In our recent post about TV stations being fined for indecency, The folks at TV Watch replied with a comment that I felt should be on our main page instead of just in a comment section:
Here are some facts that you might find interesting. An overwhelming majority of Americans (91%) object to government deciding what they are able to watch on television. When activists talk about protecting children instead of parents—here’s what they’re talking about: sixty-eight percent of the country’s 110 million television-viewing households do not include children under age 18 and households with children have different challenges to face due to the varying ages of kids within each family. Currently, there are 11 million households with children age 6-11, 15 million households with children age 0-5 and 9 million households with children 12-17.
TV has come a long way from the days of three channels and rabbit ears antennas. Today’s TV audiences are putting to use broadband, DVRs, TV video on demand, iPods and cell phones to greatly expand their choices about what, when, where and how to watch TV. New technology means consumers have more selection than ever and more control than ever over what they see on TV. We all have more choices and parents have more tools to ensure their kids only see what’s right for them. Let’s let parents decide—not government, for all of us.
I completely agree, but the problem is that special interest groups like the Parents Television Council use their membership to bully the FCC into levying huge fines on broadcasters who air any program that the PTC deems to be offensive. Even if that program had previously aired in the past without any incident.
Although only a small percentage of homes in the US have children, and there are several options that have been developed specifically to help parents protect their young impressionable offspring from viewing objectionable material, this reactionary right wing watchdog groups' consistent badgering of a federal organization has caused them to wield an unrealistic amount of power.
Fact: Nearly ALL of the complaints sent to the FCC come from the PTC. Visitors of the PTC website can just fill out their name on a pre-written complaint form and hit SEND to submit the complaint directly to the complaint branch of FCC. One doesn't even need to watch the offending program. Just spam the FCC and watch them fine the broadcasters. Feed the monkey and make them dance.
As TV Watch points out, Even though research proves that parents choose family responsibility over governmental regulation by 87%, The PTC wants to tell every television viewer what they can and cant watch in their own home and they bully the FCC into doing whatever they want them to do.
The point is this: decency is in the eyes of the beholder and should be the responsibility of the parents, not a federal government or some pushy, loud-mouthed, radically conservative special interest group.
If you don't like what your child is watching, take an active part in the viewing process and change the damn channel.
If you want to know what you can do as a parent to control what you kids watch on TV, visit televisionwatch.org