Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Parents TV Council: Get A Life!

The Parents TV Council — talk about people with too much time on their hands. When you hear about gazillions of people complaining about a naughty word on TV, this is the group you can thank.

The slogan on their website is “Because our children are watching.” Here’s an idea: if your children are watching TV, you can monitor what they watch, instead of relying on a government wetnurse to do your parenting for you.

The Parents TV Council website makes it so easy, they’re practically begging you to complain about something. Just click on several fields, click on Send, and — Presto! — you’ve just filed a complaint with the FCC. Your favorite program might be canceled just because several thousand people made the minimal effort of several mouse clicks.

But now, the Parents TV Council has met their match. TV Watch, a group of media executives, is using a free-market approach to fighting censorship. It’s about time. There’s nothing more absurd than conservatives’ schizophrenic approach to government regulation. If you need to declare bankruptcy, or your HMO won’t pay for that operation you need — “Tough shit. Get a grip. Suck it up.”

But if you don’t even have enough initiative to pick up your remote and push the channel button, the party of self-reliance says “Aww, we understand. You don’t like that program and you’re too lazy to use the remote. Dry your eyes, we’ll take that terrible thing off the air so you won’t have to be offended.”

TV Watch is encouraging parents to make full use of the ratings system and the V-Chip to monitor what their children watch. This is the only sensible approach for people who claim to want “individualism” and “limited government.”

The clash between the Parents TV Council and TV Watch is creating a rift between major conservative groups. This censorship issue is putting a strain on the cozy relationship between free-market conservatives and the Religious Right.

A spokesman for TV Watch says “Why should we trust government to come up with the standards? Standards for who? I can’t even agree with my wife about what we ought to watch on television. Do you really think government is going to be able to come up with a standard for all of us?”

Some prominent conservative groups are agreeing with TV Watch. In addition to media executives, this includes the American Conservative Union and Grover Norquist. Describing the zeal of some people to control what we watch, Norquist said “It’s socialism…dressing it up and getting a minister to say it doesn’t change that. It’s still socialism.”

The Parents TV Council and TV Watch are both gearing up for major campaigns. This could create an awkward position for moral crusaders who talk about "limited government" while actually pushing for more government. Make them squirm.


Blogger halcyon67 said...

First of all, if you want to waste The Parents TV Coucil's money, call them here to waste their money: 1-800-882-6868.

If these morons don't like what they are seeing, can't they just change the damn channel? There are tons of stations that are dedicated to family-oriented, family-friendly entertainment.

These people are so annoying. I am ready to call them up and start complaining about Pat Robertson.

August 3, 2005 at 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Samantha: Funny you should mention that. I've gone to the Parents TV Council website and complained about Pat Robertson's 700 Club and other programs like that. It doesn't do any good, but it throws their own absurdity right back at them.

August 3, 2005 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

"I've gone to the Parents TV Council website and complained about Pat Robertson's 700 Club and other programs like that."

LMFAO Tom!!!!!!!!! In real life, still laughing! That made my day, bro.

I don't know why those people haven't found the Christian Exodus idiots yet. If they did, maybe they'd all just move to South Carolina and take over SC's airwaves and leave the rest of us alone.

August 3, 2005 at 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Gun-Toting Liberal: Yeah, that would be nice, just relegate all the busybodies to one area, and the rest of us could just live our lives. I'm sure glad we have a group like TV Watch that's trying to counter the censors and know-it-alls.

August 3, 2005 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Sar said...

As the mother of 7 & 4 yo girls, the idea of the government usurping my parenting in my own home is stupidly, annoyingly absurd. I can understand how warning labels are put on CDs and games*, but they're just that - a tool for the parents which frankly I feel is prevalent today (*unless you're in Australia where they've banned Grand Theft Auto).

Nonethless, that's outside the home, whereas tv viewing is done inside the home where parents should be monitoring their kids in the first place.

On another note, wouldn't it be interesting to see them try to get rid of the network cashcows otherwise known as sexcapade reality tv?

August 3, 2005 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger Jake Porter said...

I was thinking while reading this post about complaining about Bill O' Reily for yelling and threating a man who's dad died on 9/11.

Samantha and Tom,
That is a great idea and Tom I am sure it does no good but it is funny.

Gun Toting Liberal,

I have heard of that group, I saw them on TV once but they are members of the constitution party and not republicans. I may make a post on my blog and hand out flyers at churches and I think I will find out where the KKK is and tell them about this group. I would love for them all to leave my state and am sorry for anyone in South Carolina.

I don't like to watch movies filled with violence and sex, I am refusing to see the new Dukes of Hazzard movie but I will never force my views on anyone. The only thing the government needs to do is regulate towers and signal interfernce of other stations not regulate the programing.

August 3, 2005 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...


"I have heard of that group, I saw them on TV once but they are members of the constitution party and not republicans."

Oh, thanks for the correction. I just knew they were fundie right-wing extremists, so I made the mistake of assuming. I think their web site is christianexodus.org if you want a good laugh.

August 3, 2005 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Jake Porter said...

That was an interesting website.

I agree with a lot of what they say but the problem I have with it has to do with reverse discrimination. Children can't pray in school so we will force them to pray in school, children are forced to read evolution so we will force them to read creationism. I don't know if they will do this but there are many people that would justify this reverse discrimination.
I know a spokesman said last year that he was voting for Peroutka (Constitution Party candidate for president) so I am guessing that is what they are part of but must say I am unsure.

August 3, 2005 at 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Bee said...

I'm with you, Tom...sick and tired of the false prophets telling us all what's good for our families. Here's how you fix the problem of what you don't like on TV - cancel the cable! Turn off the stupid TV, or uplug it, or throw it out the window, or shut the hell up about it! Just because they can't seem to get off their lazy rears and be parents doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to watch Tony Soprano pop a cap in someone's ass.

August 3, 2005 at 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Sar: No, they’ll never try to ban reality shows, or soap operas. The funniest thing was in the late ‘70s, when “Soap” premiered. It was a satire on soap operas, and all these religious groups were trying to get it banned before it even started its first season. The show didn’t contain any words or dialogue that millions of people hadn’t already heard in soap operas, but for some reason “Soap” just raised a red flag for these “morals” crusaders. They all ought to just get lives and leave us alone.

Jake: I hardly watch TV at all myself. I watch one or 2 things, occasionally a Seinfeld rerun, or tape movies sometimes. But it’s just the principle, that nobody should get to decide who watches what. The government should have more important things to do.

Gun-Toting Liberal: I’ll have to check out that website. My favorite rightwing website (for laughs) is WorldNetDaily. They look more like something from Saturday Night Live or the Daily Show, but they’re serious.

Bee: Yeah, I just can’t believe all the people that want to ban a TV show just because they’re offended by it. Just change the channel for God’s sake. Or like you say, just toss the damn thing out the window. We don’t get HBO so I’ve hardly ever seen the Sopranos. The Shield is my favorite gritty white-knuckle program. There aren’t any good guys or bad guys; everyone on the show is a complete asshole, and it’s so riveting, the hour goes by like five minutes.

August 3, 2005 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Ahhh, the widening rift between the fiscal conservatives/mainstream conservative and the "religious right"! 'Tis a thing of beauty, eh! I'm glad Frist spoke in favor of federally funded stem cell research, and that more politicians like Hagel, Dewine, Voinovich, Specter, McCain, the "Freedom Fries" guy, et al have disagreed publicly with Bush. As the crack in the GOP widens, I think the Democrats will remain united, galvanized by the actions and policies of the Bush administration and by the influence of the "religious right" on the Republican party. The GOP will grasp at straws, replaying videos of Howard Dean's scream, posting pictures of John Kerry and Jane Fonda in the same crowd, etc.

One big problem I believe the GOP will have in 2006 is that there won't be a presidential election to rally their voters around. Bush has "won" a couple of very close ones, suggesting an evenly divided electorate. As the crack in the GOP gets wider, and as fundamentalists become disillusioned by efforts some GOP candidates will make to distance themselves from Bush... look for the Democrats to gain seats.

August 3, 2005 at 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Snave: I sure hope you're right, but I'm afraid to get too optimistic. I thought Bush would lose the 2004 election because he was floundering in the polls. I hope the Bush Machine is unravelling, but don't let your guard down. Rove will have something up his sleeve.

August 3, 2005 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Glyn (Zaphod) Evans said...

Thanks for stopping by Tom. I have added your site to my linkls :)

I do have to agree. Television control for children should ultimately lie with the parents and not an agency. If parents don't know what their kids are doing, they are simply not paying enough attention to them...

August 4, 2005 at 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Glyn (Zaphod) Evans: Thanks. Yeah, parents need to monitor what their children watch. Just because they won't do their job doesn't mean the government should start banning people's favorite programs.

August 4, 2005 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Well---I had to go check out that site--kinda the "train wreck" theory--you dont wanna look but ya just HAVE too-lmao
Ok folks--there is this little thing called the "channel" button--or if you actually have a life--the "on/off switch". Of course this would involve actually watching out for what your child watches and taking responsibility as a parent--and we all know how popular that could be.

August 4, 2005 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Ken Grandlund said...

The real issue is that too many parents are NOT taking the time to monitor and educate their kids, and are letting the TV do it for them.

This does not excuse attempts at legislation or even make them right, but let's face it- parental control requires people who actually act like parents.

I do not support censorship by the government, only by individuals who are censoring for themselves. The bottom line is always about money, and if the shows don't get the ratings, they will be gone. Don't like something on TV? TURN IT OFF and go read a book!

August 4, 2005 at 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Kevin: What, people taking responsibility for what their kids watch? Nah. It’s so much easier to just file a complaint with the government and let them take care of it.

Or, like you said, the On/Off switch. Oh, there’s a world out there.

Ken: That’s definitely the real problem — parents not taking responsibility for what their kids watch. It’s too easy to just use the TV as a free babysitter. “I’m busy, go watch TV.”

The TV broadcasters are running a business. The marketplace — the ratings — should decide what stays on the air, not how many bored busybodies complain to the FCC. And like you said there’s always the option of reading a book instead, if anyone even does that any more.

August 4, 2005 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

The Parents TV Council and other groups like them are true Communists in many ways. That aside, they have no valid gripe outside of the Conned Conservatives of America. The CCA take issue with anything they don't like and try to enforce their hatred on others. They are also hypocrites. Why is it ok for an adult to watch porn and not a child? What's the difference? Little kids KNOW about nudity and sex so why pretend it doesn't exist? Isn't it better to educate them about these things so they make good decisions instead of ignoring it and hoping they will stick their head in the sand like their parents? The CCA views are both hypocritical and loony-toony.

August 4, 2005 at 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

OK Liberal: That’s definitely communism — having the government step in and do something that individuals could be doing for themselves. I sure hope the Conned Conservatives of America (I’ve gotta remember that one) are starting to lose their grip. Too many people are starting to see how two-faced and hypocritical they are.

August 4, 2005 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Rambler Joe Snitty said...

You know, logging complaints with the FCC may be a hopeless cause, but from what I've heard, a small group logging just a few complaints about a show to a local affiliate station can get results.

Might be worth a shot - ask 5 friends to mail letter protesting the 700 Club to the local network station and see what happens.

August 5, 2005 at 5:43 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Rambler Joe Snitty: That would be worth a shot. It would serve those people right to have their own tactics used against them.

August 5, 2005 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger halcyon67 said...

I am just waiting for Robertson to say something stupid.

I just want to call them and say, "I am offended, I saw someone's leg." Just flood them with calls and annoy the hell out of them.

Sar, did you know that Australia ranks really low on freedom of speech?

Jake about school prayer. I am in PA, and there was going to be this law that would put a plaque in every lobby, cafeteria and auditorium in each public high school stating "IN GOD WE TRUST." Also in PA, the Dover School District is fighting over intelligent design. The trial is the 26 of Sept. The good thing is that I am going to college near Dover. Maybe I go up there and check out the trial (if they will let my secular ass in).

August 5, 2005 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger halcyon67 said...

I will call the CCA and tell them that are communists.

Can't people just change the channel? That is all I am asking. There are tons of christian networks out there blocking and taking up space for all of the good programming.

August 5, 2005 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger halcyon67 said...

Rambler Joe, it does work. When they were going to air Stolen Honor, I joined a group called Start Change and joined their StopSinclair Group. It worked, they didn't show Stolen Honor. Also, a lot of us in my area convinced many of the local affiliates not to air government pre-packaged news. It was a grassroots-awareness campaing. It was good and it worked.

August 5, 2005 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Sar said...

Samantha - It would explain Russell Crowe's frequent outbursts in the States - like a kid let loose in a candy shop.

August 5, 2005 at 6:16 PM  

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