- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 4, 2004

The CBS network reportedly has retracted an invitation for pop singer Janet Jackson to appear on the Grammy Awards this Sunday.

Miss Jackson apologized again yesterday for her performance during the Super Bowl halftime show, accepting blame for the incident in which one of her breasts was briefly exposed to millions of viewers.

“I am really sorry if I offended anyone. That was truly not my intention,” Miss Jackson said in a videotaped statement released overnight.

Apparently, sorry wasn’t good enough for the Super Bowl broadcaster.

A Grammy spokesman and Miss Jackson’s publicist confirmed that Miss Jackson will not be introducing a planned Grammy tribute to soul legend Luther Vandross, according to reports last night by the syndicated television shows “Access Hollywood” and “Entertainment Tonight.”

Representatives for CBS and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which presents the Grammys, declined to comment.

Miss Jackson was conspicuously absent from a press release issued earlier in the day by Grammy organizers listing the show’s lineup of celebrity hosts, presenters and performers. But pop idol Justin Timberlake, who exposed Miss Jackson’s right breast when he ripped off a bodice cup at the end of their steamy halftime duet, remained on the Grammys’ entertainment roster.

Miss Jackson’s spokesman said a red-lace underlayer was supposed to have remained intact when Mr. Timberlake removed the bodice cup.

“My decision to change the Super Bowl performance was actually made after the final rehearsal. MTV, CBS, the NFL had no knowledge of this whatsoever, and unfortunately, the whole thing went wrong in the end,” Miss jackson said in last night’s video.

More than 89 million viewers watched the Super Bowl halftime show, which was produced by CBS corporate cousin MTV.

The Federal Communications Commission is investigating the halftime show. If the FCC rules the stunt violates indecency standards, it could fine CBS, its affiliates or the performers as much as $27,500 each.

FCC officials who did not want to be named said the agency’s investigation will focus on whether the flashing was intended.

The agency’s regulators tend to be more forgiving when nudity or obscene words are broadcast accidentally, the officials said.

In the Washington area, viewers were subjected to two such mishaps Tuesday.

NBC affiliate WRC-TV (Channel 4), during its 6 p.m. newscast, aired a report in which Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Shaquille O’Neal uttered an obscenity. Sports anchor Wally Bruckner later apologized for the incident on air, explaining that the failure to edit out the offensive word was unintentional.

Because of an apparent technical glitch, Fox affiliate WTTG-TV (Channel 5) briefly aired footage of a woman breast feeding a child during a report on the recent shootings at the District’s Ballou High School.

Also yesterday, Infinity Broadcasting, parent company of WJFK-FM (106.7), suspended afternoon drive hosts Don Geronimo and Mike O’Meara for allowing an obscenity on the air. An Infinity spokeswoman would say only they violated company policy and would be suspended without pay through Feb. 13.

CBS is taking special precautions to avoid surprises when it airs the Grammy Awards on Sunday.

The network said it was adding as much as a five-minute delay to its telecast to give the network time to “delete both inappropriate audio and video footage from the broadcast” if necessary.

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