Saturday, March 13, 2004

Has the Frog Jumped?

William F. Buckley writes of a new pressure to maintain public standards of decency. In the wake of the Janet Jackson Super Bowl fiasco, Howard Stern finds himself under pressure, and the House passed the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act giving the government the ability to fine decency offenders large sums of money.

This reminds me of one of Peggy Noonan's best pieces in which she wrote, immediately following the Super Bowl, that this could be a "frog-in-the-water moment," a moment where we recognize that the water is boiling (the culture is decaying) and we jump out of the pot (we put a halt to it). Rather than heating the pot slowly and being killed slowly but almost imperceptibly, not being able to jump when you realize it's too hot, Noonan hoped that the Jackson stunt was so outrageous that it was like throwing a frog into a rolling boil, making him instantly jump to safety.


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