America To Government Censors: Step Away From The TV

from the no,-seriously,-stop-it dept

While some politicians have been pushing to get more regulatory control over TV for the sake of blocking out "indecent" material, a new study suggests that parents are overwhelmingly against government intervention when it comes to television, and that they believe good parenting skills are what's necessary to protect children from seeing indecent material online. While this is a position I tend to agree with, the stats (91% say government shouldn't be more involved) are so extreme to make you wonder if the questions in the survey were biased to get the answer they were looking for. There's been enough talk in this country about indecency on TV over the past few years that it would be quite surprising if politicians were pushing an idea that was really only popular with less than 10% of the population. You could easily word questions about this topic in a way that would elicit exactly these answers -- and I'm sure someone could just as easily do a study that showed nearly the opposite results by wording the questions in a different way.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Just one guy, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 12:12pm

    Silence!

    Ssst!

    Skewed impressive statistics are impressive statistics just the same, and since for once its results are encouraging, it is better to have it provide its fullest effect on politicians and opinion makers. No use, yourself, pointing out that the survey methodology might have been questionable.

    Especially since you don't really know yourself, not having been shown the actual source data.

    Especially since from the article it is not to be excluded that people were asked a blunt and direct question, for which no alternative interpretation can be given, one such as "If you are worried about the quality of TV shows, would you rather A) have the government provide tighter control of the content of TV programming or B) involve yourself directly in the choice of what your kids are watching?

    If such was the question, and the answer was 91% for B, there would be little room for interpretation, I guess...

     

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  2.  
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    Mike (profile), Nov 29th, 2005 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Silence!

    Wouldn't you rather have truth on your side?

    If the data's questionable, even if it supports your beliefs, it's only going to come back and haunt you.

     

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  3.  
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    Bill, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Silence!

    I would answer B to that question, because I do have a responsibility has a parent. But that in no way lessens my desire for answer A (government control) to happen also. I want both to happen, but in the end it is up to me as to what my kids watch.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Silence!

    Sensoring from the reality of the world is one of the most HURTFUL things you can do to a human and society.

    Our founding fathers realized this.

    That's why it is the FIRST amendment.

    Truth and education are what really protects us all from the horrible aspects of the world that will never cease to exist.

    This is also why I say the Internet is our modern "savior."

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Silence!

    No matter what you try to sensor your children from, they will take it upon themselves to find out the TRUTH and EDUCATE themselves, and there is absolutely NOTHING that will stop them when they decide to do this.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Silence!

    lol yeah yeah yeah, i know...

    CENSOR - have fun ripping on me for that one!

     

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  7.  
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    ZOMG CENSORED, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 12:48pm

    I want my [explitive deleted] tv

    I'm just waiting for the tightwad government folks to start drawing black lines on their screen every time they find something offensive. With any luck, we'll put enough "offensive" material up that they'll black out their screens and save us the trouble of having to deal with their assanine vies.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Silence!

    While I don't think that the government can/should censor TV (within reason, wartime news that could endanger troops on a mission and all that). I really think that studies that are biased do not help anyone’s causes. This study by showing such an overwhelming percentage was probably biased. As such, I don't think it should be used to support anything. Anymore than some of the studies I've seen from the other side that are also obviously biased. Bad data is never useful unless you are trying to cover up the real facts and truth. Which is the whole reason I am against gov. censorship in the first place.

     

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  9.  
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    TobyKY, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 1:12pm

    On the fence

    I am somewhat on the fence with this subject. On the one hand, it would be nice if the goverment would be stricter as to what material should (or should not) be allowed. Then again, it is my responsibilty as a parent to try to shield my kids from the "offensive" material that is displayed everytime we turn on the TV.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 3:15pm

    Re: On the fence

    Yeah? If it's that bad then why don't you just leave the TV off?

     

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  11.  
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    Mousky, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 4:26pm

    Re: On the fence

    You are far from being on the fence on this subject. It is clear to me that your believe there is plenty of offensive material on the TV and that the government should control what is allowed to be shown on TV.

    Besides, it's not about shielding your kids from offensive material, it's about teaching your kids what is considered appropriate for their age (or developmental level). It's about sitting down and watching TV with your kids every now and then.

     

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  12.  
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    Bill, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 4:32pm

    America To Government Censors: Step Away From The

    I've been in the tech sector for over 25 years and am the parent of a 13 year old and the step-parent of a precocious 10 year old. The government should not be censoring but it needs to give the parent the ability to 100% censor inappropriate content. By this I mean that the government needs to rate TV, movies, radio, music, magazines and internet by SPECIFIC age or a number rating with at least 10 gradiants. The http://www.kids-in-mind.com movie site is an excellent example. The ratings need to be electronic such that the parent can set controls IN HIS HOUSE and forget about it. The V-Chip is a poor implementation of this but a start. Today all 60 million parents in the US must do this task themselves - an impossible feat and a waste of valuable parental energy.

    In my house the precocious 10 year old is single handedly destoying the innocence of my 13 year old. She is bringing into the house media that is inappropriate. I waste hours a day attempting to keep this out of the house.

    I need parental controls that work that require minimal parental effort.

     

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  13.  
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    Fred, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 5:02pm

    Re: America To Government Censors: Step Away From

    Bravo! At last someone that reflects my feelings and desires, which I have a hard time expresing.

     

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  14.  
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    Josh Tomaino, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 6:40pm

    TV = Babysitter

    The problem is it is becoming more common to sit your kid in front of the TV and leave him there for hours. Well, sorry parents. You ACTUALLY need to watch your kid sometimes.

     

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  15.  
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    Hallie, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 7:28pm

    Re: America To Government Censors: Step Away From

    "...minimal parental effort."? It makes me cringe...
    You had the kid. You took responsibility for the step-child. It's not (and shouldn't be) the government's responsibility to oversee the media industry so you don't have to rear your children. There are much better places for my tax money to be spent than a government board reviewing every piece of music, video, and print material that comes through the pipe.
    How does a 10-year-old get inappropriate media? You don't know where she's going or with whom she's associating? YOU'RE the adult in the relationship -- YOU'RE the one who is supposed to be setting limits and instilling values. You complain that you "...waste hours a day attempting to keep this out of the house." Sorry, but that's your job as a parent. If you don't want her or your 13-year-old seeing such material then the time isn't "wasted."

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2005 @ 12:08am

    Re: America To Government Censors: Step Away From

    "In my house the precocious 10 year old is single handedly destoying the innocence of my 13 year old."



    I am willing to bet that if you replace the word “innocence” with the word “ignorance” in the above sentence you will be MUCH closer to the truth. Or is your 10 year old involving your 13 year old in some sort of crime?

    What is it that your 10 year old is teaching your 13 year old about, and why are you so afraid of it?

    In no other realm of human endeavor would we refer to “ignorance” as “innocence” and value that ignorance so highly.

    “My son’s Geometry teacher is despoiling his innocence of mathematics! This must be STOPPED immediately!!! DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN!!! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!”

     

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  17.  
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    Mousky, Nov 30th, 2005 @ 6:39am

    Re: America To Government Censors: Step Away From

    I think "waste hours a day" and "minimal parental effort" sum up the effort you put into parenting. You want some one else to determine what is appropriate and not appropriate for your child to make your life easier. You do not want to invest - or as you call it "waste" - your energy into actually parenting. You don't want to watch what your kids are watching, read what your kids are reading or listen to what your kids are listening to. Parenting requires that you be involved with your child.

     

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  18.  
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    dan, Nov 30th, 2005 @ 6:52am

    Re: America To Government Censors: Step Away From

    "...minimal parental effort."? It makes me cringe...
    You had the kid. You took responsibility for the step-child. It's not (and shouldn't be) the government's responsibility to oversee the media industry so you don't have to rear your children. There are much better places for my tax money to be spent than a government board reviewing every piece of music, video, and print material that comes through the pipe.
    How does a 10-year-old get inappropriate media? You don't know where she's going or with whom she's associating? YOU'RE the adult in the relationship -- YOU'RE the one who is supposed to be setting limits and instilling values. You complain that you "...waste hours a day attempting to keep this out of the house." Sorry, but that's your job as a parent. If you don't want her or your 13-year-old seeing such material then the time isn't "wasted."

    I agree wholeheartedly. Granted I do not have kids right now (I will be getting married next year, kids the year after), but I do know a thing or two about educating and caring for children.
    Nobody forces anybody to have a TV. Heck, if my girlfriend didn't want one, we wouldn't even use it other than for movies. If you decide that you want to use the television for entertainment (hopefully you don't use it for supervision, but I have seen a lot of parents who do), then it is up to you to control what they watch.
    If one really wants to do this with a minimum effort (also makes me cringe, I would rather raise kids with the maximum effort in everything that involves them), you could use a vchip, or the parental controls most cable companies use (my parents, who I no longer live with, still have the cable box set to block anything PG-13 or over, even though my youngest brother is 16, this is more of a factor of just not removing the controls because they do not remember how).
    Also, I hope to raise my kids well enough, that even if they do happen to watch objectionable material, they will understand that it is innappropriate. I don't plan on raising them ignorant of the real world. If they are old enough to ask a question, they are old enough to here the answer.

     

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  19.  
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    Sissy Pants, Nov 30th, 2005 @ 8:14am

    Re: TV = Babysitter

    ""You ACTUALLY need to watch your kid sometimes""

    Um, no shit. Censorship is for the "othertimes"...

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2006 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Silence!

    > This is also why I say the Internet is our modern "savior."

    That's pretty fcuking scary. I trust Internet sites, especially Wikipedia, about as much as I trust politicians and lawyers.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2006 @ 10:07am

    Solution

    Instead of having the government regulate television, have the government regulate who can reproduced. If you are not fully capable of protecting a child from television, radio, etc., then you don't get to reproduced.

    This would weed out mediocre parents and would ultimately do more good for children than any regulation of the media. Will somebody please think of the children?

     

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  22.  
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    Ann Southerland, Feb 2nd, 2007 @ 12:33am

    Re: On the fence

    I am sick up to my neck with porno on TV. The news, commercial, movies, shopping sites, it is an epidemic. We cannot set as a family and watch TV anymore. As Billy Grahm stated many years ago, breaking a countrys morals is a way of weakening your country. No one will every tell me that porno does not effect us. That is a LIE>>>>>>>>>> I read a book in the mind of a serial killer written by an ex FBI agent, every not one or two but every serial killer was involved with pornography. We are subjecting our children to a world of garbage. I can remember when a married couple on TV only sleep in twin beds with pajamas!!!!!!Now look at it, it looks like all woman are professional hookers, sex starved, girls gone wild is getting wilder, it does not even come on late in the evening, completely nude woman that is barely censored, girls next door from Playboy Mansion on regular TV, Hugh Heifner with his three girlfriends, running around nude with the nipples only censored, this is what we are showing are young girls to act like??? to dress like??? how do you explain these actions, now the news, one shot after another of nearly nude woman in suggested clothes and actions, I know that Christianity is going down the tube along with the TV. Christians are becoming a minority, a pecular person, I will stand up for what I believe is wrong, taking down our country morals will destroy us. Russia made a statement that they had more morals than our country, and they are a non-christian country. I do not have to have a TV, I am going to do my best to start a petition based on more controls what is on our TV and Computer. They can regulate it, if I walk downtown in my underwear I would be arrested for indecent exposure, what is the difference, they are stripping down for the millions of viewers, double standard, And the humiliation that woman do through watching this garbage we are tired of it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,sick and tired of all of it. Ann

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2007 @ 2:26pm

    where is the g-spot

     

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  24.  
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    Ben Smith, May 8th, 2007 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re: On the fence

    How about instead of sitting down as a family to watch TV you do a family activity, like a board game or baseball or something because sitting on your butts doing nothing is sooooooo anti productive. get to know your family instead of enhancing the rift.

     

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  25.  
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    Skull, Dec 9th, 2008 @ 10:00pm

    more

    can i get this in a full article or is this the entirety of it?

     

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