While I may be the only person who feels this way, I believe we in America had better do whatever it takes to clean up the television industry and do it without delay. If we fail on this front, I fear we will pay a steep price for our refusal to get involved. I really believe most folks want children protected from the filth and garbage being shown daily on television screens, with much of it coming during prime time hours. No longer is the exposure of this junk limited to cable and satellite broadcasters. It’s now almost a daily part of the regular broadcast networks’ programming.
There have been laws, designed to protect children from broadcast indecency, in place for years. But unfortunately those laws have lots of loopholes and without any doubt they have been fully exploited. Instead of weakening those laws, however, we should strengthen them. We are now facing a most serious crisis in this country dealing with this subject.
The broadcast networks want the U.S. Supreme Court to turn them loose and not make them abide by the standards currently in place, calling them “vague” and “antiquated.” I don’t believe the standards are considered antiquated to the millions of parents who want broadcast TV and radio to be a relatively safe place to entertain and inform their families. I also believe most folks want the networks to be regulated. I firmly believe that a failure to regulate the industry would be a huge mistake and that it would result in great damage to the moral fiber of our country.
Those in charge of the TV and radio broadcast industries want the broadcast networks to be free to show anything and at any time with no restrictions. Eliminating the law entirely would allow broadcasters to pump nonstop profane language, disgusting vulgar and off-color references and sexual content, including pornography, into virtually every living room in the country. That’s something that our government simply can’t afford to allow. Nor should the public tolerate it.
The broadcast networks have asserted a “right” to use the airwaves to air whatever they want, regardless of who might be in the viewing audience, and regardless of how it might impact viewers. They want all the privileges that come from the licensed use of a public resource, including billions of dollars of annual revenue, but none of the responsibility. The networks’ freedom of expression isn’t threatened, and never was, by the federal government. FCC regulations only limit what can be shown when children are most likely to be in the viewing audience – between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Simply put, that which is at stake in this case is whether broadcasters will be allowed to air indecent and obscene material on television with no restrictions and with children watching.
The networks would also claim that they must be able to compete with unregulated cable networks. But the same companies that own the broadcast networks (Disney, NewsCorp, Comcast, Viacom) also own nearly all of the cable channels they claim to compete against. In my opinion, the federal government has a duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Only when the public gets involved, will the networks listen. They pay attention when an advertiser pulls its ads. Even though the high court justices are supposed to be immune from political influence, and I sincerely hope they are, they should realize how serious this matter is. Hopefully, they will rule in a manner that will protect our nation’s children.
Our children deserve the modicum of protection offered by the FCC’s indecency rules. Hopefully, the Supreme Court won’t take this needed protection away. The duty to protect children is paramount in my opinion and it should be a priority for our elected officials.
Source: USA Today
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