What Janet Jackson Really Did at the Super Bowl

Yes, it’s true that the NFL refused to let Bono of U2 and Jennifer Lopez sing “An American Prayer,” a song about the AIDS crisis in Africa [and it’s true that both the Bush AND Clinton administrations blocked the sale of cheap AIDS drugs to Africa]

Yes, it’s true that Super Bowl broadcast host Jim Nantz, in the media hype the week before the game, made much of his friendship with George W. Bush and bragged about how his family took vacations with Dubya’s family.

On the other hand, there was Janet Jackson, who was the featured performer during a halftime show watched by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Performing only a part of her old hit, “Rhythm Nation,” the part she did went like this:

With music by our side
To break the color lines
Let’s work together
To improve our way of life
Join voices in protest
To social injustice

Janet then called for an end to bigotry and illiteracy. It’s certain that Democratic Presidential hopefuls Kerry, Dean, Clark & Co. will not take the baton from Janet Jackson’s outstretched hand to help carry it to the finish line. Will you?

LEE BALLINGER is co-editor of one of CounterPunch’s favorite newsletters, Rock and Rap Confidential, where this article originally appeared. For a free copy of the issue, email your postal address to: RRC, Box 341305, LA CA 90034 or send an email to: Rockrap@aol.com


Lee Ballinger, CounterPunch’s music columnist, is co-editor of Rock and Rap Confidential author of the forthcoming book Love and War: My First Thirty Years of Writing, interviewed Honkala for CounterPunch. RRRC is now available for free by emailing Ballinger at: rockrap@aol.com.