Super Bowl: Madonna shines, M.I.A. shocks, Birmingham blocks
In many ways, Madonna's Super Bowl halftime show delivered the Full Madonna. Who else could have gotten away with that superabundant spectacle of choreography and showmanship, booming beats and cheeky camp, replete with a phalanx of blinged and buffed faux gladiators?
But what about delivering a shock to Middle America? On this score, Madonna of 2012 -- now a mom, a children's book author, and a platinum eminence in her 50s -- appeared to play it safe Sunday night.
Instead, younger guest star rapper M.I.A. stepped in, quickly flipping the bird during a performance of the song "Give Me All Your Luvin'," and "uttering a barely disguised expletive," according to a report by the Associated Press.
Viewers in the Birmingham, Ala., market, however, had to read all about it Monday morning, because their NBC affiliate blocked the offending moment with a few seconds of a "local screen shot," according to Joseph A. Bryant of the Birmingham News.
An employee for the station would not comment on the decision to black out the M.I.A. move, according to the reporter.
But not every market was as fast as Birmingham to block the fleeting scenes, and the finger is already posted online.
-- Richard Fausset in Atlanta
Photo: Nicki Minaj, left, Madonna, center, and MIA, right, perform during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show. Credit: Christopher Polk / Getty Images