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MTV Smut Peddlers:
Targeting Kids with Sex, Drugs and Alcohol
A Report on MTV Programming
March 20, 2004-March 27, 2004
By Casey Williams

(WARNING: STUDY CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT)

 

I. Background

It has been a year since Janet Jackson deliberately exposed her breast to a world-wide audience that included millions of unsuspecting children during the MTV-produced 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, but America is still talking about it, and the entertainment industry is still reeling from the backlash.  The incident became one of the biggest news stories of 2004, but why?  Why were so many parents taken aback by the incident?  How is it that "three-quarters of a second on a broadcast television and 13 frames of video"[1] have become the lynchpin for our discussions about where the culture is headed? 

One possible explanation is that in that moment, millions of parents finally saw, and understood what their children are seeing every afternoon on MTV.  Dr. Jane Brown, journalism professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill observed on NPR's Talk of the Nation, "We as adults rarely see what our kids are seeing…it was sort of a moment where popular teen culture came into the mainstream, and we all went, ‘Oh, my goodness.'"[2]

Parents witnessed first-hand the incessant crotch-grabbing and revealing clothing, the dangerous mixture of aggression and sexuality, and the relentless sexual simulation and stimulation that characterize MTV's programming.

The reality is that parents need to be worried about MTV not only because of its popularity, but also because of its tremendous influence in the lives of America's teens and pre-teens.  MTV is the most recognized network among young adults ages 12 to 34, according to Nielsen Media Research.  It is watched by 73% of boys and 78% of girls ages 12 to 19.  Boys watch for an average of 6.6 hours per week and girls watch for an average of 6.2 hours per week.[3] 

MTV is owned by Viacom, the same corporate giant that owns CBS (which aired the Super Bowl) and Nickelodeon, and that corporate synergy ensures that even the youngest TV viewers are getting acclimated to the MTV brand.  As one TV critic put it: "Nickelodeon isn't just SpongeBob Squarepants: It's a gateway station to crotch- grabbing MTV. With millions of viewers, Nickelodeon offers the perfect cross-marketing vehicle for Viacom: Kids love it; parents trust its programming." [4]

 MTV does influence young viewers.  According to Dr. Brown, "If you believe Sesame Street taught your four-year-old something, then you better believe MTV is teaching your 14-year-old something, because the influence doesn't stop when we come to a certain age."[5]

Indeed, research shows that watching MTV changes the attitudes and perceptions of young viewers.  At least two experiments show that watching MTV results in more permissive attitudes about sex.  One experiment showed that college students who were assigned to watch MTV developed more liberal attitudes toward premarital sex than their peers who did not watch MTV as part of the study.[6]  The second found that seventh and ninth graders were more likely to approve of premarital sex after watching MTV for one hour.[7] 

Other studies have shown that greater exposure to and greater involvement with sexual content on TV leads to a stronger endorsement of recreational sex, higher expectations of the sexual activity of one's peers, and more extensive sexual experience.[8]

Similarly, studies on mass media influences on sexuality conclude that people who watch television programs containing depictions of attractive characters who enjoy having sexual intercourse and rarely suffer any negative consequences will be likely to imitate the behavior.  Media audiences are most likely to learn that sex is consequence-free, rarely planned, and more a matter of lust than love.  They are also likely to learn patterns of aggressive sexual behavior.[9] 

And it's not just the sexual messages on MTV that influence teen behavior – though such content is the most common.  According to the Institute on Media and the Family, even modest viewing of MTV and other music videos results in significant exposure to glamorized depictions of alcohol and tobacco use, alcohol use linked with sexuality, and violence and weapons.  Violent lyric content can also contribute to teens' desensitization to violence.

Yes, Janet Jackson's shameful performance during the Super Bowl did give parents some insight into the world their teens inhabit after school, but it was just the tip of the iceberg.  Just how much sex, vulgarity and violence are teens being exposed to on this teen-targeted network?  That's what the PTC set out to discover with this study.

 

II. Study Parameters and Methodology

The PTC taped MTV's Spring Break coverage 24-hours a day for the week of March 20, 2004 to March 27, 2004.  Analysts recorded instances of sexual content, foul language, and violence into the PTC's computerized Entertainment Tracking System (ETS).  One hundred and seventy-one hours of programming were analyzed.

Within the language category, the utterances were classified as mild, moderate, obscene/profane, or "bleeped."  Mild language includes the words, "crap," "damn," and "hell." Moderate language includes harsher terms such as "ass," "bitch," "screw," "suck," and "whore." Obscene/profane language includes "fuck," "shit," and "goddamn." And bleeped language refers to all words that were bleeped, muted, or obscured during the program.

Within the sex category, depictions were classified as either visual or verbal. Visual sex refers to any sexual acts depicted or implied such as nudity, sexual gestures, suggestive dancing, etc.  Verbal sex consists of verbal references about sex or sexual activity such as sexual innuendo, anatomical references, discussions about masturbation, pornography, etc.  Since scenes containing sexual content may have fallen into multiple categories, individual scenes or segments containing sexual content were tracked separately. 

The violence category was not subdivided.

 

III. Overview of Major Findings

  • In 171 hours of MTV programming, PTC analysts found 1,548 sexual scenes containing 3,056 depictions of sex or various forms of nudity and 2,881 verbal sexual references.   That means that children watching MTV are viewing an average of 9 sexual scenes per hour with approximately 18 sexual depictions and 17 instances of sexual dialogue or innuendo.  To put this in perspective, consider that in its last study of sex on primetime network television, the PTC found an average of only 5.8 instances of sexual content during the 10 o'clock hour – when only adults are watching
  • Analysts recorded 1,518 uses of unedited foul language and an additional 3,127 bleeped profanities on MTV programming.  That means that the young children watching MTV are subjected to roughly 8.9 un-bleeped profanities per hour, and an additional 18.3 bleeped profanities per hour.  By contrast, the 10 o'clock hour on the broadcast networks averaged only 6.5 uses of foul language per hour, according to the PTC's latest research. 
  • Violence was least problematic but still high at 6 instances per hour of programming (1,068 violent incidents total).  Even the broadcast networks averaged only 5.8 instances of violence per hour during the 10 o'clock timeslot
  • Music Videos contained more foul language and violence than MTV's series or specials.  In the 109 hours of music video programming contained within the study period, analysts recorded 3,483 uses of foul language (32 instances per hour).  Violence occurred in music videos at a rate of 18.6 instances per hour (935 violent scenes).
  • MTV's reality shows had more sexual content than the music videos.  In 66 hours of reality programming, PTC analysts recorded 833 segments containing sexual content, or 12.6 scenes per hour.  Within those 833 segments, there were 905 visual depictions of sexual activity and 917 verbal references.
  • Making the Band 2 had the most foul-language of MTV's regular series.  In four hours, analysts recorded 208 instances of foul language, including 172 bleeped obscenities, or 52 obscenities per hour of programming.
  • Of MTV's regular series, Room Raiders had the highest level of sexual content with 112 segments in 5 hours of programming (or 22 sexual scenes or scenarios per hour of programming.)  Those 112 segments contained 175 verbal references and 92 depictions of sexual behavior. 
  • On a per-program basis, the MTV Spring Break special Spring Break Fantasies had the highest sexual content, with 32 sexual segments per hour of programming.

Other Findings

  • The most common form of sexual content was innuendo (814 instances total, 4.8 instances per hour), followed by suggestive dancing (500/2.9), partial nudity (379/ 2.2), and sexual gestures (384/2.2).
  • The reality shows with the most sexual innuendo were the spring break specials such as Spring Break Survival Guide (55/22), Spring Break Fantasies (27/18), and How to Be a Spring Break Playa (36/18). After the spring break specials the series Room Raiders (56/11) (10 shows 5 hours) and the Real World San Diego (5/2.5) (3 shows 1.5 hours) had the most sexual innuendo.
  • Of the spring break special programs Making the Video-D12 My Band, Spring Break Fantasies, Spring Break Survival Guide had the highest frequency of foul language.  Of MTV's regular series programming, Making the Band 2 had the most foul language (208/52), followed by Boiling Points, and Real World San Diego, Real World/Road Rules Inferno.
  • Bleeped language made up 67.3% of the total language category and 18.3 instances per hour. These bleeped utterances were easily decipherable through context and included words like "fuck," "shit," "pussy," "cock," and "dick."
  • I Want a Famous Face had the most instances of violence with 58 instances, or 23.2 instances per hour.   This was followed by Spring Break Survival Guide with 25 instances (10 per hour) and Spring Break Fantasies with 12 instances (8 per hour).

 

IV. Examples (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT)

Foul Language

Examples of foul language on reality shows:

Making the Band 3/25/04 10:00 p.m.

Fred: "I say the [bleeped ‘fuck'] what I want to say to you or your [bleeped ‘mother'] fucking husband. Your [bleeped ‘fucking'] husband's going to get my money before tonight so I can get my shirt.  [Bleeped ‘Fuck'] both of ya'll. [Bleeped ‘Fuck'] that. I was going to say this. If you gotta go home to your kids, let us know cuz we a group. All that [bleeped ‘fuck'] Fred shit."

Sara: "I didn't say [bleeped ‘fuck'] Fred. Didn't nobody say that. I never said that. What the [bleeped ‘fuck'] are you talking about man?"

Fred: "You know what I'm gonna [bleeped ‘fucking'] do? I'm gonna [bleeped ‘fucking'] show you Fred . . . I got [bleeped ‘fucking'] kids."

Ness: "Shut the [bleeped ‘fuck'] up [bleeped ‘mother fucker']. Shut the [bleeped 'fuck‘] up [bleeped ‘mother fucker']."

Sara: "What the [bleeped ‘fuck'] is he saying [bleeped ‘fucking'] Fred for, I never said that [bleeped ‘shit']."

 

Making the Video – D12 My Band 3/22/04 11:30 p.m.

Eminem films the limo scene.  Two women wearing tiny dresses are in the scene.  Eminem says, "They [bleeped ‘fucking'] want me.  They [bleeped ‘fucking'] want me, dude.  I [bleeped ‘fucking'] rap, dude.  I [bleeped ‘fucking'] rap."

 

Spring Break All Star Performances 3/20/04 7:00 p.m.

Jay-Z: Just because you got good sex, I'ma break bread

So you can be livin' it up? Shit I . . .

 

One Bad Trip 3/20/04 2:00 p.m.

Nate: She's eating whipped cream off some dude's [bleeped ‘fucking'] chest right now. 

Examples of foul language in music videos:

Eamon – "I Don't Want You Back"

Chorus (Repeated 5 times):

"[Bleeped ‘Fuck'] what I said it don't mean [bleeped ‘shit'] now

[Bleeped ‘Fuck'] the presents might as well throw ‘em out

[Bleeped ‘Fuck']all those kisses, they didn't mean jack

[Bleeped ‘Fuck'] you, you [bleeped ‘ho'], I don't want you back"

 

"You thought you could

Keep this [bleeped ‘shit'] from me, yeah

Ya burnt [bleeped ‘bitch'] I heard the story

Ya played me, ya even gave him [bleeped ‘head']

 

"It hurts real bad, I can't sweat that, cuz I loved a [bleeped ‘ho']."

[Note:  All bleeps were a sound bite of a woman moaning.]

Sex

Examples of sexual content on reality shows:

Room Raiders 3/20/04 11:30 a.m.

Diana takes out the black light in order to find "stains" (i.e. semen stains) on Chad's bed. 

Diana:  "Oh, quite a bit of stainage right here.  I actually feel violated."

[Cut to Las Vegas]

Chad:  "I think those are actually semen stains."

 

Room Raiders 3/22/04 4:30 p.m.

Tom puts on gloves and digs through her dirty laundry.  He picks up her underwear and also uses tongs to look in her underwear drawer.

Tom: "Detachable underwear is always good; easy access."

 

One Bad Trip 3/20/04 2:00 p.m.

Human sundae eating competition: three guys lie on stage; whipped cream is placed on their legs and chest.  The three girls each straddle a guy and lick the whipped cream off.

Nate: "She's eating whipped cream off some dude's [bleeped ‘fucking'] chest right now." 

Nate: "If she goes any where near his junk, she is so wrong."

Next the girls switch places and have whipped cream placed all over them, including a cherry on each breast.  Guys straddle them and lick the whipped cream off.  The camera zooms in close.

Nate: "Some dude is about to eat [bleeped ‘shit'] all over her body.

Melissa, in a voiceover: "It's a little bit strange having some random guy lick whipped cream off of me."

 

Girls participate in a wet t-shirt contest wearing cut-up scraps of t-shirts.  They dance onstage suggestively and pour water on themselves. Some of the girls' breasts are blurred out, since the wet white t-shirts are transparent.  One girl is shown from behind while she flashes the crowd.

 

Spring Break Fantasies 3/20/04 11:30am

Vanessa, picking a guy out of the crowd: "What's your name, what's your name; slow your roll cowboy, what's your name."

Hollywood:  "Hollywood."

Vanessa, reacting to his name's reference to the porn industry: "Hollywood, wow that totally is inappropriate . . . take everything off except your cowboy hat, just kidding.  Lay down and ladies show him how to rub down spring break Cancun style."

Hollywood lies down and five girls dressed in black swimsuits with little bunny tails on their bottoms and bunny ears on their head begin to pour oil and lotion all over his stomach.

They all rub the lotion on his chest at the same time.  The girls also rub the lotion on each other.  Some of the girls use their buttocks to rub Hollywood.  Music in the background is "What's your Fantasy" by Ludacris.   

"I wanna li-li-li-lick you from your head to your toes

And I wanna move from the bed down, to the down to the, to the floor

I wanna ah-ah, you make it so good I don't wanna leave

But I got to kn-kn-kn-know what's your fan-ta-sy."

 

Real World: San Diego Rerun 3/23/04 10:00 p.m.

Cameran: "Brad's gonna have to be whacking it the whole time he's here."

Brad: "Why me?"

Robin: "Because you've had sex with somebody for five years, constantly on a base, haven't you?"

Brad: "Yeah."

Cameran: "This'll be the longest you've gone."

Robin: "This will be the longest you've gone without sex for 5 years."

Brad: "Oh, damn."

Robin: "Speaking of masturbation..."

Cameran: "I have my vibrator."

Cameran in confessional: "Yes mother, I have a vibrator.  And he has seen me through some hard times."

Examples of sex in music videos:

Pete Pablo – "Freak-a-Leak"

"How u like it daddy (the way she do it from the front)

How u like it daddy (the way she do it from the back)

How u like it daddy (then bring it down like that)"

 

"24, 34, 46

Good and thick and what you give her she could work with it

Pretty face and some cute lips

Earring in her tongue and she know what to do with it

Made a name for herself and she do her [bleeped ‘shit'] well and know how to keep her business to herself

Come over anytime [bleeped ‘nigga'] call chick

1 o'clock, 2 o'clock (ding dong) and she right there

And she know why she came here

And she know where clothes suppose to be (off and over there)

[Bleeped ‘Sniff a lil' coke, take a lil' X, smoke a lil' weed,'] drink a lil' bit

I need a girl I could freak with

and wanna try [bleeped ‘shit'] and ain't scared of a big [bleeped ‘dick']

And love to get her [bleeped ‘pussy'] licked by another [bleeped ‘bitch']

Cause I ain't drunk enough to do that [bleeped ‘shit']

 

"I need to know a whole lot then to teachin' a [bleeped ‘broad'],

[Bleeped ‘with my ding dong make her tongue tickin the bong']

Go on ahead so I don't have to do that far, I'm spoiled (and I don't like to work that hard).

Like to lay back relax and enjoy my jaw

Till my eyes roll back & my toes curl

I love when you do that girl till it come time for me to give her hers

Tell me what you want

Do you want it [bleeped ‘missionary'] with your feet crammed to the [bleeped ‘head'] board

Do you want it from the [bleeped ‘back'] with your face in the pillow so you could yell as loud as you want girl

Do you want it on the floor, do want it in the chair do you want it over here do want it over there

Do you want it in your [bleeped ‘pussy'] do you want it in your [bleeped ‘ass']

I could give you anything you can handle"

 

Chorus: Listing girls' names and the phrase "Do you like it Daddy?"

 

Maroon 5 – "This Love"

Intercut with the band playing, we see flashes of the lead singer and a girl presumably having sex.  They kiss, rolling around on the bed, and he runs his hand down her thigh.  It appears that they are naked, but no body parts are seen.  (These scenes are only a few seconds long, and are interspersed with the band playing.)

 

Next scene, the girl is sitting on a bed.  The lead singer tries to kiss her and she pushes him away.  He sits on the bed and she puts her legs around him, and pulls him backwards.  He gets up and leaves.  She is left sitting on the bed with her legs splayed, wearing some sort of corset.

 

Next scene, the singer and the girl are making out on the bed.  Flower petals swirl around the scene, covering their nudity (these were added after the Janet Jackson debacle, so they look like they don't belong).  The guy looks up at the screen and says to the camera "Keep her [bleeped ‘cuming'] every night," but this was done post-production, so the edit is really obvious, with background music removed as well. 

 

They passionately kiss and roll around, with the flower petals swirling around everything except their faces. 

 

We see the singer run his hand down the girl's leg again.

 

The lead singer and woman are shown again rolling around on a bed, but the flower petals are scrolling around them on screen so you can still only see their faces.

 

Lyrics:

"I was so high I did not recognize

The fire burning in her eyes"

 

"I tried my best to feed her appetite

Keep her [bleeped ‘cuming'] every night

So hard to keep her satisfied"

 

"My pressure on your hips

[Bleeped ‘sinking'] my fingertips

Into every inch of you

Cause I know that's what you want me to do"

Britney Spears – "Toxic"

The entire video is intercut with scenes of Britney writhing on the floor, wearing a nude bodysuit that is sprinkled diamonds.  The effect is that she is naked.   She's wearing some sort of thong.  Her breasts, though not her nipples, are visible.

 

Britney, wearing a futuristic stewardess outfit, spills a drink in a traveler's lap.  She dabs the spill on his lap with a napkin.  The man looks alarmed and/or aroused.

 

She then uses her beverage cart to push a businessman into an airplane bathroom.  She grabs his tie and kisses him on the neck and mouth.  She rips off his face, which was a mask, and reveals an attractive man underneath.  They proceed to kiss.  She takes off his coat and rubs her buttocks against the front of his pants.  She reaches into his pocket and steals his wallet.  He comes out of the bathroom, his tie and shirt askew, and shrugs.

 

She rides on a motorcycle wearing a black leather bodysuit.  The motorcycle is driven by a shirtless man.  The scene cuts to two girls wearing lingerie and fishnet stockings sitting across from each other, their legs intertwined.

 

Britney is then shown throwing something at a window, there is an explosion.  She is shown walking through a hallway with fire around her.  Next Britney is shown entering a room and taking a vial, with a green substance in it.  It is implied that she is breaking into a building and stealing some substance.

 

Cut to a scene in a bedroom. Britney pushes a man wearing a suit onto a bed and climbs on top of him.  She rubs her hand down his chest and stomach, and pulls up on his belt, throwing him off the bed.  She straddles him and kisses him while he's lying on the floor.  She pours poison into his mouth, leers at the camera, shuts his mouth, and gives him a quick peck on the lips and leaves. 

 

Lyrics:

"With a taste of your lips

I'm on a ride

You're toxic

I'm slipping under

With a taste of poison paradise

I'm addicted to you

Intoxicate me now

With your lovin' now

I think I'm ready now"

 

"It's getting late

To give you up

I took a sip

From my devil cup"

 

D12 – "My Band"

D-12 tries to get into Eminem's dressing room to see their band mate, but a bodyguard blocks them at the door.  The guard lets a woman in, dressed in a leather skirt and a halter top. She is carrying a bottle of lotion.  She enters a room with a tanning bed in the center.  Two scantily clad women stand on either side of the tanning bed, opening it to reveal Eminem tanning.

 

The song starts.  Eminem is lying on a massage table, being massaged by three women with cleavage-revealing tops.  The camera cuts to him in the back of a limo, wearing a fur coat and flanked by two women who are hanging all over him.

 

Eminem is then shown talking to women, who are only seen from behind. When they turn around, we see that they are both played by Eminem in drag, one of the women (actually Eminem) cups her breasts in her hands.

 

Women in the audience throw bras and panties at Eminem.

 

The massage table girls kiss Eminem and feed him grapes.  Cut back to the limo scene, where it appears that both girls are kissing Eminem, but all the audience sees is the back of the girls' heads.

 

Eminem is onstage, humping the floor.

 

Eminem is shown briefly at a strip club, while the group is in a janitor's closet with two groupie-types who are eating chips.

 

The group member is shown wearing a green jumpsuit with two cutouts for his chest.  His nipples are covered by metal stars.  One comes off.

 

Lyrics:

Eminem-I think everyone's all jealous and [bleeped ‘shit'] cuz I'm like the lead singer of a band dude...

And I think everyone's got a [bleeped ‘fucking'] problem with me dude...

 

"Becky oh my freakin' god is it him?"

"I swear to freakin' god dude you freakin' rock"

"Please Marshall please let me suck [bleeped ‘your cock']"

 

All the hot babes

Throw their bras and their shirt and their panties on stage

 

Yesterday Kuniva tried to pull a knife on me

Because I told him Jessica Alba's my wife to be

 

This rock star [bleeped ‘shit'], it's the life for me

 

D-12 You just wanna see a [bleeped ‘nigga'] backwards don't you

 

What the hell is wrong with that dressing room?

Cuz my [bleeped ‘shit'] is lookin smaller than a decimal

 

Look at Em little punk ass thinkin' he the [bleeped ‘shit']

 

Ready to snap on a dumb ass fan

Every time I hear (Hey dude I love your band)

We ain't a band [bleeped ‘bitch'] we don't play instruments

 

[Bleeped ‘Bitch'] carry your own

Can't make it to the stage, security in my way

(Who the [bleeped ‘fuck'] are you? Where's Obie and Dre?!)

 

I told you I made the beats and wrote all the raps

Till Kon Artis slipped me some [bleeped ‘crack']

 

For the media, I got some suggestions

[Bleeped ‘Fuck'] Marshall, ask us the questions

(What about Eminem?)

[Bleeped ‘Bitch'] are you [bleeped ‘retarded']?

 

Anyway I'm the popularest guy in the group

Big ass stomach, [bleeped ‘bitches'] think I'm cute

 

[Bleeped 'Fuck‘] D12, I'm outta this band

 

Girl why can't you see you're the only one for me

And it just tears my ass apart to know that you don't know my band...

 

I'm the lead singer of my band; I get all the girl's to take off their underpants

 

Usher featuring Little Jon and Ludicris – "Yeah"

A girl sits down next to Usher, and flirts with him.  The camera zooms in on her hand running up his leg.  She gets up and stares at him as she walks to the dance floor.  Her dress flies up to around waist level, revealing her underwear.  She and Usher dance together.  She jumps up on his back and puts her leg around his waist.  In the next scene, she is dancing jerkily, running her hands down her chest. There is continued suggestive dancing by this girl.

 

A line of girls bend over and shake their butts in the air.

 

Usher is walking down a hallway.  Hands reach out of a doorway and grab him.  In the next scene a girl is pushing him against a wall and kissing him.  Their figures are silhouetted

 

"Yeah" lyrics:

Usher: "I decided to cheat (okay!!) Conversation got heavy! (Hey!)

She had me feeling like she's ready to blow! (Watch out!!)"

 

"(Yeah!!) Yeah, yeah

Shorty got down on me, said come and get me

Next thing I knew, she was all up on me screaming"

 

"The way's she's Getting Low!!

I'm like yeah; just work that out for me

She asks for one more dance, and I'm like yeah

How the hell am I supposed to leave? (Let's go!!)"

 

Ludicris: "And RAWR!! These women all on the prowl

If you hold the head steady, I'm a milk the cow

And forget about game, I'm a spit the truth!

I won't stop till I get ‘em in their birthday suits!!

So gimme the rhythm and it'll be off wit their clothes

Then "bend over to the front! And touch your toes!!"

I left the Jag I took the Rolls

If they ain't cutting then I put ‘em on foot patrol (oww!!)

How ya like me now?

When my pinky's baggin' over three hundred thou-sand!

Let's drink, you the one to please

Ludacris fill cups like double D's

Me and Ush' once more, and we leaves ‘em dead

We want a lady in the street, but a freak in the bed that say."

 

"Take that and rewind it back

Lil Jon got the beat that make your booty go (smack)

Take that, rewind it back

Usher got the voice make your booty go (smack)

Take that, rewind it back

Ludacris got the flow to make your booty go (smack)

Take that, rewind it back

Lil Jon got the beat that make your booty go (smack)"

Violence

Violence on reality shows:

I Want a Famous Face 3/22/04 4:00 p.m.

Two twin brothers are having surgery to look like Brad Pitt. There is a split screen of the surgery, with once twin on one side of the screen and the other twin on the other side of the screen.  There is graphic detail of the surgeries with lots of blood and sawing into flesh. Full detail of the rhinoplasty is shown with the doctors cutting into the nose.

 

I Want a Famous Face 3/22/04 10:30 p.m.

A girl is getting breast implants to look more like Britney Spears. During the surgery we see an incision and a thin line of blood.  Next, there is a shot of fat and muscle as the doctors begin to put the implant in.  Then we see them inserting the implant into the bloody tissue.  There is a tube sticking out of the swollen breasts and fluid is inside the tube.  The breast is stitched up, but some of the tissue is still visible.  Shots of the implanted breast with a tube sticking out of it and loose stitches are shown.  Blood trickles down the side of the breast.  In the next shot, the tube is gone, and doctors are stitching up the tissue. There is a quite graphic shot of that.  The nipple is blurred out.  Shots of the enlarged breasts, with just the nipple blurred out are shown.

 

In a preview for next week:  A girl who lost a lot of weight receives body sculpting surgery. She is shown standing naked, although her breasts are out of view.  Part of the surgery is shown, including the doctors cutting away fat and holding a huge section of her skin and bloody tissue and placing it on a table.

Violence in music videos:

Story of the Year – "Until the Day I Die"

Chorus (Repeat 4 times):

"Until the day I die (Until the day I die)

I'll spill my heart for you

Until the day I die (Until the day I die)

I'll spill my heart for you"

 

(Repeated 3 times):

"My hands are at your throat

And I think I hate you"

 

"Should I bite my tongue?

Until blood soaks my shirt"

 

Blink 182 – "I Miss You"

A girl wearing a white dress walks into a pool of water, and then falls face down.  She lies floating face down on the water as if she is attempting to drown herself.

 

The girl wearing white appears to be running from something.  She falls backwards and lies on the ground, unconscious or dead.

 

Another girl is shown walking unharmed on glass shards.

 

Lyrics:

"Hello there, the angel from my nightmare

The shadow in the background of the morgue

The unsuspecting victim of darkness in the valley"

 

Britney Spears – "Toxic"

Britney is shown throwing something at a window, there is an explosion.  She is then shown walking through a hallway with fire around her.  Next Britney is shown entering a room and taking a vile, with a green substance in it.  It is implied that she is breaking into a building and stealing some substance.

 

Cut to a scene in a bedroom. Britney pushes a man wearing a suit onto a bed and climbs on top of him.  She rubs her hand down his chest and stomach, and pulls up on his belt, throwing him off the bed.  She straddles him and kisses him while he's lying on the floor.  She pours poison into his mouth, leers at the camera, shuts his mouth, gives him a quick peck on the lips, and leaves.  He dies.

V. Conclusion

If any good can be said to have come out of the Janet Jackson Super Bowl debacle, it is this: parents now know what their children are seeing every afternoon on MTV.  But merely recognizing that there's a problem clearly isn't enough.  Parents allow more than half the children in this country to have television sets in their bedrooms.  Surveys indicate that 44% of children say they watch something different when they are alone than when they are with their parents, and 25% of those children choose MTV. 

The incessant sleaze on MTV presents the most compelling case yet for consumer cable choice.  As it now stands, most parents have no choice but to take – and pay for – MTV if they want basic cable in their homes.  Given the choice, how many parents now being forced to take and pay for MTV as part of a basic cable package, would continue to do so? 

Cable is now in nearly as many homes as broadcast TV. We can no longer afford to ignore the rising tide of vulgar and violent programming on cable aimed directly at our children.  It's time for a better option.

 

[1] Judy McGrath, president of MTV Networks Group, quoted in Multichannel News, March 31, 2004.

[2] "Talk of the Nation," National Public Radio.  February 9, 2004.  "Decency, indecency and community standards."

[3] Rich, M., Woods, E., Goodman, E., Emans, J., DuRant, R. (1998, April).  "Aggressors or victims:  gender and race in music video violence."  Pediatrics, 101, 669-674.

[4] Parsons, Christine.  "Fallout from Breastgate: Is Nickelodeon marketing MTV to kids?"  San Francisco Chronicle February 11, 2004.

[5] "Talk of the Nation."

[6] Calfin, M. S., Carroll, J. L., & Schmidt, J. (1993).  "Viewing music-video tapes before taking a test of premarital sexual attitudes."  Psychological Reports, 72, 475-481.

[7] Greeson, L. E., & Williams, R. A. (1986).  "Social implications of music videos on youth:  An analysis of the content and effects of MTV."  Youth and Society, 18, 177-189.

[8] Ward, L. M., Rivadeneyra, R. (1999).  "Contributions of Entertainment Television to Adolescents' Sexual Attitudes and Expectations:  The Role of Viewing Versus Viewer Involvement."  The Journal of Sex Research.  No. 3, Vol. 36; 237.

[9] Brown, J. (2002).  "Mass media influences on sexuality."  The Journal of Sex Research.  No. 1, Vol. 39; 42.

 

Executive Summary | Printable | Statement by L Brent Bozell

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