Jon Pareles, Neil Strauss, Ben Ratliff and Kelefa Sanneh of the New York Times listened to a lot of bad pop music in 2003 and took part in a conversational column about the subject. One item brought up was Madonna’s “complete misfire” with ‘American Life’ and her kiss with Britney Spears at the MTV Video Music Awards. Strauss said, “What’s amazing about that to me is that something that’s totally rehearsed and scripted gets so much attention. It wasn’t like they actually kissed out of passion.” Sanneh added, “Well, yeah, it was staged. It was a live music video in a sense. And so in that sense it was a totally appropriate moment for the Video Music Awards.” Read more.