Will There be Any Safe Programming for Kids? FCC May Relax Regulations

BY: - 24 May '13 | Parenting

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Yesterday, I cuddled on the couch with my one-year-old daughter and flipped through television stations with the remote. I wasn’t in the mood to watch a dancing cartoon character or a bubbly, talking dinosaur, so I tried to find a somewhat family friendly selection. That was difficult to do. I had to bypass reality shows–one about a man married to a porn star who was doing something I had to cover my little girl’s eyes from seeing before I hit the up button. The remote landed on a news reporter’s live coverage of a baby gunned down at a picnic in a neighborhood 20 minutes from our home. We ended up watching a syndicated Steve Harvey show. My experience proves what we already know–television programs are packed with sex, violence, profanity and other dirty things I block on my TV. But what you may not know is that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could up the smut.

If you log onto the regulatory agency’s website–and I use the term regulatory very loosely in this article, you’ll read a proposal to relax rules regulating indecent content on television and radio. The proposal would give a pass to accidental expletives and nudity that’s not meant to be naughty. What the H-E-Double Hockey sticks FCC?!?! I already have a hard time finding age-appropriate material that’s not on Disney or Nickelodeon. Now, I could have an even harder time on network TV. How low will it go Chairman Julius Genachowski?

The indecency rules apply only to broadcast television and radio–not cable networks. So, the FCC wants to focus on say a DJ cursing on the air or talking dirty for shock value versus an inadvertent slip of the tongue or a flash of nudity. Flashback to Janet Jackson’s boob debacle during a Super Bowl halftime show. Sh*! happens, right? Or wrong? Should we as parents sit back and let this *beep* go unnoticed? I bet the occasional breast won’t go unnoticed by your kids.

I do realize that I have control as a parent. I decide what channel the remote control selects. I just don’t think we should turn a blind eye to this one. It’s like saying to my boss, “Oh, I have so much to do already. I don’t think I’m going to do this part of my job responsibilities. But I will focus on a really big project if that’s cool with you.” Although I don’t like to use profanity, I recognize that it’s an adult’s choice–as  long as they don’t choose to use it in front of my child of course. I’m a grown woman. I’ve watched and do watch programs with what’s considered racy content. I also realize there are much bigger fish to fry in the pornographic television pool.

Yet I ask myself not only what would Jesus do, but what would my mother–who has a host of substitute curse words like blip and dang–do?  What would my grandmother do who sat on the first pew at First Baptist Church of Penn Hills faithfully every Sunday? Back then, they didn’t let these things slide.   We’ve come a long way as a country, but we’re no longer little villages raising our children together.  In part, because we let bleep bleepers make bleeping decisions for us at times.

So if you agree with me, let’s make a morality move and let the Federal Communications Commission know we want to protect our children’s television time.  The FCC is extending its comment period on this public notice until June 19. S0 far, about 950,000 outraged Americans weighed in.

What will you tell them? Click here to file a complaint.

BMWK – Do you agree with the proposed changes? Do find it hard to find decent programming for kids? 

 

About the author

Heather Hopson wrote 58 articles on this blog.

Not long ago, Heather Hopson was an award-winning television host in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's writing a different kind of story as a new mom. She gives readers the key to her diary and shares personal stories about single parenting, dating, transitioning to motherhood and her obsession with being what her family calls an "activity mom." The site features celebrity interviews, parent spotlights and confessional videos. Follow her journey through motherhood on Twitter @dearmomdiary.

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3 WordPress comments on “Will There be Any Safe Programming for Kids? FCC May Relax Regulations

  1. Meg

    Totally agree with your premise – I personally don’t enjoy questionable language, “racy” content, violence, etc. But I had trouble taking your argument seriously after reading your first sentence – no one-year-old should be exposed to any of this because she shouldn’t be watching tv period. Children’s shows, adult shows or anything in between -none are beneficial and all have been shown to be detrimental. The solution is simply to turn off the televisions in our homes and actually interact with our children.

    Reply
  2. Heather H

    There are a lot of entertaining and educational programs on television for kids. I do think you have to monitor what your child watches and for how long. I don’t think an episode of Dora is detrimental. Instead, it is can be quite developmental.

    Reply
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