Friday, February 16, 2007

FCC Report Could Lead To Censorship Of Popular Programs Such As 24, CSI, Etc.

A disturbing decision in a new FCC report compiled at the request of a group of 39 bipartisan lawmakers, suggests that government may walk all over artistic creativity and the Bill Of Rights and pass legislation limiting when programming with violent content may be aired. This report has to send chills up the spines of writers, producers and programmers of such extremely popular dramas such as 24, CSI, BONES, or other programs with gruesome or violent activity depicted that air before 10 PM. Some Networks such as FOX would be caught up in a box, as their very popular 24 and BONES programs which air in the 8-10 slots, as FOX only airs programming before 10PM on the networks.

The megahit for CBS, CSI airs at 9PM on Thursday nights, and might be forced into a 10PM time slot by any government "do-gooder" meddling in freedom of expression. But FOX would be boxed into a corner of either moving to a longer network schedule each night or else having to air programs like 24 on cable. Some other popular programs like THE UNIT or LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT could either be forced into the 10PM timeslot on their respective networks or else face cancelled or heavy content censorship by government. And government "do-gooder" meddling might even lead to the cancellation of some programs that are sort of on a ratings "bubble".

Government hysterias have created excessive fines and free speech meddling for claimed vague FCC "decency" violations. WITHOUT A TRACE, the popular missing person crime drama has been the subject of a hysterica FCC censorship campaign for the last few years because of a brief scene that FCC officials claim violated their own vague "decency" standards. This brief scene has wasted both government and CBS legal assets for years now.

Government needs to get the message loud and clear, that million of TV viewers like TV just fine and don't need government to fix what isn't broken. Nielsen ratings clearly prove that crime dramas have an adult audience of viewers, and very little appeal to children. There is no clear cut evidence suggesting that TV violence encourages antisocial conduct. Viewers that have made programs such as CSI or 24 into the megahits that they are have already voted with viewing habits what they expect to see on TV. If lawmakers cannot understand this message then they need to be voted out of office and replaced with legislators whose brains are able to comprehend this very simple concept. TV is fine the way it is. Government censorship is not needed. TV ratings and V-chip technology already exist as a guide to parents, and more layers of government regulation are not needed.