In 2004 the FCC decided that any use of profanity on Broadcast television or radio was unacceptable. However satellite and cable channels are not held to the same standards. The networks responded by suing on the grounds of creative expression. Groups like the Parents Television Council continue to file complaints against networks for indecent or offensive programming.
The FCC increased its standard in response to declining moral standards. FCC officials believe it is necessary to protect the public and ensure quality or at least non-offensive programming is aired. Another reason for the increased standards is to protect children and teens.
Personally, I do not choose to watch certain programming or even channels because of the programming. We also have TVs with V-Chips programmed to block R rated and higher programs. Yes, we can enter the code but it does prevent seeing some offensive things while flipping channels. The V-Chip does not always work properly, so it can be quite humorous at time. Especially, when a violent movie will be allowed but the weather will be blocked when describing “violent thunderstorms.”
I agree with the FCC and the Parents Television Council wanting to protect children and teens. However, for teens the internet is more of a threat than TV. It is possible to access just about anything on the internet. I am not supporting or even suggesting the FCC should regulate the internet. However, I do think that it is the parents’ responsibility to train children and teens what is appropriate. Not just regulate access to media but rather provide explanation, instruction, and guidance about what is acceptable or unacceptable and why.
So what to do think about the FCC’s increased standards? It is it a good thing? Should networks be given complete access?