Video: Janet Jackson apologizes for Super Bowl stunt

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updated 2/5/2004 6:05:26 PM ET 2004-02-05T23:05:26

Just like the aftertaste of bad diet soda, Janet Jackson and her breast will not go away.  Just when the hooting and hollering about the Super Bowl halftime show seemed to be dying, Jackson issued a bizarre videotaped apology, reigniting all of the stuff about how accidental the “accidental wardrobe malfunction” really was. 

The apology did not come quickly enough to save her scheduled performance on Sunday's telecast of the Grammy Awards.  She's out of the Luther Vandross tribute number, say industry sources, though whether or not she might stay on as presenter is unclear. 

Any similarity between her apology tape to a hostage or cult video is purely coincidental. 

If you are tired of seeing the actual halftime videotape, there is a slim hope that it may be supplanted by another set of images to be played without respite: MTV confirms it has a tape of the halftime rehearsal.  It was after the rehearsal that Miss Jackson claims she decided to go for the fake rip-off that turned all-too real.  The cable network says it has no intention of making that rehearsal tape public, explaining candidly to the The Chicago Tribune, “We just won‘t.” 

So, give it a week or so before the bootleg turns up.  In the interim, you'll have to take the word of eyewitnesses who are now obtaining the glitterati equivalent of the passersby in Dealey Plaza.  A pyrotechnician says, “That‘s not how it was rehearsed,”  adding that in the rehearsal, Timberlake pantomimed removing Jackson's jacket, not her bodice, and certainly not a bustier and the red fabric beneath it.

Video: Apology hall of fame This is the right moment, I think, to ask the rhetorical question:  Did anybody consider brassiere?  Whatever happened to just brassiere?  A nice racy, shiny, leather brassiere with her brother's 19th century Serbian military medal hanging from it?  Would that not have been enough for you?  To say nothing of practical? 

The nonsense continues:  Justin Timberlake is now complaining that he is a victim in the Super Bowl incident.  An MTV executive said the network and Timberlake were “punked” by Janet Jackson and a Timberlake friend told the “New York Daily News” that Jackson “…took advantage of him.  She‘s a 37-year-old singer who‘s using a hot young star to keep her career alive.” 

Who would that be?  Oh, you meant you, Timberlake?  Oh, boo hoo, cry me a river.

If somebody wants to complain it should be Timberlake's 'NSYNC band mate JC Chasez. His performance at halftime of this week's football pro bowl game has today been cancelled because it was “too over the top.”  Are we on the verge of a blacklist here?  Instead they may let him sing the “National Anthem.”  Smart!

And there now appear to be long-term ramifications to your television viewing.  You may never see any big-time events live—truly live— on TV again.  CBS responded both to the Jackson situation and to the Diane Keaton exclamation during the Golden Globes, and says it is putting Sunday‘s Grammy Awards ceremony telecast on up to five-minutes delay.  Some music fans are hoping for a five-year delay. 

Though Jackson is off the show, her invitation retracted, the network still says Timberlake will sing at the Grammys, but it is evident that at least, they're going to make him sweat it out until show time and might yet “bounce” him (excuse the expression).

You may also see the frozen fake smiles of the losers on the Oscars on a multi-second delay.  ABC reportedly went to the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, before the Jackson incident, to suggest the slight time shift.  The Academy board voted not to change its planning for the telecast, but said it would not object if ABC wanted to impose a delay. 

And presidential contender Howard Dean may have thought it was no big deal and the resultant FCC investigation, silly,  but Jackson was hit right between the celebrity eyes by an unlikely source—Spike Lee.  In a  speaking engagement at the Kent State campus in Stark County, Ohio, Tuesday night, the filmmaker said that the Jackson episode was a “new low” of attention-getting stunts by performers.  Invoking the Madonna-Spears incident, Lee asked the students,  “What‘s going to be next?  It‘s getting crazy, and it‘s all down to money, money and fame.  Somehow the whole value system has been upended.” 

And, now the inevitable copycat incidents are beginning to spring up -- or out.  The woefully confused actor and comedian, Rob Schneider, at a Hollywood film premiere flashed the cameras –- which just confirms that Janet Jackson obviously forgot, she is a role model. 

This was the No. 4 story on Wednesday's 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann.' Countdown airs weeknights, 8 p.m. ET and 12 a.m. ET

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