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.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Is it time for Mardi Gras already?

HornetSting on October 30, 2009 at 3:38 PM

I am sure they will do well among the 14 year old audience segment.

crosspatch on October 30, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Teets! Teets onna TV!

S. Weasel on October 30, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Why else would they use a young, attractive woman for this particular demonstration, as the panel notes?

Exactly, what they need is the exact opposite.

Helen Thomas, call your office!

NoDonkey on October 30, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Are they re-running Used Cars again? Where’s Kurt Russell?

kingsjester on October 30, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Don’t need to watch National Geographic Channel’s presentations of the Hidden Tribes of Indonesia tonight.

WashJeff on October 30, 2009 at 3:40 PM

I have no problem with the message. to show how to is sometimes better education then hearing it in passing or lecture…etc..
was not offended..no sexual content with this at all…

hawkman on October 30, 2009 at 3:41 PM

NoDonkey on October 30, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Man. I did not need that image. I just threw up a little in my mouth.

kingsjester on October 30, 2009 at 3:41 PM

Are they re-running Used Cars again? Where’s Kurt Russell?

kingsjester on October 30, 2009 at 3:40 PM

These cars are too f**king expensive (click-click bang).

WashJeff on October 30, 2009 at 3:41 PM

Probably has more to do with keeping ObamaCare front and center.

Schadenfreude on October 30, 2009 at 3:41 PM

Nuts!

faraway on October 30, 2009 at 3:41 PM

if she wasn’t so flat chested, then I would say its a publicity gimmick

Doctor Zhivago on October 30, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Yes, hmmm, but is it porn?

Kini on October 30, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Does MSNBC have to show the whole thing? Seems like a ratings and Clicks play to me.

thedudesblog on October 30, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Why else would they use a young, attractive woman for this particular demonstration

Why not a man ?? Was Peter Criss not available ???

Jerome Horwitz on October 30, 2009 at 3:43 PM

Before I got to the last paragraph, I was thinking the same thing.

Methinks they won’t be so ‘courageous’ to show Mr. Happy, standing at Attention or At Ease

catmman on October 30, 2009 at 3:44 PM

OH MY GOD! A BREAST! NO BABY HAS EVER SEEN ONE OF THOSE BEFORE!!! RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!

MadisonConservative on October 30, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Hey! The poor dudes need ratings, and now. What better way than to try and exploit the young minds of pre teens, and teens? This is just the beginning of this, where liberals are concerned.

Shame on Nancy. She doesn’t deserve the title “Doctor” before her name!

capejasmine on October 30, 2009 at 3:44 PM

“I have a rash in my buttcrack. If you don’t wanna see it you’re a hypocrite, ’cause you’ve seen much worse before,” -Ed M.

Akzed on October 30, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Now that is educational…/s

d1carter on October 30, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Hehhe…..hehhehe……hehe…..boobies!

JoeinTX on October 30, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Up next… hernia exams.

I’m surprised The Doctors didn’t do this first.

Their discussions get pretty down n’ dirty.

The Ugly American on October 30, 2009 at 3:46 PM

I volunteer to provide an unbiased second opinion.

GnuBreed on October 30, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Didn’t Katy Couric undergo a colonoscopy on live TV?

And Keith Oblbermann actually IS a colonoscopy, so there’s that.

NoDonkey on October 30, 2009 at 3:46 PM

It is a publicity stunt, albiet a poor one. They have deliberately gone with the most flat chested woman in the United States.

nyx on October 30, 2009 at 3:47 PM

I guess that’s better than showing a prostate exam.

txag92 on October 30, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Giggity giggity!

kahall on October 30, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Michael Moore wasn’t available for the demonstration?

Bishop on October 30, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Nothing but playing for a little boobie bounce. Better to have told women to have their doctors instruct them in how to do a self-exam so they could be told what constitutes normal vice potential problem.

katiejane on October 30, 2009 at 3:48 PM

And Keith Oblbermann actually IS a colostomy bag colonoscopy, so there’s that.

NoDonkey on October 30, 2009 at 3:46 PM

the least I could do.

thomasaur on October 30, 2009 at 3:49 PM

Up next… hernia exams

Long time ago, I asked my Dr. why I had to turn my head. He said “I really don’t want you coughing in my face”.

Ask a silly question, get the right answer.

Jerome Horwitz on October 30, 2009 at 3:49 PM

As a hack piece of ratings-polooza: Brilliant!

Its akin to weeping ‘Its for the children!’.

But, eh, couldn’t they have selected, for illustrative purposes only, a more endowed demonstrator?

I mean, if you’re going this far for a ratings stunt… in for a penny, in for a pound.

juanito on October 30, 2009 at 3:50 PM

While we’re on the subject…

Are golf balls as painful as tennis elbow?

Daggett on October 30, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Beats National Geographic porn!

Michael Moore wasn’t available for the demonstration?

Bishop on October 30, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Haha.

javamartini on October 30, 2009 at 3:52 PM

balloon girl

faraway on October 30, 2009 at 3:53 PM

Teets! Teets onna TV!

S. Weasel on October 30, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Haha, you owe me a new monitor.

clearbluesky on October 30, 2009 at 3:53 PM

damn that MSNBC! How do they launch such a ploy to get me to watch! I demand that Fox retaliate immediately! I say to Mr. Ailes, Sir, you cannot allow there to be a Breast Gap!!!!

(Now what REALLY would have been “courageous” would have been if Dr. Nancy had decided to show us the technique herself)

WWS on October 30, 2009 at 3:54 PM

More important than all the other cancers put together!

exhelodrvr on October 30, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Are golf balls as painful as tennis elbow?

Daggett on October 30, 2009 at 3:51 PM

That depends on whether said balls are struck by the aforementioned elbow. 8-O

thomasaur on October 30, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Will the NFL rid itself of pink shoes, sweatbands, caps, pom poms, etc. this weekend?

Brat on October 30, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Michael Moore wasn’t available for the demonstration?
Bishop on October 30, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Hhmm… Which type of exam we’re you talking about?

He could be the ‘model’ for the breast exam, as for the other… some say he’s a perfect …

Juno77 on October 30, 2009 at 3:56 PM

As for the boobies themselves…they barely qualify.

I’ve seen bigger ones on Jack Nicholson

Nothing against the itty bitty gals but if you’re gonna show a breast exam, at least show a average size cup like a C.

The Ugly American on October 30, 2009 at 3:57 PM

SAVE THE TA TA’s, as long as I don’t have to watch them on TV.

upinak on October 30, 2009 at 3:57 PM

Incrementalism, each year they’ll go up a cup-size.

karlant on October 30, 2009 at 3:58 PM

Hhmm… Which type of exam we’re you talking about?
Juno77 on October 30, 2009 at 3:56 PM

out of every 20 women… a man has breast cancer as well. My grandpa had it.

let this be your warning.

upinak on October 30, 2009 at 3:58 PM

I think its simply a publicity gimmick. There’s really no reason not to blur out at least part of it. Not that I mind, of course, but I think using what is an important health issue for a ratings stunt diminishes the message.

changer1701 on October 30, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Save the ta-tas ratings!

sandspur on October 30, 2009 at 4:01 PM

So, I have a question…how do you apply for such a job? I only get beads when I show mine. Making a dime or two would make it worth it.

HornetSting on October 30, 2009 at 4:03 PM

Did she say “Breast Palm Beach…”?

jbtripp on October 30, 2009 at 4:04 PM

I hate everything about breast cancer awareness. The pink ribbons, the sisterhood b*llshit, and the obligatory shot of a womans bare back, arm over her head, facing a mammo machine.

Kathy Shaidle has the best rant:
Shut up about breast cancer awareness. We are so frickin aware I’m gonna vomit. People are always “raising awareness” about things everybody knows about. It is the activism of cowards. Especially women, who are so desperate for safety and approval.

CarolynM on October 30, 2009 at 4:05 PM

I think they are treating women like idiots if they think we need to see someone else’s naked boobs to figure out how to do a breast self-exam.

MayBee on October 30, 2009 at 4:05 PM

I’ve watched the clip a few hundred times now and I can find nothing offensive about it.

Rod on October 30, 2009 at 4:05 PM

So was this clip directed by Roman Polanski?

thomasaur on October 30, 2009 at 4:07 PM

I’M OUTRAGEOUSLY OUTRAGED!!!!

Slublog on October 30, 2009 at 4:07 PM

I don’t think grandma learned anything.

PaCadle on October 30, 2009 at 4:08 PM

That was funny as hell.

echosyst on October 30, 2009 at 4:10 PM

This is supposed to be NEWS? Is there anyone left on the planet who doesn’t know about breast cancer? Is there a celebrity anywhere who has had breast cancer and hasn’t come out with a book or a TV appearance to discuss it? Between the pink ribbons, the marches, runs and races for “The Cure” along with the almost daily flyers asking for donations you’d have to be living in a cave on a remote, uninhabited island with no electricity and no TV to be unaware.

Barb Dwyer on October 30, 2009 at 4:10 PM

Pshaw! Those weren’t boobs. Anything under an A doesn’t count.

Now, if they’d been Ds…

Might as well have had a man doing the demo.

Nothing to see here.

:)

tickleddragon on October 30, 2009 at 4:10 PM

And we’re supposed to believe this wasn’t done for ratings? Seems like their FCC license should be pulled just for insulting our intelligence.

Of course, if TV stations started losing their license for insulting the viewers intelligence, Hollywood might go out of business…

tom on October 30, 2009 at 4:10 PM

CarolynM on October 30, 2009 at 4:05 PM

That’s an interesting take. Even the NFL caught the awareness feevah with players wearing pink this month. I hadn’t considered it might be creating a backlash.

changer1701 on October 30, 2009 at 4:10 PM

I’ve watched the clip a few hundred times now and I can find nothing offensive about it.

Rod on October 30, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Thank you for your willingness to be completely throrough.

ladyingray on October 30, 2009 at 4:11 PM

“Hey Peter, turn on channel 5! They’re running the breast exams again!”

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 30, 2009 at 4:12 PM

out of every 20 women… a man has breast cancer as well. My grandpa had it.
let this be your warning.
upinak on October 30, 2009 at 3:58 PM

Good point, something for men to think about.

Juno77 on October 30, 2009 at 4:12 PM

Breast protection is serious business people….

Hog Wild on October 30, 2009 at 4:12 PM

I hate everything about breast cancer awareness. The pink ribbons, the sisterhood b*llshit, and the obligatory shot of a womans bare back, arm over her head, facing a mammo machine.

Kathy Shaidle has the best rant:
Shut up about breast cancer awareness. We are so frickin aware I’m gonna vomit. People are always “raising awareness” about things everybody knows about. It is the activism of cowards. Especially women, who are so desperate for safety and approval.

CarolynM on October 30, 2009 at 4:05 PM

I completely agree! And I HATE the “save the tatas” campaign. Nothing more ridiculous than using a condescending term for breasts for a stupid campaign.

But then… I HATE awareness campaigns anyway. I want a CAMPAIGN AWARENESS ribbon. Sick of ribbons in general.

tickleddragon on October 30, 2009 at 4:13 PM

CarolynM on October 30, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Good point. Raising money is one thing, but raising awareness?

Esthier on October 30, 2009 at 4:13 PM

So was this clip directed by Roman Polanski?

thomasaur on October 30, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Someone else who’s seen MacBeth, eh?

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on October 30, 2009 at 4:15 PM

tickleddragon on October 30, 2009 at 4:10 PM

They looked fine to me, I am just happy they come in pairs.

fourdeucer on October 30, 2009 at 4:15 PM

They don’t call it the boob tube for nothin’! :-D

SouthernGent on October 30, 2009 at 4:18 PM

This video clip shows the importance of proper lighting. Obviously, Jill Geisner is evil, because she is lit from below.

As for the bruhaha over the picture, I fail to see the points.

unclesmrgol on October 30, 2009 at 4:20 PM

Doesn’t this remind anyone of the movie Office Space? Common guys clinking on a link to see a breast exam just so they can see boobies. You know that’s why you clicked the link.

GrammarPolice on October 30, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Ratings stunt period. Every woman on the planet can “feel” her own breasts and tell if she has a “lump” or a “mass”…You most certainly don’t need a model to show you how to do it. It’s a ratings grab, and a tacky one at that. Of course it IS MSLSD isn’t it?

Tim Zank on October 30, 2009 at 4:23 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

Doesn’t this remind anyone of the movie Office Space?

Did you see my post a few minutes before yours?

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 30, 2009 at 4:24 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

Hey Peter, They’re showing the breast exam on channel 152

Whoooo Hooooo

Kuffar on October 30, 2009 at 4:27 PM

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

I know!
Nudity should be boring!
In really advanced societies, nobody even gets aroused by it anymore.

MayBee on October 30, 2009 at 4:28 PM

That was one of the breast segments I’ve seen in recent mammary.

JohnTant on October 30, 2009 at 4:29 PM

Totally inappropriate first look joke.
She was 16 and beautiful, perfect figure, and long blond hair. In the backseat at the drive in I kept trying to get her blouse unbuttoned but she kept saying I would laugh. After about an hour she relented and her blouse was unbuttoned. Another half hour passed trying to get her bra unhooked while she constantly said no I would laugh. I swore up and down I could not possibly laugh at such beauty and finally she let me get the bra unhooked. She had one perfectly shaped breast right smack in the middle of her chest. I could not control the laughter until she raised her arm and peed on me.

fourdeucer on October 30, 2009 at 4:29 PM

Helen Thomas, call your office!

NoDonkey on October 30, 2009 at 3:39 PM

HELL NO!

CurtZHP on October 30, 2009 at 4:30 PM

I don’t give a click. Better ones available on plenty of sites.

Meremortal on October 30, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Doesn’t this remind anyone of the movie Office Space?
Did you see my post a few minutes before yours?

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 30, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Hey, check out the chic on channel nine!

HornetSting on October 30, 2009 at 4:30 PM

At least they are real.

rogersnowden on October 30, 2009 at 4:32 PM

I liked it.

A little gratuitous eye candy to start the weekend.

molonlabe28 on October 30, 2009 at 4:33 PM

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 30, 2009 at 4:12 PM

+1

Abby Adams on October 30, 2009 at 4:34 PM

perky!

Mr. Joe on October 30, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Why no timecode to guide us to the, um, relevant portion?

Contributor X on October 30, 2009 at 4:36 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

Could not agree more. In fact, right after I read your post, in an act of solidarity, I took off all my clothes and am now blogging naked.

Rod on October 30, 2009 at 4:41 PM

There are half as many prostates as breasts, yet there’s two times as much prostate cancer as there is breast cancer.

Just a fact.

Maybe the Women’s NBA will wear blue shoes for us or something.

Akzed on October 30, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Nudity should be boring!
In really advanced societies, nobody even gets aroused by it anymore. MayBee on October 30, 2009 at 4:28 PM

You’re confusing advanced with degraded.

A virile man is excited by a woman’s ankle. A weak man needs a whole lot more to arouse his slumbering libido.

Akzed on October 30, 2009 at 4:43 PM

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.

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

It would’ve been classic if the quote graphic read “Tit’s an important story.” Or, the announcer read it that way.

I had to watch it several times to make sure I was properly offended.

Ampleforth on October 30, 2009 at 4:47 PM

No, no one here was offended, and yes, we love making ta-ta jokes. So obviously it was tastefully done in the minds of such a sophisticated audience as this. Now, would you approve of your daughter doing this?

Nah, didn’t think so.

manwithblackhat on October 30, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Will they do the same for testicular cancer week?

portlandon on October 30, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Anybody who gets off on that needs to get a computer. I hear they have NAKED people on there.

Greed on October 30, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Akzed- I was kidding.

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.

I soooo disagree. I have never shied away from talking to my kids about sex, but I sure tried to keep too much nudity or sexual references away from them– much more than violence.

What do you want to do after watching Saving Private Ryan?
What do you want to do after watching a porn movie?

Our responses to visual representations of violence and sex are very very different.

MayBee on October 30, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Did you see the three moles arranged in a symmetrical triangle on her sternum? All those moles and nipples look like the eyes on a spider face.

How’s that for a random-soft-porn-Rorshach? Not that I’m bothered by it.

pugwriter on October 30, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Why else would they use a young, attractive woman for this particular demonstration, as the panel notes?

Because someone flipping around some 50year olds tennis ball in a tube sock would be much more “obscene”

Greed on October 30, 2009 at 4:55 PM

They should’ve featured Barry examining his breastices.

/They’re real, and they’re moobnificent!

Christien on October 30, 2009 at 4:58 PM

MayBee on October 30, 2009 at 4:52 PM

After watching a porn movie? How many couples have ever seen the end of one?

“Yeah Honey it was great for me too. No, don’t turn it off, I want to see how it ends.”

pugwriter on October 30, 2009 at 4:59 PM

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