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Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Looks like the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is convening to determine whether Janet Jackson’s covered nipple was indecent or a fleeting, accidental moment on live television for which CBS should not be fined

If CBS wins, it will insulate television and radio broadcasters from sudden or accidental slips of the tongue or “wardrobe malfunctions” from the people being broadcast through their airwaves. 

I understand people’s discomfort with the idea that the major networks could be a source of violent programming, sexual content, or foul language.  I really do.  But I found it funny during that Super Bowl, where it seemed every other commercial was about erectile dysfunction, where the entire halftime show performance used sexual undertones, where scantily clad cheerleaders danced on the sideline, where the major sponsors consistently used sexual images to sell their products, that everyone went into orgasms of outrage when Janet’s breast was uncovered. 

I’m shocked!  Shocked to see that nudity is going on here! 

And if I remember correctly, that was the Super Bowl during which Moveon.org was not allowed to air a political aid because it would have been “inappropriate.” 

 What a fucked up sense of values we have. 

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The media watchdog group Parents Television Council has issued a report which states that sex and violence are on the rise during what is traditionally called the “Family Hour” on network television. 

The group studied 180 hours of original programming on six broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, MyNetworkTV and the CW) during three two-week ratings sweeps periods in 2006 and 2007. It found that instances of violence had increased 52.4% since a similar study in 2000-2001 and that sexual content had increased 22.1%.

The Parents Television Council is hoping that the FCC begins to regulate violence on television the way they already regulate “indecent content.”

The network response is that with the vastly increased number of options available to families, with so many more channels now available in the basic cable package, there is less need to provide that type of programming. 

 To be honest, I agree with the networks on this one.  One of the reasons the FCC had the authority to regulate television was a combination of two factors – 1. the finite number of frequencies used to transmit broadcast signals were publicly owned and 2. there was a scarcity of options in broadcast television.  To the extent that #2 becomes less of an issue, the authority of the FCC to regulate broadcasting should be diminished. 

What the regulate-television-on-behalf-of-families crowd seems not to be able to understand is that television is a value neutral tool.  Like the internet, it has nothing to say about what it is transmitting.  It is not a substitute for parenting in respect to instilling values and exposing kids to what’s out there in the world.  Developing technology that allows “parental controls” to prevent kids from watching whatever they want while the parents are not around is appropriate.  

But the world is a dangerous place sometimes.  And people have sex all the time (at least that’s what I hear…).  I’d like my television shows to have something thoughtful to say about reality.  It’s an art.  Sometimes good.  Sometimes very, very bad.  But it should be free to tell stories that are important and relevant to all of us, even if often it does not.   

Artificial restraints based on someone’s notion of “sensible family” programming simply isn’t the appropriate role for the government.  Especially if there is a vastly less intrusive way to accomplish what is purported to be the goals of the movement. 

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CBS13 Sacremento in covering the Larry Craig gay sex scandal actually roleplays how to solicit gay sex in a public bathroom.  Hilarious.  God bless local news. 

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The BET is catching a lot of heat with its new, edgy, hip-hop heavy video campaign to promote literacy and black pride.  I think it’s great and smart, to be honest.

And it’s a pretty bold move for a network that has had its fair share of criticism for perpetuating negative stereotypes.  This video campaign takes these stereotypes, makes them larger than life, and then uses them to make its points. 

I especially like the Lil Jon caricature when they start chanting “R-E-A-D-A-B-O-Ohhh-Kaaaay!” 

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The State of New Mexico is investigating the CBS show “Kid Nation” to see if it broke any laws in respect to work permits, contracts, and refusing to allow inspectors onto the property while filming. 

What caught my eye was the description of the premise of the show. 

Sisneros said officials became aware of the show — which places 40 kids, ages 8 to 15, in the New Mexico desert to build a society without any contact with their parents — when an inspector from the Department of Workforce Solutions notified the attorney general that he was not allowed on the property to inspect work permits.

I really have nothing to say about the particular legal issue. 

But if this were a sociological experiment, it would probably be considered unethical.  But since it’s television, I guess it’s perfectly fine to let kids fend for themselves in the desert.  And yeah, I get that the kids were probably not left completely unsupervised.  But 40 of them from the ages of 8 to 15? 

I saw that television show when it was actually a book called Lord of the Flies.  If it were real, it wouldn’t be appropriate to watch.  And if it’s appropriate to watch, it isn’t real.  So what’s the point? 

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Yo Gabba Gabba!

It’s a rather slow Friday for me at work and after ingesting way beyond my recommended amount of caffine, I stopped over at Pop Candy. I stumbled upon this new show Yo Gabba Gabba! comes from Nick Jr. Like my favorite childhood televisions shows, like Pete & Pete, it appeals to both adults and children. It almost makes me want to go out and have a kid of my own…good thing I’m an aunt.

Via PRINT Magazine

The name itself contains a world of music references—The Ramones’ slogan “Gabba Gabba Hey!” meets Yo! MTV Raps. “Scott and Christian wanted to have a magical phrase as the title of the show, something kind of like ‘Abracadabra,’” says Justin Lyon, the show’s producer. “They also wanted it to be easy for a kid to say, phonetically.”

Hip-hop legend Biz Markie has a recurring role in a segment called “Biz’s Beat of the Day,” which teaches kids how to beatbox.

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