:

    Seriously, though, I muted the sound and picked up a book during halftime. I usually do.

    heh- Another good reason to own a TiVo… I was watching Poker.

  9. furious says:

    D*mmmit! I went out to walk the beagle right when Ms. Jackson took the stage, and didn’t hear anything about this until this morning on CNBC…

    …anybody tape it, that I can borrow?

  10. Sam says:

    That closeup photo is pretty conclusive–Ms. Jackson is not wearing a pasty, but is sporting a “nipple shield”, which is basically a piece of jewelry held in place by a nipple piercing.

    So Mr. Timberlake may be telling the truth.

    BTW, I’ve got a HD recording of the Superbowl and you can’t tell what the shiny thing on her breast is from that.

  11. Julie says:

    For being an “accident”, he sure does have a good grasp of her corset in his hand……..

  12. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone notice the snaps around the cup on her corset? It was designed to be ripped off. Of course, they say there was supposed to be a red lacy cup underneath that… maybe Justing gripped too hard…..

  13. Anonymous says:

    It’s too grotesque to have been intentional. I’ve seen 70 year-olds with more photogenic tits than that!

  14. brad says:

    would have loved if he had removed both her boob covers and nipple covers. He should have then groped her tits to show that they were real.

  15. ryan says:

    not bad…. but she looks a little too much like her brother

  16. Tony says:

    It is just a tit. So what if your kid see’s one? They were just sucking on it a few years ago for nourishment. It amazes me how Americans get so bent out of shape over the exposed human body. mutilating it (violence), this seems to be ok for some reason.

  17. Matthijs says:

    Oh my god. I just love janet. She ones told in an interview, that she regulary has orgasms because her tight pants rub against her clit-piercing , but I wouldn’t have thouht that she’d be wearing a nipple shield. Thanks for sharring Janet!

    Matthijs (Netherlands)

  18. George says:

    Sure, CBS has no problem showing commercials with horse flatulations and dogs bitting someone’s balls, but a breast pops out and suddenly the FCC and NFL act like this one event will trigger armageddon?? What a load of shit.

  19. CT says:

    I hope the FCC nails CBS, MTV and Janet to the wall. Though I doubt the fines will be big enough to offset the profits they will gain. The act was totally inappropriate (even before the bared breast) for prime time TV airing the most watched event in the entire year. It’s bad enough that this stuff is all over MTV, but to bring their hypersexed crap to an arena filled with and broadcast to families with young children is completely ridiculous.

  20. Tara says:

    My Gawd!!! it was only a boob!! I don’t know how someone can be offended by a boob!

    take a look at the commercials they have out there. also have you ever watched an episode of NYPD Blue? geez! not to mention all the thongs and violence that’s shown on tv EVERY DAY! there is worse stuff on tv and nobody makes a fuss over it.

    I think people are overreacting!

  21. Anonymous says:

    yup you spams are really stupid, I mean getting upset at this is so PATHETIC.

  22. cX_GX says:

    omg children saw it, they’re gonna die… as if they never seen a breast when they were an infant. It’s just a breast people, we all know what they look like.

  23. i didn’t know they had football games in february

  24. Art says:

    This is NUTS. I guess P. Diddy didn’t have a snub nose pistol in his pants nor did any Football players take crack or juice and everyone in the stands were saints. Give it up. Go home. Worry about something else!

  25. pb says:

    This was similar to what happened some 5 years ago when Lucy Lawless (from Xena) sang the national anthem at a hockey game for the Ducks (Who are owned by Disney). Everybody said it’d be the end of TV, everybody made a small fuss over it, but a month later, nobody really remembered it.

    Considering this was the superbowl, I give it 2 months. But things will go back to normal. For all you who are offended: that’s the risk you take when you open your eyes and/or listen in to a conversation. You might see/hear something you don’t like. It’s part of life, get over it. Intentional or not, who cares. It’s too lame to get this worked up over.

  26. MJF says:

    Yes:It was just a boob. Yes:We have all seen them before. Yes:There are worse things on TV. Yes:The bumping and grinding before the boob popped out were probably too obscene for some people, and hopefully you felt it was too much for your young children to be watching, but I’m sure most just let them watch (I did).

    But here is the thing. We don’t expect for there to be boobs popping out on our national TV programs. He shouldn’t have been ripping at her breast covering anyway, (even if there was supposed to be “lace” remaining). I don’t care where you come from, ripping a womans top off without her consent just isn’t right, and I didn’t see her inviting him to do so and the song lyrics “I’m gonna have you naked by the end of this song” certainly indicate it is his own intention, not hers.

    And so the verdict is YES:It was wrong and it shouldn’t have happened and it shouldn’t happen again. You wanna see boobs popping out, get HBO. But keep the Network/commerical channels boob free. Otherwise we are on a very slippery slope as people try to top this stunt.

    When you watch the other shows like NYPD or Temptation Island or whatever other shows you and your children watch, you know what you are getting into. But halftime during superbowl is not the right forum to expose yourself, no matter how many times you think people have seen a boob, and no matter that it was “just a short time ago” that your children were sucking on one.

    The boob was not obscene, it was the lewd act and intentional exposure of her breast to 10 million unwitting audience members that made it the wrong place, the wrong time and the wrong thing to do on national television.

    Yes, horse farts igniting and talking apes hitting on tight shirted babes are borderline gross, but you probably knew the comercials would be pushing the envelope of good taste and titilation. But you didn’t think you were going to see an actual tit. And the fact that so many people want to talk about it, means were just aren’t ready to see tit on national TV. Now or ever.

  27. W says:

    Fact: MTV habitually shows they have NO class when poised in an opportunity to show some.
    Fact: Janet Jackson wanted a bang to end or restart her DEAD career.
    Fact: What happened on national TV is illegal (for now) and all involved should pay whatever price is due.
    Fact: For the people who are truly upset about it, boycott all involved. SH__ or get off the pot!!

  28. W says:

    Fact: MTV habitually shows they have NO class when poised in an opportunity to show some.
    Fact: Janet Jackson wanted a bang to end or restart her DEAD career.
    Fact: What happened on national TV is illegal (for now) and all involved should pay whatever price is due.
    Fact: For the people who are truly upset about it, boycott all involved. SH__ or get off the pot!!

  29. Lyn says:

    Whatever! Forget about it people. People are still being killed in Iraq, suicide bombers are everywhere, we are in the middle of the Democratic race for party nomination… Don’t we have anything better to talk about???

  30. Toni L. says:

    O.K… Britney Spears french kissed Madonna on LIVE television: no one said anything… Prince wore pants with the ass cut out on LIVE television: no one said anything… ‘Lil Kim had a pasty over her nipple on LIVE television: no one said anything… Temptation Island, Forever Eden, and other shows are broadcast every week by the same network that calls this incident “outrageous”. This thing has been blown WAY out of proportion. Give it a rest!!! Emotional scars from seeing boobs??? C’mon!!! If I have emotional scars, it’s only because I only got to see one!!!