Way back in 2009, when this writer was working on a cover story about MTV, a senior executive at the channel said that the Video Music Awards serve to remind people that MTV is still here and it is still edgy, lest people forget its counterculture heritage.
Every year the VMAs come along, and every year, like clockwork, something happens that causes the network morning shows and the cable news channels to go gaga over (pun intended). This year, the winner was Miley Cyrus, who stripped and twerked her way to cable news infamy. Mission accomplished for MTV.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper was at least aware of the circumstances, calling it “the elephant in the Ridiculist room.”
“The only way Miley Cyrus could actually shock me with a VMA performance would be to play a heartfelt and original performance on the guitar, and actually sing,” Cooper quipped.
Meanwhile, on MSNBC, Mika Brzezinski fell into the trap of condemning the performance for being inappropriate, and was shocked, shocked, to see that TV news outlets (including MSNBC) were replaying it over and over and over.
Miley was also a big story on Fox News, with “Fox & Friends,” “The Five” and “Hannity” all condemning the performance. Just in case viewers forgot, they were sure to replay her ménage à trois with Robin Thicke and a foam finger again and again. Hannity also relayed his dismay, as he is friend’s with Miley’s father Billy Ray Cyrus.
Meanwhile, two days later, the network morning shows were still talking about the performance. Yes, “CBS This Morning” covered it too, at 7:14 AM.
If you are wondering, the VMAs also saw a 66% ratings boost from last year, and record social interaction. It has been a very, very good week for MTV.