The New Scarlet Letter?

Not sure what letter it is, maybe it’s an “I” for inappropriate.

Janet Jackson is about to perform on Good Morning America, and of course, the network is insisting on a tape delay so that they can bleep her or blank her if she misbehaves. Reuters | Breaking News from Around the Globe

Perhaps she should perform in a burka.

Whether or not you were shocked (shocked!) at the improprieties she demonstrated at the Super Bowl, there’s really no reason to assume that every single time she goes on television she’s going to expose one part or another, any more than there’s reason to believe that Howard Dean is going to start screaming or that your Audi is going to suddenly accelerate and run over the kid down the street.

Humans are really bad at extrapolating, which is why brands work and you should care a lot about making a significant first impression you can live with.

Janet Jackson was a third-rate brand. Michael’s sister, okay singer, hit record maker, decent dancer. Nothing exceptional, no “Mona Lisa” only-one-in-the-world qualities to her. Until February. Now she’s got that scarlet letter. She’s been branded. Possibly forever.

Of course, now that she’s got the brand, she’s actually LESS likely to start parading around naked on morning television, right? But playing to the brand is easy and fun and safe, so the folks at ABC institute the bleeping delay, just to be safe. Reinforces the brand, protects the network.