Should Government Regulate Cable/ Satellite Programs?

Due to the increasingly popular provocative television programs shown on satellite and cable, lawmakers are proposing more government regulation. Personally, I don’t feel that it’s the cable/satellite company’s responsibility to ensure what your family watches is suitable in accordance with your standards. To me the notions seem similar to the tobacco and alcohol industry. You have the choice to smoke and drink, don’t you have the choice of what you want to watch, or what you want your family to watch. I believe that the government already has to much control over communications in this country. The idea of providing 'al la carte' programming packages would be a reasonable solution which leaves the control in the hands of the company. Let's face it, the most provocative shows such as Nip/Tuck and Rome are hits among audiences and that’s avant-garde at its best.


Morgan said...

You bring up some great points! It is the parents' responsibility to watch their kids, not Uncle Sam's, and until that happens, no amount of tv censorship is going to shelter children from the World's harsh and crude realities. I personally find it insane that lawmakers continue to refuse legislation that would abolish the use of tobacco, but instead choose to channel their energy in regulating television. Where are their priorities? I think they are rooted in their pocketbooks, that are generouslly filled with the contributions from tobbaco company lobbyists. Second hand smoke is a lot more detrimental to children's health, than a bad tv show is, that could simply be turned off, if parents were around to supervise their children.

Savannah said...

I believe it is not the government’s place to regulate everything we do or say. Now, with that said, I think that TV programming has gone too far sometimes. There is more sex and violence on the programs today then there was on R rated movies 10 years ago. I think that the solution is not to regulate programming but to find some way to curve the demand.

maddy said...

I’m not sure how you can compare television to alcohol and tobacco. If parents don’t want to buy these products they don’t and their children do not have access to it. In terms of cable television parents may have purchased it for other programming and aren’t able to pick and choose what the television broadcasters choose to air at late hours of the night. Their children may access while they are away. I think that regulations would help the industry greatly and might show television production companies what the public really wants—good, wholesome programming.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Morgan's comment for capitalization errors.

I think this is rather typical of the government - they're worried about this just at the point when people start using Tivo to be more selective about what they watch.

On the other hand, there's something goofed up with the media industry. I'm not remotely prudish, but I have a hard time figuring out why they make so many R rated movies even though the G and PG ones make more money. They pay lip service to this stuff being edgier, but I'm not sure why that makes it worthwhile to avoid profits.

Morgan: lighten up about tobacco. The scientific evidence that second-hand smoke is a problem is weak or non-existent.