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The Real Scandal of American TV

CNN Business News has a report today on the FCC's crackdown on "anti-decency", by which they mean naughty words, bare buttocks and the slightest view of the female breast on American television.  In typical MSM fashion, CNN describes the events as "the smut scandals that erupted in 2004."

Tv_kidsyukiOf course, the genuine scandal is that a typical American child will see more than  20,000 murders on television before they graduate from high school, they will see closeups of autopsies on CSI, they will witness scores of thousands of other violent TV events.  This is fine apparently.  This is the kind of atmosphere the Americans want their children brought up to, the kind of interpersonal interactions they want them to emulate.  Violence and death is the basic education that American network TV delivers.

Having children see genuinely loving couples doing genuinely loving things is apparently illegal and immoral.  This is the kind of interpersonal interaction that is to be considered scandalous, matters that should be kept in the dark, away from the ears of children.

Death and violence, though, is OK and should be encouraged.

No regime seeking to develop a militaristic fascistic society can afford to allow their people to think about loving and compassion.  Violence and brutality needs to be bred at an early age.  This is the educational value of modern American network television. As Rogers and Hammerstein wrote fifty years ago:

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

With this in mind, we have to say that US network television and their FCC masters succeed brilliantly.

December 19, 2004 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Government Intrusion, Right wing, Television | Permalink


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Tom Shales of The Washington Post recently wrote a most satisfying column wailing on Michael Powell, the FCC Chairman who's responsible for the recent crackdown: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62718-2004Nov19.html

Like Jak, I think it's shocking that the FCC is far more concerned about sex than violence on television, for the violence is surely more harmful. So I have a question for him: how does Canadian television compare to American TV in terms of sex and violence?

Posted by: Peter Caress | Dec 19, 2004 4:41:49 PM

Peter: all Canadian TVs, generally speaking, capture US stations, and so the "US" level of violence is seen here, too. However, Canadian-made shows are considerably freer about sex, partial nudity and swearing. In many ways, the position of sex on Canadian TV is the epitome of Canadian culture -- halfway between the sexual freedom of Europe (where even decades ago I grew up seeing nudity on British TV) and the prohibitions of America.

Violence exists on Canadian shows but tends to happen off-screen, and there is little or no dwelling on it.

Posted by: Jak King | Dec 19, 2004 5:26:18 PM