Some of you may remember when a porn movie suddenly interrupted part of Super Bowl XLIII for some Comcast cable customers. The incident caused an incredible amount of outrage and was called “grossly inappropriate”, “unethical” & “illegal”. Stories about the incident spread quickly throughout the web and were picked up by British newspapers. It also caused irate customers to flood phone lines with complaints and threats to cancel their service with Comcast. Fortunately my family wasn’t exposed to this porn as we cheered for our favorite team. Or were we?
As we sat there watching the Super Bowl we also watched some of the commercials. I had to have my kids cover their eyes on several occasions as one “pornmercial” after another came on the screen. I was so ticked off that NBC aired such inappropriate commercials; especially since they knew kids would be watching. But where was the public outrage? Where were all the stories about these “grossly inappropriate” commercials? Where were the FCC investigations? There were none. Why?
Why did people complain about the porn movie that interrupted the Super Bowl but not about the “pornmercials” that interrupted the Super Bowl? As I thought about this question it reminded me of the story on how to cook a Lobster. You don’t drop a Lobster into boiling water because it’ll try to jump out. You put the Lobster in regular water and slowly increase the temperature. This way the Lobster doesn’t realize it’s getting cooked and does not fight to get out. Then you break out the warm butter! We’re much like the Lobster. There was a time when you didn’t hear swear words on TV but over time they have slowly turned up the heat. So people tolerate more and more inappropriate material on TV. Hard core porn isn’t yet accepted on the public airways but soft-core porn is. How many more years of them slowly “turning up the heat” will it be before you and your kids are cooked?
Enjoy Super Bowl XLV with your family. Just stick around the room when the commercials come on in case you need to play referee and hit the off button on the remote. If you need to throw the flag on a commercial use it as a teaching moment with your kids. A great question ask them would be, “Why do you think I turned off that commercial?”. See what they have to say and then explain your actions. That could be one of the greatest moves of the whole game.