On MSNBC, "Morning Joe" co-anchor Mika Brzezinski was not amused by the performance at all. After showing a clip of the performance coming out of a commercial, Joe Scarborough and the other panelists were joking about it, but not Brzezinski, who called it "really, really disturbing."
"Real Time" host Bill Maher took to Twitter to comment: "Haven't been in a strip club in awhile, but good to see nothing has changed."
On NBC's "Today" show, guest co-anchor Brooke Shields, who played Miley's mom on "Hannah Montana," called the performance "desperate."
"Today" show co-anchor Willie Geist characterized it as "a big Disney over-correction," citing Britney Spears as another example of a sweet kid actor who felt the need to oversexualize herself to show that she's no longer a child.
The Parents Television Council also got in on the outrage, issuing a statement from director of public policy Dan Isett that said: "MTV has once again succeeded in marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars and condom commercials -- while falsely rating this program as appropriate for kids as young as 14. This is unacceptable."
"Miley better get a damn pregnancy test after all that grinding," joked comedian Kevin Hart during the show.
The evening's funniest viral image reportedly depicted the reaction of Will Smith and his family to Cyrus' performance, though some Internet fact-checkers claimed that the Smiths' horrified expressions were actually captured during Lady Gaga's appearance.
However, it was Justin Timberlake who won big at the VMAs, taking home the top prize for video of the year for "Mirrors" and a special achievement honor, and also led a much-anticipated onstage reunion of the boy band 'N Sync.
Hip-hop artists Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars were among other top winners, with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis taking home three awards, including best hip-hop video.