TV Profanity Grows by Bleeps and Bounds
I feel compelled to share this article from the Family Research Council with you. I seldom watch TV, and when I do, I choose my programs very carefully. TV can be detrimental to our spiritual well-being, but is becoming increasingly worse under our extremely liberal, relativistic, anti-Christian governing powers.
If you thought network TV was pushing the envelope now, hang on to your remotes! This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case that could send parents lunging for the channel changer. Ten years after “Law & Order” showed a nude woman on its show, broadcasters are still fighting to turn programming into a 24-hour uncensored free-for-all. Under their interpretation of “free speech,” networks have the right to use as much nudity and profanity as they see fit. And if the court agrees, families will be an on/off switch away from X-rated primetime. Imagine a world, argued President Bush’s former Solicitor General, where even Big Bird could use the f-word!
Right now, the only thing standing in the way of parents and TV’s brave new programming is the Obama administration. Since the Federal Communications Commission falls under the Executive Branch, it’s up to the President’s team to defend the FCC’s powers. (Ironically, the administration will be defending powers that it hasn’t exactly exercised. Under President Obama’s FCC chief, 1.4 million complaints are still pending.)
Back in 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the FCC was within its rights to create rules that protect people against what Justice Scalia called the “foul-mouthed glitterati from Hollywood.” This suit will decide whether the rules the agency did impose are constitutional. Does the FCC have the authority to police the public airwaves–or is it a violation of “free speech” to put any limits on content? The industry would argue that parents, not government, should be the arbiters of what is and isn’t indecent. They claim moms and dads can stop the flow of filth to homes with V-chips or other devices. But would the same networks say it’s okay for corporate polluters to dump mercury in the town reservoir and claim that parents are responsible for filtering at the kitchen faucet? Of course not.
As most of us know, it’s virtually impossible to protect children now, and the regulations are still in place! Moments of bleeped and unbleeped profanity seem to dominate primetime shows. In 1998, Parents Television Council found three such instances. Last year, there were 1,227. Who knows how many instances of obscenity there would be if networks had carte blanche? Families will have to invest in earplugs and blindfolds. FRC weighed in with our concerns by submitting an amicus brief to the court that we coauthored with Focus on the Family. You can read our brief here. In the meantime, the Justices (with the exception of Sonia Sotomayor, who recused herself from the case) are expected to rule sometime this June. If the outcome is a green light for red light programming, you can bet that more parents will swear off television!