Friday, April 01, 2005

And another message to “The Parents Television Council”. RE: TIME Magazine “The Decency Police”


Photo for TIME by Jill Greenberg

As I said before, "When I started writing this column, it wasn’t to be an anti "Parents Television Council" forum".

CHILD OF TELEVISION: My message to "The Parents Television Council".
CHILD OF TELEVISION: Another message to "The Parents Television Council". RE: Crossing Jordan

I was reading Time Magazine's (March 28, 2005) article "The Decency Police" written by James Poniewozik. I thought that the article presented a fair and balanced look at the Television industry post Janet Jackson. Prominently featured in the article is "The Parents Television Council". After reading the article, I had to visit the Parents Television Council site. I was surprised to find that they were thrilled with the article. Here are some highlights.

"In addition to raising the overall issue of broadcast indecency, this week's Time was able to capture the essence of the PTC as the most influential advocacy organization protecting children from graphic and gratuitous programming.
As I'm sure you know, research is the foundation of all our work here at the PTC. And the core of our research is our massive computerized information database, which Time accurately described:"

My question to the PTC is, WHAT ARTICLE WERE YOU READING? CAN'T YOU SEE THAT YOU ARE BEING MADE FUN OF? Desperate Housewife Teri Hatcher's expression on the magazine's cover is mocking enough (Isn't "Desperate Housewives" on your hit list?). She got paid big bucks to pose for the cover and mock you. I’m doing it for free.

NOTE TO SELF: Get Teri Hatcher to autograph my copy of TIME magazine.

The article describes an analyst, Kristine Looney, taking inventory of every time the word "damn" was said on the March 13th episode of "Crossing Jordan". This data then goes into their "Entertainment Tracking System" along with other swear words, sexual content, violence, disrespect for authority and other negative content. Let me quote a section of the TIME Magazine article that the PTC also quotes on their site.

"The Entertainment Tracking System - it sounds like something the Pentagon would have if we had fought a war to depose Viacom's Sumner Redstone instead of Saddam Hussein. And in a way, the ETS is the nerve center of a war: The War on Indecency."

I sensed a hint of mockery with that statement, but the PTC saw it differently as they state on their site,

"How true this statement is. And together we're foot soldiers in this war; a war that really has only just begun. We have seen recent and dramatic victories. And thanks to you, the entire nation is now talking about broadcast decency. But the issue of responsible broadcasting and decency enforcement is not going away. Over the coming months, I assure you that the conversation will only get louder. The cover of this week's Time is a superb barometer of this."

You're right. You got me talking about it. I wonder if the PTC would be as thrilled if "Saturday Night Live" did a sketch about their organization.

NOTE TO SELF: Submit PTC sketch idea to SNL producer Lorne Michaels.

I'd say that since your organization does not know when it being mocked and your efforts are mainly dedicated to taking an inventory of swear words, sexual content, violence and disrespect for authority, you are in no position to judge the hard work of others. Unless you are taking the position that there is no such thing as bad press then... I'll stop writing now.

To quote William Shatner on Saturday Night Live, "I'd just like to say... GET A LIFE, will you people?"

Stay Tuned


Tony Figueroa

PS: So far the PTC has not returned my messages. If you share my concerns about groups like the PTC, I invite you to Check out Amanda Toering’s SpeakSpeak News

2 comments:

Ivan G. said...

Has TV gone too far? I say TV hasn't gone far enough!!!

(Harumph, harumph...)

Brent McKee said...

Only in the United States. In Canada you can see the occassional bare breast on network TV and have been able to since the early 1970s. The Sopranos airs on the CTV network with nary a bleep or a fuzzed over nipple - if the Bada Bing girls show it you see it. A few years ago CBC aired the British mini-series The Camomile Lawn which featured a full frontal nude scene with Tara Fitzgerald. This is the thing that is so insidious about organizations like the PTC and the politicians who seem to toady to them. Art, and at its best TV can be art - Deadwood is an example - shouldn't be safe it has to be dangerous. Its in its nature.