October 15, 2003
evening TV needs to watch its mouth
I do not blush when people use rough language,
but are you aware of the words polluting prime-time television?
In fact, Parents Television Council (PTC), a watchdog
group reports that during the early evening hours from
8 to 9 p.m., the so-called "family hour," foul
language increased by 95 percent between 1998 and 2002,
and it grew by 109 percent during the 9 p.m. hour in the
same period. Where is the integrity of television?
the question to be addressed is this: Does television
lead society or reflect the behaviors of the public?
starts with language used by parents with children. If
you have not gone to an amusement park in a few years,
prepare yourself for some shocking experiences. How parents
ought to behave is a topic for another column.
has too often become a baby-sitter, mesmerizing children
with its multisensory charms as parents have abdicated
responsibility for what is shown in their homes.
integrity is on trial? Parents or the corporation selling
programs that the buying public is demanding? Frankly,
when we do not like a program, we can change channels
-- or even turn off the television. We can remember that
reading, listening to music, and sharing ideas are all
positive by-products of a non-television evening.
in mind that if television programs were not satisfying
sponsors, they would change. After all, those who sponsor
programs on television do market research to ensure that
their advertising dollars attract more customers. Somehow,
the economic system of television is meeting market needs.
If television programs are not satisfying your needs,
then pull the plug. And, if that does not satisfy you,
then write to local station managers and elected officials
and make your concerns known.
if television does not regulate itself in relation to
society's values, then regulators will. But there is this
question of you: Does television pollute the culture,
or have the deteriorating values of the society set the
is time for social behavior, even within a family, to
become more gracious and less destructive. Decide to exhibit
interpersonal integrity all the time, monitor what programs
are acceptable in your home; foster this commitment among
your friends and associates, and anticipate that the television
industry will follow. When good taste dominates our culture,
smart business will fall into line.