Many pediatricians suggest that children's exposure to violence on television should be curtailed. Now what parents may be failing to do to protect their offspring may be taken up by the government.
The FCC is recommending that Congress step in with regulations limiting TV violence.
While the suggestion that violent TV viewing among children should be curbed may be admirable, the idea that the government might regulate it is absurd.
It's the responsibility of parents to determine what their children watch.
Besides, stopping violence on TV doesn't really protect anyone.
There's plenty of violence for children to see on cable TV (which isn't regulated by the FCC), in movies, in books, in comic books, on the Internet and, unfortunately, in real life, in neighborhoods and in homes.
Once the government gets involved, judgment calls will have to be made. Where will the lines be drawn? Will Saturday morning cartoons be banished? Were entire generations of children psychologically scarred by watching Popeye battle Brutus or Jerry outwit Tom? Will reruns of the Three Stooges be banished? Will TV journalists be ordered to sanitize their coverage of wars and other violent events? By this measure, the cops who beat Rodney King, for example, might not ever have been exposed to the world.
Even shows like COPS and Jerry Springer could find themselves regulated. We'd be "protected" from watching Jack Bauer beat the locations of suitcase nuclear bombs out of terrorists.
Maybe there would be no more free WWE. Wrestling enthusiasts would have to dig into their pockets to watch it only on pay for view.
Would hockey fans be forced to get satellite dishes so they can watch their teams battle for the Stanley Cup on the CBC? What would happen with football? Would NASCAR races be put on a time delay so that the network can dump out if there's a violent crash?
The only ones who would benefit by such draconian regulatory reach would be the lawyers. These kinds of proposed rules just scream for litigation. The Media General News Service says there are 220 lawyers in the current House and Senate. One can only hope that some of them are Three Stooges fans and that this proposal ends up where it belongs, in the circular file.