The “courageous” breast self-examination news spot debate

posted at 3:36 pm on October 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Yes, a local DC news broadcast showed the real thing, so consider this your warning of a Not Safe for Work video — even though it went out over the airwaves, and on cable at MS-NBC. Dr. Nancy Snyderman leads a discussion group on whether this was an effective presentation, and whether it represents a courageous exploration of a significant public health problem, or just exploitation of a semi-nude female for a cheap ratings stunt during the beginning of the November sweeps period. The round table offers a tepid defense, but mainly comes to the common-sense answer:

Be sure to read Greg Hengler’s post for his view of the appearance by Elizabeth Edwards on “desensitizing” people.

Without a doubt, this is a ratings stunt by the local TV station, exploiting Breast Cancer Awareness Month for a bid to boost their ad rates. Why else would they use a young, attractive woman for this particular demonstration, as the panel notes?

However, even with that said, perhaps it shouldn’t be so unusual.  Assuming this aired in the late evening news at 11 pm, there would be few children awake to see it — and even if they did, they would probably have watched a few hours of murder and mayhem preceding it.  Somehow, I’d find that more dangerous to a young mind than the sight of a body part that most of them knew intimately in their first year of life.  This presentation would almost certainly carry a content warning, and its presentation would have more taste than the B&D extravaganza of the Super Bowl halftime show with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.

If the station wants to redeem itself, perhaps they will show that they meant business by airing a companion piece on testicular self-examination.  If they have the, er, stones to broadcast that as a public service, then perhaps we can reconsider their motivation for this segment as well.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

When I want breast cancer check advice, I’ll talk to my doctor.

When I want President Obama’s talking points, I’ll turn on the news.

JadeNYU on October 30, 2009 at 4:59 PM

Yep. There’s an old Mad Magazine comic that plays off of that very sentiment. I don’t remember the content, exactly, but the point was that parents would rather their kids watch violent programming vs that with nudity or sexual references because there’s no way in hell they’d ever want to actually discuss sex with the kids.

Our puritanical roots live strong.

nukemhill on October 30, 2009 at 4:43 PM

That same magazine, which was once great, now has Ted Rall as a contributer.

Also, I’ll say it again: If nothing was taboo, life would be really, really boring.

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 30, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Ugh, I’m sick of hearing about breast cancer. To be perfectly honest with you, finding lumps on a smaller chest is a lot easier then finding lumps on a larger chest. Honestly, I’m 24, if that had come on and I’d been sitting next to my father I would be EXTREMELY uncomfortable, and he’s a doctor!
If a woman hasn’t already checked on how to exam her breasts for lumps, chances are a video on the news isn’t going to change her viewpoint.

I AM NOT A VICTIM!!!!!!

I thought the yellow ribbon campaign was worth something, but now the ribbons are just money making scheme. Just like those “Live Strong” bands that Lance Armstrong had, now they have one of those bracelets for friggin EVERYTHING

Ingenue on October 30, 2009 at 5:03 PM

OH NOES!!!! NOT NIPPLES!!!

MY EYES!!! I’M SCARRED FOR LIFE!!!

I need to go watch the whole Halloween slasher series to wash my brain in blood to rid it of that nubile nipply trash.

ornery_independent on October 30, 2009 at 5:04 PM

If the station wants to redeem itself, perhaps they will show that they meant business by airing a companion piece on testicular self-examination. If they have the, er, stones to broadcast that as a public service, then perhaps we can reconsider their motivation for this segment as well.

I’m putting the final edits on a self-colonoscopy video. You guys want a preview?

BobMbx on October 30, 2009 at 5:04 PM

American Power tracked-back with, “MSNBC Airs Full-Frontal Breast Exam Clip: Added Bonus, Dr. Nancy Snyderman is Top ObamaCare Shill”:

http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/msnbc-airs-full-frontal-breast-exam.html

Donald Douglas on October 30, 2009 at 5:07 PM

I’m putting the final edits on a self-colonoscopy video. You guys want a preview?

BobMbx on October 30, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Sorry Bob, but perky Katie Couric beat you to it a few years back.

ornery_independent on October 30, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Pretty stupid that our society goes haywire over breasts, nudity, etc.

Don’t get why we feel the need to smirk and giggle about such things.

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 30, 2009 at 4:24 PM

When nothing is taboo/shocking, life gets pretty boring. Be careful what you wish for.

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 30, 2009 at 4:25 PM

Don’t get me wrong…I love breasts and am pretty darn sure I would never fail to notice them even in a more relaxed society. I’m not wishing for a society where women run around topless, but I wouldn’t call the cops if I saw them doing so, either.

What I’m talking about is our collective attitude towards the human body. We either pretend we don’t like seeing women exposed or act like total idiots. One extreme or the other.

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 30, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Sorry Bob, but perky Katie Couric beat you to it a few years back.

ornery_independent on October 30, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Huh. I missed that. Proof positive that I’m not a CBS’er.

no kidding, huh?….Katies’ crack. On TV.

Oh..but…was it a self-colonoscopy?

BobMbx on October 30, 2009 at 5:18 PM

What I’m talking about is our collective attitude towards the human body. We either pretend we don’t like seeing women exposed or act like total idiots. One extreme or the other.

I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar with the “we” you refer to.

You acknowledge that you love breasts and you would never fail to notice them. So doesn’t that help you see the ploy the station did for what it is?
‘Cause it certainly was not to help women identify which breasts we’re supposed to be examining.

MayBee on October 30, 2009 at 5:22 PM

I mean, this idea that “society” should just be more willing to put up with seeing naked breasts seems like a pretty one-sided anti-prudishness movement to me.

MayBee on October 30, 2009 at 5:24 PM

No jumping jacks? Dang!

Dukehoopsfan on October 30, 2009 at 5:27 PM

What I’m talking about is our collective attitude towards the human body. We either pretend we don’t like seeing women exposed or act like total idiots. One extreme or the other.

Or we could walk around in our birthday suits, grazing lazily on grass, and not in the least bit concerned about doo-dads or ta-ta’s.

Sorry, I’m not a deer. Keep your clothes on in public.

BobMbx on October 30, 2009 at 5:28 PM

BobMX,
“I’m putting the final edits on a self-colonoscopy video. You guys want a preview?”

Just remember – the difference between ass-kissing and brown nosing is depth perception.

exhelodrvr on October 30, 2009 at 5:38 PM

A tad selfish, what?

OldEnglish on October 30, 2009 at 5:39 PM

If the station wants to redeem itself, perhaps they will show that they meant business by airing a companion piece on testicular self-examination. If they have the, er, stones to broadcast that as a public service, then perhaps we can reconsider their motivation for this segment as well.

Maybe when they have a testicular cancer month.

Geeze, what a nothing to get so upset about, a couple words in a search engine would go much farther than this. For those looking for self-examination info, or just looking for mounds of joy.

Now, if this was something like the controversy when “The Winds of War” showed the nudes standing in line at the death camp…but its not.

Something like this aired on local news years ago.

cozmo on October 30, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Dear Fox News,

Please answer this with your own self exam segment featuring Ainsley Earhardt. If you want, let Julie Banderas, Rebecca Gomez, and Alisyn Camerota get in the mix. If none of them are willing to educate us, perhaps Dr. Cynara Coomer can. Thanks in advance!

Sincerely,
Everyone

RightWinged on October 30, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Where’s Helen Thomas when you need her?

29Victor on October 30, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Womens is for being used to gets stuff.

Isn’t that what feminism has taught us?

29Victor on October 30, 2009 at 5:48 PM

I am, at present, a survivor of testicular cancer found at an early stage by a TSE (testicular self-exam). The TSE is almost never taught or mentioned, so some coverage of this would be welcome from the media.

And to avoid the ugly scene of a ball sac on the air, once can certainly use words or molded plastic ball I guess.

BruinEric on October 30, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Sorry Bob, but perky Katie Couric beat you to it a few years back.

ornery_independent on October 30, 2009 at 5:09 PM
Huh. I missed that. Proof positive that I’m not a CBS’er.

no kidding, huh?….Katies’ crack. On TV.

Oh..but…was it a self-colonoscopy?

BobMbx on October 30, 2009 at 5:18 PM

No, it wasn’t a self-colonoscopy…but if you do feel the need to post such a thing, please do it elsewhere, like the Huffington Post for example…and you could title it “A Look Inside Keith Olberman’s Head“.

ornery_independent on October 30, 2009 at 5:56 PM

And to avoid the ugly scene of a ball sac on the air, once can certainly use words or molded plastic ball I guess.

BruinEric on October 30, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Use moldy balls?! Oh wait…nevermind.

ornery_independent on October 30, 2009 at 5:58 PM

All right, I’ll get it out of th way

<—Official Hot Air breast inspector

Jeff from WI on October 30, 2009 at 6:13 PM

Dear Fox News,

Please answer this with your own self exam segment featuring Ainsley Earhardt. If you want, let Julie Banderas, Rebecca Gomez, and Alisyn Camerota get in the mix. If none of them are willing to educate us, perhaps Dr. Cynara Coomer can. Thanks in advance!

Sincerely,
Everyone

RightWinged on October 30, 2009 at 5:44 PM

+ eleventy-billion

& Lauren Sivan and Courtney Keely (sp?) please…

ornery_independent on October 30, 2009 at 6:17 PM

This thread needed an AWESOME! tag added.

Tim Burton on October 30, 2009 at 6:32 PM

Oh, Ed wrote this and not Allah, so that explains the lack of “AWESOME!” tag.

Tim Burton on October 30, 2009 at 6:32 PM

And to avoid the ugly scene of a ball sac on the air

Ugly?

MayBee on October 30, 2009 at 6:46 PM

I think pasties would have been a nice touch.

daveinguelph on October 30, 2009 at 6:52 PM

At least they didn’t have Mike Barnacle do a self exam.

jpmn on October 30, 2009 at 7:01 PM

She has an ‘innie.’

James on October 30, 2009 at 7:22 PM

So what was the video about? I only made it through the first 25 seconds. Twice.

heh

Tennman on October 30, 2009 at 7:23 PM

That same magazine, which was once great, now has Ted Rall as a contributer.

Wow, that’s a shame. I was a Mad magazine (and Cracked) reader when i was a kid. Can’t see what that humorless douchebag would be able to contribute.

clearbluesky on October 30, 2009 at 8:57 PM

Not for ratings? How many 25 year old women get breast cancer? If it was a serious story they would have used an overweight 55 year old.

peacenprosperity on October 30, 2009 at 10:04 PM

Are we really serious here? As the father of 3 daughters I would like to think they could watch the news and see something just like this. It’s one thing to tell someone how to do this, it’s quite another to show them.

If anyone found that sexually exciting, they need some serious therapy. If anyone was offended by that, join the sexually excited person in therapy. It’s time to grow up and deal with a woman’s breast.

I’m glad the television station had the guts to show it and even applaud the dreaded MSNBC for discussing it and showing it. I can’t imagine how the discussion would have gone without seeing how utterly harmless the video was.

bflat879 on October 30, 2009 at 10:04 PM

I guess I’ll have to be the one to say it:
WHO F***ING CARES ABOUT A-CUPS ANYWAYS!?!?!

abobo on October 30, 2009 at 10:34 PM

This is a glimpse into the future. Ten years from now these kinds of things will be all over the 6 o’clock news. Haven’t you noticed? Every decade they push the envelope just a little bit more. What they show on television now would cause riots 40 years ago. TV is desensitizing us to sin (helping us get used to it). I think a woman like this — she should remain behind closed doors. But you heard Elizebeth Edwards. She said, “We need to de-sensitize people.” And so we should listen to the left-wing Democrats and the liberal media and Youtube and do what they say.

apacalyps on October 31, 2009 at 12:08 AM

Wasn’t that big of a deal to me to see breasts in that context. Moving along..

itzWicks on October 31, 2009 at 1:43 AM

I hope they don’t show this in Olbermann’s time slot.

Herb on October 31, 2009 at 9:25 AM

NEXT.. ON THE SELF EXAMINIATION CHANNEL… Extreme PAP Smears!

sacfly on October 31, 2009 at 9:26 AM

I guess I’ll have to be the one to say it:
WHO F***ING CARES ABOUT A-CUPS ANYWAYS!?!?!

abobo on October 30, 2009 at 10:34 PM

Boobist!

SKYFOX on October 31, 2009 at 10:37 AM

Wow, I think you have to be pretty immature to get worked up over a segment that teaches to check for changes in the breasts. It’s old news to most women, and if it helps just one woman, good.

Little boys everywhere. Wow. Grow up.

bridgetown on October 31, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Some of you have ignored the other major issue here. It’s not just about nudity. It’s about whether the station was baring an attractive young woman’s breasts at the start of sweeps for a ratings bonanza, especially on broadcast television available to all. And as one of Dr. Snyderman’s guests pointed out, it could have been done as effectively or more effectively with a 3-D animation.

nkviking75 on October 31, 2009 at 9:26 PM

Comment pages: 1 2