Wednesday, November 30, 2005

WARNING:

GIGANTIC RANT AHEAD.

The story that set me off? This one:

FCC Warns Cable, Satellite: Clean Up TV Raunch

A note before we get started ripping this apart:

To tell you the truth, I question whether this is REALLY about The Children, as it's being presented. I think it's just the morality police, cracking down on what we ALL watch, not just The Children. The Children are just an excuse to get their paws on what you and I, as rational adults capable of making decisions, see and hear. This is absurd at best, and at worst, grossly offensive. But since they are disguising this as being about The Children, I'll go ahead and play along, and I'll keep this rant mainly to those points.


"Parents need better and more tools to help them navigate the entertainment waters, particularly on cable and satellite TV," Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin told Congress.

Um...no thank you. So far, I'm actually doing very well, without needing a single tool. It's really not that difficult. Really it's not. And I don't need the help of the government. For those who think they need govt intervention to "help" them decide what to allow their children to watch, might I suggest actually turning on the TV and watching the programs for yourself. I've found that to be the best way to know what's in them.

In addition to expanding federal decency standards to include cable and satellite programs, Martin suggested several options, including creating a "family-friendly" tier of channels that would offer shows suitable for kids, such as the programs shown on the Nickelodeon channel.

Just for Martin's information, I personally would shun a "family friendly" channel offering Nick-like shows. The reason? I have not yet actually seen anything on Nickelodeon that I would let my son watch. The cartoons tend to be full of adult innuendo and violence, and the live shows tend to teach disrespect of adults. I've found that I can't trust anyone but myself to determine what is and is not "family friendly." Too much out there is touted as such and yet falls far, far short.

"You can always turn the television off and, of course, block the channels you don't want," Martin said, "but why should you have to?"

Why should you have to?

You should have to, Mr. Martin, to keep government agencies from "cleaning up" the shows that adults, not children, watch.

You should have to because it's up to YOU, not the government, to decide what is right for your family.

You should have to because it is your child, and your responsibility
, and that actually includes *gasp* knowing and monitoring what they watch. It goes along with knowing who their friends are, where they are headed when they go out, setting curfews, etc. Can you imagine the government setting a nationwide curfew "because, well, you COULD do it yourself, of course, but why should you have to?" The outrage would be enormous if that were to happen. Or would it? It should be, as it should be in this case.

I would like for any parent who is in agreement with Martin's statements to tell me, please, why blocking channels or turning off the TV would be such a hardship. My husband and I have already blocked several channels on our system (a little prematurely, perhaps, since our son is only two and doesn't channel surf yet, but still...). The way I understand it, all it takes is a passcode for an adult to be able to access the channel. Is FCC interference of what YOU would be watching really preferable to having to enter a few numbers to keep it away from the eyes and ears of your children?

What the government would obviously consider suitable for my child, I do not find so. And for myself, I do not want to watch shows that have been watered down and cleaned up just in case someone's child somewhere might be watching.

It seems personal responsibility and actual parenting really have taken a nose dive these days, and it is VERY worrisome to me that the government is actually considering sticking their noses into a service that I PAY for. I have big, big problems with this, and will certainly be keeping my eye on it as it develops.

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