Friday, October 9, 2015

Parents Television Council

Got this email from Parents Television Council with clips of primetime shows that are highly disturbing, & if you don't find them disturbing, especially for children, THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU.

Anyone who thinks that watching this shit does not have an effect on children is either just not paying attention or is too ignorant to realize it. Children have a difficult time telling the difference between reality & television, especially at a young age.

It scares the hell out of me to think about how many households in America have these deplorable shows on with little kids watching. Or maybe an older sibling is watching it on an iPad. Think about the numbers of young children exposed to this extremely violent and/or sexually explicit content, airing at 8/9 pm! Sure, you can say that parents have a right or responsibility to screen things but c'mon, really? Are they? Are the most vulnerable, perhaps impressionable kids in broken homes and/or living in poverty, with a single mother at work all the time, are those kids' caregivers screening stuff? That being said, there are also plenty of "well-to-do" households where both parents are working and are just too burned out (or sometimes just don't pay attention) and their kids are also watching who-knows-what. It is seriously messed up when you think about repeated, long-term exposure from the time they can sit in a bouncy seat and are stuck in front of the idiot box. I find it disturbing that most American households have the tv on nonstop, in the "background." Maybe thinking kids aren't paying attention?  But now it's not just Oprah (just kidding Oprah, you've been great-except for all that crap about The Secret) or The View or a million commercials. Now it's a bombardment of The Walking Dead & nonstop sexual references. Oh, no, of course kids aren't shaped or influenced by any of that.

While I have no desire to watch such shows at any age & don't really understand why anyone would, I am not suggesting censorship. But do we as a society have a duty to at least lessen the likelihood of exposure to our youngest? Shows like in the clips in link above should never air on regular network television. And especially not at 8/9 pm.

The Parents Television Council is a pretty right-wing group. Just reading the statement in their email about "the Hollywood elite," I could almost hear Mike Huckabee's voice. I do not stand behind their ban on JC Penney for having Ellen DeGeneres in their catalog. Love is love & no one should be concerned about what physical acts anyone else of gay or straight persuasion does in private. Now if she was pictured groping Portia DiRossi in the womenswear section, then I could understand their complaint. But, I think the issue of violence & sex in media that children are likely to be exposed to is an issue, much like anger at Wall Street, that the right-wing conservative "family values" crowd & some liberals might be able to see eye to eye on.

Check out the Center on Media and Child Health at Harvard