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Tit for Tat

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Message Jan Baumgartner
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News and cleavage, news and cleavage...go together like a horse and carriage!

When did cleavage become the hottest accessory on TV news?

Something has revealed itself on prime time television news and I'm not speaking of late breaking stories from around the globes. Or internets. Or maybe I am. Is it just me, or is cleavage becoming de rigueur for female anchors and reporters, and not just on cable?

Boobs are in, baby. Bye, bye bling. Hail to the chiefs! Where are the evangelical Christians when you need them? Or, say, a respectable, color coordinated dickie?

I am baffled. Just yesterday, issues such as the Iraqi civil war and the Darfur crisis spilling into Chad, were headline news, and rightfully so. But what media genius has come up with this new "in your face" approach to reporting, that leaves thousands, if not millions of Americans just like me, focused more on front and center screen than the real life stories at hand? If this doesn't smell Rovian, then I don't know stink.

At first, I thought it was a smudge on my t.v. screen. When a cloth and liberal spraying of Pledge didn't remove the shadowy reference of cleavage from my living room set, I sat up and took notice. Granted, this was MSNBC* news - fake news, if you will - more entertainment hype than hardcore news. And yet, it WAS hardcore news. Cleavage was all over the screen like The Blob on Godzilla. Foley on Intern. Haggard on Meth. But I digress. And, that wasn't the end of it.

Later, I saw hints of t*ts on, God forbid, the CBS evening news. Yes, dinner hour news, where innocent victims doing nothing more than enjoying Swanson chicken cutlets, were caught in the grips of surreptitious t*ts upstaging world events. Suddenly, images of starving children and war-torn Baghdad took a back seat to full frontal carriage. My eyes were so glued to the screen my contacts adhered to my retinas. And I see t*ts every day. Nevertheless, it made me think of a line from Seinfeld where George is caught gawking at a 14 year-olds cleavage. It went something like, "...cleavage is like the sun, you can only take a peek at it, then you have to look away!"

Now, let me be frank in saying that I am no prude. I have my own cleavage. And on occasion, let it come up for air. But on prime time news? I think not. I suppose my dilemma is the fact that Americans are so smothered in hypocrisy that we no longer know news from make believe. Fact from fiction. Breaking news or busting boobs. We are so uptight about sex and yet, we sell sex in the forms of toothpaste, automobiles, cell phones, lip plumpers and hamburger buns, but kick off planes women breastfeeding their infants for exposing themselves in indecent fashion.

What defines indecent exposure? Not a television reporter revealing real live breast cleavage coverage while reporting on mass slaughter, but rather, a mother giving sustenance to her child? What am I missing here?

So, moral police -- compliant, still, well-behaved and anchored t*ts get hands-down, thumbs up? Where breasts in motion, usage, utilized, exercised, are titillatingly taboo? Headlines verses Hooters?

Now that I've lost all credibility by airing my t*ts, I mean, my views, I think I'll go watch some news. Can I say "t*ts" on the internets?

* The only "real" news on MSNBC being that of Keith Olbermann who thus far, has shown exemplary taste in not needing to air his cleavage to make a point.
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Jan Baumgartner is the author of the memoir, Moonlight in the Desert of Left Behind. She was born near San Francisco, California, and for years lived on the coast of Maine. She is a writer and creative content book editor. She's worked as a grant (more...)

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