December 22 [16:00 EDT] -- While the National Organization for Women has publicly thanked MTV for its decision to stop airing Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up" video [1.3 M Quicktime], the cable channel says such gratitude may be undue.

The channel says that it wants it known that NOW's recent protests against Time Warner over the Prodigy track had nothing to do with the decision to stop airing the video.

In a statement that addresses the decision, an MTV spokesperson says, "We thought Prodigy's 'Smack My Bitch Up' was groundbreaking and newsworthy. It aired only between the hours of 1 and 5 a.m. over the course of one week and is no longer on-air."

During its brief stint on MTV, the video aired with a rating, a disclaimer, and a special intro by Kurt Loder of MTV News. In a statement released last Friday, NOW heralded the move as an "early Christmas gift to young women and girls" as Feminist Majority Foundation president Eleanor Smeal declared, "I'm glad MTV has gotten the message and will no longer air the video."

For their part, MTV says the decision to pull the video was made before NOW launched its public protest of Time Warner late last week.