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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Shouldn't They Be Watching What Their Kids Are Watching?

It figures some group of radical conservatives is behind the crappy programming decisions the networks are making lately. The Parents Television Council (read about their aggressive, misguided campaigning below) criticizes shows as indecent for these grave offenses: "homosexual innuendo," "homosexual characters," a "homosexual kiss," "trying to push gay rights" and "homosexually-themed art displays."

The PTC, whose motto is "Because Our Children Are Watching," takes special exception to shows such as "Sex and the City," "Will & Grace" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Would it be too much for some of these folks to forego some of the time they spend censoring TV for the rest of us and instead monitor -- and control -- what their children are actually watching? Why isn't turning off the set an option in their households?

Time to fight fire with fire. Go to the PTC's web site and sign up for their Action Alerts. Then, when they send out an e-mail calling for your response, simply change the wording so you demand the FCC does exactly the opposite of what the PTC suggests.

Hey -- they've made it easy for people to exercise undue majority control over what we all see on TV. We might as well use their system for our benefit.

Activists Dominate Content Complaints
December 6 -- In an appearance before Congress in February, when the controversy over Janet Jackson¹s Super Bowl moment was at its height, Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell laid some startling statistics on U.S. senators.

The number of indecency complaints had soared dramatically to more than 240,000 in the previous year, Powell said. The figure was up from roughly 14,000 in 2002, and from fewer than 350 in each of the two previous years. There was, Powell said, ³a dramatic rise in public concern and outrage about what is being broadcast into their homes.²

What Powell did not reveal -- apparently because he was unaware‹was the source of the complaints. According to a new FCC estimate obtained by Mediaweek, nearly all indecency complaints in 2003 -- 99.8 percent -- were filed by the Parents Television Council, an activist group.

This year, the trend has continued, and perhaps intensified.

Through early October, 99.9 percent of indecency complaints...were brought by the PTC, according to the FCC analysis dated Oct. 1.

The prominent role played by the PTC has raised concerns among critics of the FCC¹s crackdown on indecency. ³It means that really a tiny minority with a very focused political agenda is trying to censor American television and radio,² said Jonathan Rintels, president and executive director of the Center for Creative Voices in Media, an artists¹ advocacy group.... -- Todd Shields

Read the entire article here --> http://www.mediaweek.com/mediaweek/headlines/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000731656
Find the PTC web site here --> http://www.parentstv.org/

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