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Editor's column: Will the FCC play ‘dirty’ to keep us watching?

The group entrusted to keep TV clean is considering turning the other cheek when it comes to nudity and profanity.

June 22, 2013
By Per Peterson , Marshall Independent

Between the NSA, the IRS, the DOJ and the AP there are enough acronyms floating about the newsworld to make your HEAD spin.

Well, here's two more: EIE and FCC.

The latter you've probably heard of - the Federal Communications Commission, which is charged with keeping TV clean and tidy. The former, the EIE, is short for Enough Is Enough, which has partnered with the Parent's Television Council (the PTC), Morality in Media (MIM) and Concerned Women for America (CWA) to spread the word about an FCC proposal that should have all of us shaking our heads to the point where we need an MRI.

In short, the FCC could be close to giving parents even more reason to distract their kids from the television (TV). The FCC is proposing to sanction nudity and profanity on broadcast TV during hours when kids typically watch TV instead of limiting it to "after hours." The proposal would allow "isolated incidences" of nudity and profanity on network television, according to the EIE.

The EIE calls the proposal to allow full frontal, non-sexual nudity and profane language during times when your kids could very well be watching network TV "insane."

I agree, but am confused. Isn't the FCC supposed to prevent this from happening? Isn't it the watchdog that keeps tabs on the awards shows and Super Bowl halftime shows to make sure nothing that should be said is said and nothing that should be exposed exposed?

That's what I thought. Why the liberal about-face?

The general rule of thumb if you have kids is if you think you have to cover their eyes when something comes across the screen, then they shouldn't be watching in the first place; this proposal would require us to have blindfolds at the ready at 8 o'clock at night. It's bad enough our kids can log on, type in a few letters and catch some porn on the Internet, now we have to worry about TV, too?

The Internet is the new TV, we all know it. Is this good news for the FCC? Probably not, since the FCC has this control complex and loves to play God when it comes to determining what is and isn't appropriate. Perhaps, it believes, loosening the cuffs on TV networks will keep people watching and lure back those who have abandoned the tube for the computer.

Watch out, FCC, that's pretty thin ice you're walking on there.

My daughter is at an age now when she has no interest in that stuff. She covers her eyes when two people kiss on screen. But eventually, the "yucky" will be replaced by "ohh," and then she'll get really curious.

Not looking forward to it.

Full disclosure: I'll let her watch "Law & Order" with me because she likes the characters, but I know I probably shouldn't. OK, fine, I'm a hypocrite, but at least the detectives keep their clothes on and there's surprisingly little swearing.

TV has got it all wrong anyway, and it's probably too late to save it. TV used to be filled with positive - albeit, sometimes nauseating - shows like "Full House" and "Who's the Boss" that teach lessons and send positive messages to children. Now all you see is reality TV. Oh, it's real alright, too real - whether they use bleeps or not. Comedy Central airs celebrity roasts on the weekends and pulls no punches when it comes to profanity. The roasts make Eddie Murphy blush. We need more Garrison Keillor and less Bob Saget (the comedian on stage, not the dad on TV).

There are two ways to look at TV: as an evil, mind-sucking electronic device that puts kids in a trance and forces them to the couch for hours on end, or a simple source of entertainment. There are also two ways to look at the Internet: as an evil, mind-sucking electronic device that puts kids in a trance and forces them to stare at a monitor for hours on end, or a simple source of entertainment.

I'll take the lesser of two evils, of course. Which one is that again?



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