Parents as TV Censors?

Jack Valenti is the former head of the Motion Picture Association of America, a group that was very concerned about protecting their copyrighted content. At the National Association of Broadcasters meeting in Las Vegas, his keynote address called for government “hands off” when it comes to censoring that content.

Valenti is heading a consortium of TV networks, cable, satellite, local broadcasters, and Hollywood studios that hopes to head off government controls on programming content with a $300 million campaign aimed at getting parents to supervise what their children watch. Part of the problem is that the FCC doesn’t have authority to censor cable or satellite programming.

Personally, I can understand how parents and others in Congress might be concerned about the programming content available these days. The “family hour” of 8 to 9 is no haven from content that some might find objectionable or inappropriate for young children. But I agree with effort to get parents to take responsibility for what their children are watching, just as they should know what music they’re listening to. This is where the decency standards should originate and be enforced. If you don’t like what’s on, change the channel. There certainly are enough choices out there.