The Federal Communications Commission has issued its three-year research project on TV violence to Congress. Thirty-nine single-spaced pages. Detailed footnotes. Well documented. Gutless. Here are the conclusions:
According to the FCC, these actions "could" include the industry committing itself to reducing the amount of excessively violent programming. Broadcasters "could" adopt a family hour at the beginning of prime time. Cable and satellite providers "could" allow consumers to choose which channels they receive instead of forcing pre-packaged bundles of channels on the consumer. Here's one more I'd like to add: The FCC "could" acquire a soul.
- • "There is strong evidence that exposure to violence in the media can increase aggressive behavior in children."
- • "Congress likely has the ability and authority to craft a sustainable definition (of violence) for regulating violent television content."
- • "Actions should be taken to address violent programming."
Censorship is not courageous, even when it's done for what's supposed to be a good cause. Freedom is what's courageous. It's making choices -- sometimes hard choices -- for yourself rather than allowing someone else to decide that something is just too violent (or sexy, or controversial or unpatriotic or un-Christian or whatever) for you to see. Tyranny will always come sugar-coated and wrapped in nice happy package. This is another example.
But what bothers me the most about this is that the author is a teacher of Film, Theater and Television at Notre Dame. You would hope that the academics would stand up for both freedom of expression and freedom of choice. But I guess fear and intellectual laziness is everywhere nowadays.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!