The legacy of the wardrobe malfunction lives on.

Some seven months after Janet Jackson stunned the world by, um, exposing the need for more accountability among the television entertainment, critics are now wondering whether MTV will push the limits once again with their Video Music Awards.

Last year, as you undoubtedly (and unfortunately) recall, viewers were treated to one of pop’s older divas locking lips with two of its younger ones.  But in the shadow of the outrage after “The Incident” at Super Bowl XXXVIII, will MTV shut down the shock factor?  I don’t have my hopes up.

From an AP report:

“MTV President Van Toffler isn’t promising any flesh-baring moments. But he’s also not promising a Nickelodeon-friendly affair.

“’You never know what they’re going to do or say,’ Toffler said of the various artists who will converge at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, where the awards will be held for the first time. ’Our audience has come to expect of MTV, and this event, very unpredictable, compelling television. That is not going to change, regardless of the Super Bowl or the kiss.’

“Still, there’s talk of using a video delay for the first time on the live broadcast (it’s had an audio delay for years).”

The worst part of these gimmicks, in my view, is that MTV attracts an audience that consists largely of teens and pre-teens who are far too eager to follow in Britney and Christina’s often-bizarre footsteps.  Actually, the videos themselves are usually so drenched in sexual overtones that it’s kind of hard to believe they could be topped at an awards ceremony.

Granted, this isn’t the “family” television that the Super Bowl is supposed to be.  But there will be thousands of little girls watching MTV’s award show this weekend who don’t need to be shocked.  And millions of adults who don’t want to see pop stars making out on the front page of the paper Sunday morning.