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Why MTV Is Willing To Sacrifice One Brand For Another

brand_7-17British comedian Russell Brand hosted last year’s Video Music Awards on MTV, cracked dozens of obscene jokes and had people speculating whether it was “career suicide.”

So what did MTV do for this year’s show? Brought him back to host again!

In promoting this year’s show, they’ve fully embraced the most controversial aspects of Brand’s performance last year. Some of the Brand “highlights” from 2008? Calling then President Bush “that retarded cowboy fellow,” joking about the Jonas Brothers’ purity rings and serving as the original Palin-kid-jokester, saying “That is the safe sex message of all time. Use a condom or become a Republican!”

And now he’s back. “This year will be a controversy-free festival of love and discrete orgasms,” said Brand in MTV’s announcement this week.

This tactic is not surprising – Brand, and last year’s hysterical and borderline inappropriate performance – epitomizes the new MTV. Gone are the music videos, in are shows about pregnant teens. Paris Hilton gets to find a new BFF. The Real World has just given up and put the cast in Cancun.

Brand shook up the established boundaries of what could be made fun of during an awards show last year, expertly skewering celebrity, media and political correctness. All signs point to him doing it once again.

For those who have complaints – well you’ll have to take that up with Speidi. They’ve taken over the customer service department.

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Follow Steve Krakauer on Twitter

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