Friday, September 07, 2007

The Decency Wars: The Campaign to Cleanse American Culture

Janet Jackson’s infamous "wardrobe malfunction" at the 2004 Superbowl precipitated a nationwide controversy. To judge by the hysterical reaction, one would think that nothing so shocking had ever been seen on television. Yet, remarkably, during the conservative 1950s, similar breast-baring accidents on television (by Faye Emerson and Jayne Mansfield) raised barely a stir. Is America on the verge of another puritanical era? Is this new Puritanism the result of something more than just concerns for public decency?
Frederick S. Lane (Burlington, VT) is the author of Obscene Profits and The Naked Employee, among other books dealing with the media, society, and law. He has appeared on ABC’s Nightline, CBS’s 60 Minutes, NPR’s Marketplace, the BBC, and many other television and radio programs as an expert on legal and First Amendment issues. (Description provided by the publisher)

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