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Did Janet Jackson Lose Control of Her Costume?

This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, February 2, 2004.

Watch On the Record weeknights at 10 p.m. ET! And watch special coverage of Super Tuesday tonight with Greta from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET!

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST:  Well, all eyes weren't on the athletes last night at the Super Bowl.  They were on Janet Jackson's risque duet with Justin Timberlake.  Eighty-nine-million viewers watched Timberlake rip off parts of Jackson's bustier, exposing her breast.  MTV and Timberlake say it was an accident.  Get this: wardrobe malfunction.  But, tonight, the feds are investigating.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL POWELL, FCC CHAIRMAN;  I think the reaction I have is the same shared by millions of Americans who were watching the Super Bowl.  I was just shocked and outraged that this was flying into my living room, sort of without warning, so I was pretty offended by it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN:  Joining us from New York is contributing editor for "Rolling Stone" magazine, Toure.

Toure, even AOL sponsored this.  I assume that they're claiming they don't know anything as well.  Nobody knows anything, right?

TOURE, "ROLLING STONE":  Exactly.  That's part of the whole dance.  We set it up beforehand, and, then afterwards, we say, oh, we knew nothing, we had no part of that.

VAN SUSTEREN:  How can that be, Toure?

TOURE:  It's not...

VAN SUSTEREN:  Is that at all possible?

TOURE:  No, it's not possible.  I've worked on big awards shows like this.  It's not possible for MTV to not have any idea what's going on, for CBS to have no idea what's going on.

And, on a larger note, if CBS is putting out their marquis show for the year and they're not clear on what's happening at every moment, then they're quite derelict in the product that they're putting out.

VAN SUSTEREN:  You know what, Toure?  What -- what I thought was sort of a dead -- at least made me suspicious that CBS or somebody knew this was coming, is how fast the camera went off her.  I mean that was enormously fast camera work.

TOURE:  I mean there's nothing spontaneous on television.  Perhaps -- maybe in some reality shows.  For the most part, everything is superscripted.  The kiss between Britney and Madonna was scripted and rehearsed.  I'm sure this was rehearsed.  I mean I just -- I understand why everyone needs to distance themselves, but come on.

VAN SUSTEREN:  What about the -- I mean there's so much focus on Janet -- on Janet Jackson.  What about, though, the lyrics of the other singers?  I mean what -- you may be a big -- a big fan of these other artists, but this is prime time, and this is the Super Bowl.

TOURE:  Yes.  I mean these were rather tame songs from relatively tame pop artists.  I mean the show was boring until Justin ripped her breast off, and then it became exciting.

Last year, Britney was almost out of her top.  This year, Janet's out of her top.  The Super Bowl halftime show has historically been known as boring.  No more.

The NFL, CBS -- they got what they wanted with their new partner, MTV, and they might say we're not down with MTV anymore, but, next year, we're going to be watching the halftime show.  We're not going to flip to some other channel.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Next year, I think we'll probably be watching a high school band for the whole time.  I think someone will be screaming about that.

All right.  Toure, what does this do for Janet Jackson's career, if anything?

TOURE:  Janet Jackson is now on the front burner of all of our minds.  We've been thinking about Britney, Madonna, J.Lo.  Suddenly, after a couple of years, it's all about Janet.  She's got a new album in March.  She's saying this is her sexiest album ever.

And, of course, she's been publicly maturing for years.  Once upon a time she said, let's wait a while, a song about not having sex.  But slowly her career has gotten more and more sexual.  She's allowed us to watch her grow as a woman, and now I guess we're ready to see even more of her.

VAN SUSTEREN:  As a wild guess, in the 10 seconds we have left, Toure, is this going to spike her sales of her new album that's coming out, or is it going to have an impact and tank them?

TOURE:  It will have an impact.  People are looking at her now.  It depends on the quality of the first single to see what spike she gets, but, certainly, her fans are not turning away.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right, Toure.  Always nice to see you.  Thank you for joining us.

TOURE:  Thank you.

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