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M.I.A. Flips The Bird At Halftime, PTC Flips Out

The PTC is freaking out again. The watchdog organization is blasting NFL and NBC for a Super Bowl halftime show split-second viewing of M.I.A. flipping off the camera. Not since Janet Jackson’s nipple brought the term “wardrobe malfunction” into the popular vernacular have Super Bowl viewers been so very shocked and offended. Except that most of them probably didn’t even notice or care.

But don’t worry, the PTC (Parent’s Television Council) is here to be shocked and offended and notice such things on our behalf! They released a statement coming down on those in charge of airing the Super Bowl halftime show for allowing a raised middle finger to appear on the screen briefly before blurring it out. British rapper M.I.A., who was part of Madonna’s halftime show, is responsible for the offensive finger. The PTC was apparently upset that somehow a halftime show featuring a star long known for her love of shocking audiences (although she’s mellowed with age) and a female rapper was not entirely family friendly. Right in the statement, the PTC acknowledges that the performers in question might be expected to misbehave:

They chose a lineup full of performers who have based their careers on shock, profanity and titillation. Instead of preventing indecent material, they enabled it. M.I.A. used a middle finger shamelessly to bring controversial attention to herself, while effectively telling an audience filled with children, ‘F–you.

The incident is of course being compared to the infamous Janet Jackson nipple reveal; this time we have a finger as an offending body part instead of a nipple. Were viewers really as upset as the PTC would have us believe? I’m willing to bet far fewer people noticed or cared than the PTC thinks. They haven’t filed a complaint with the FCC but called NBC and the NFL out in their statement requesting that they “take immediate steps” to take to task those in charge of blurring out unexpectedly offensive body parts, and remind them that “the nation – and the PTC – is watching.” You watch for me PTC, I have better things to do.