The Washington Post

Should the FCC still have a say in what kids see on TV?

View Photo Gallery: These television shows are some of the worst recent decency offenders, as chosen by the Parents Television Council, which monitors programs for profanity, nudity, sexual content and violence.

From elsewhere in The Post: The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday about whether the Federal Communications Commission should continue to “have a role in policing the nation’s airwaves or whether its indecency regulations violate guarantees of free speech and due process,” says Post staff writer Robert Barnes.

The Obama administration favors the FCC’s continued involvement, says Barnes, and has told the court: “the new media world requires continued federal oversight of the public airwaves to provide a haven for parents and children from the anything-goes world of cable and the Internet.”

Helping the FCC find out which programs are too violent, raunchy and profanity-filled is the Parents Television Council, a nonprofit organization that “documents the increasing coarseness of television broadcasts to rate shows and pressure advertisers and provides a one-click process for supporters to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission,” says Barnes.

Carter G. Phillips, a lawyer representing Fox and other networks, argues that “today, broadcasting is neither uniquely pervasive nor uniquely accessible to children, yet broadcasters are still denied the same basic First Amendment freedoms as other media.”

How strong of an influence should the FCC or Parents Television Council have for what’s televised? How do you monitor which television programs your children watch?


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