You think cable is safe?

This post is more than 2 years old.

CNN is reporting that Senator Ted Stevens will be pushing to apply "decency standards" to cable. So, those of us who go out of our way to pay for cable somehow still need th government to watch out for us. Give me a break. Who out there is asking for the government to regulate cable broadcasts?

As a parent - I didn't like what happaned at last year's superbowl - but guess what - I don't stay up at night worrying about it. I understand how to use the ratings every TV show has to monitor what my kids watch. If HBO plays an R rated show at noon, I'm not going to let my child watch it. Let's be frank. If a parent can't handle that, they are an idiot. Obviously you can't watch your kids all the time - but if you can't trust your kids, take the TV out of their room. Or out of the house.

Raymond Camden's Picture

About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA https://www.raymondcamden.com

Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Paul Kenney posted on 3/2/2005 at 3:49 AM

Definitely out of their room. Some people, sheesh!

Comment 2 by Blaine Korte posted on 3/2/2005 at 4:00 AM

I agree...100%

Comment 3 by Boyzoid posted on 3/2/2005 at 9:54 AM

Bravo!

Comment 4 by John Farrar posted on 3/2/2005 at 11:13 AM

Ray... how old are your children? And let me be candid since you opened the can of worms... were you completely trustworthy to your parents? Most of us as teens (or at least many of us) were spared many of life's pains by parental censorship. If we would resume our duty... the media would change the content. It's a shame that congress feels we demorilize our children by trusting them... what do you think young teens are going to do when given a choice. How naive!

Comment 5 by Patrick Whittingham posted on 3/2/2005 at 6:51 PM

Ray -

As a father of 2 teenage children, lots of parents are out to lunch when guiding their kids. Just look at MTV and its content. It is a liitle different since when it did have actual videos. I personally regulate the TV content in my home, but really don't have to. My kids like to play their musical instruments or watch Discover / History channel...:) I just make my kids aware of the 'negative' content and its problems and educate them. Just my 2 cents.

Comment 6 by John Farrar posted on 3/2/2005 at 7:57 PM

Ray... how old are your children? And let me be candid since you opened the can of worms... were you completely trustworthy to your parents? Most of us as teens (or at least many of us) were spared many of life's pains by parental censorship. If we would resume our duty... the media would change the content. It's a shame that congress feels we demorilize our children by trusting them... what do you think young teens are going to do when given a choice. How naive!

Comment 7 by John Farrar posted on 3/2/2005 at 8:05 PM

Sorry ... refreshed the screen. Forgive me... web developers are no more perfect than parents.

I did have a couple of other thoughts... I do not believe Mr. Stevens is legislating what parents can allow children to watch. I believe it is right for the government to make rules on this after considering your point. They are dealing with content, not consumption. Televisions and cable do not have "flow control logic" to monitor the age of who is watching... and that is the point.

And to that point... many good stories don't need the gore and sensuality (like Battlestar Galactica) to make the story good. The bottom line is those things mixed into the story are often to distract us from a shallow story line. The other issue I see here is that parents may feel put off watching what they would not let their children watch. They are old enough to be irresponsible because they believe it doesn't effect other areas of their lives. Many of us believe it is OK for adults to compromise morals when children should not. (That is the real debate... and I understand many of us come from different foundations on this issue.)

Comment 8 by Mike Rankin posted on 3/2/2005 at 8:15 PM

Personally, I refuse to pay for cable. 4 or 5 networks of trash is all I need. If I want to watch ESPN, I just go to the pub.

Comment 9 by nOah posted on 3/2/2005 at 8:34 PM

I am a father of two small boys, and I loved what happened at last year’s super bowl! I don’t see how anyone can be upset by having their children see 2 seconds of nipple, but be OK with letting their children watch 250 lb men beat the crap out of each other. I personally think that professional sports and the violence that is allowed during less than “R” broadcasts are much more offensive than any amount of nudity. I don’t shield my kids eyes when a couple kisses in a romantic comedy, But I do when people are shooting each other on prime time CSI!

Comment 10 by Anonymous posted on 3/2/2005 at 11:32 PM

I agree with Noah. I'm not a sports fan and don't mind the violence, but IF I had kids I would be worried about what they see. However, it is the parent's responsibility to limit.

I for one tried and tried over and over to see that louse 1/4 second nipple! Sure, I had a less than stellar TV and a regular VCR versus TIVO & HDTV, but man oh man did I try. Explain to me why a fraction of a second of blurry nipple shot from a distance is so much worse (and worthy of a 500k fine) than a 60 minute violence filled tv show, MTV real world, football, etc.

Afterall, apparently you can't use certain words or show certain things, but you sure can hint at it. Why is bleeping out words when you can tell what they are saying somehow better than just hearing the word? Why then don't they blur out the bodies on CSI and cut out shooting scenes. Lame.

Either way, if I want to pay for cable the government shouldn't regulate it. Use your V-chip, turn off the tv, etc. if you want.

Comment 11 by Daniel Greenfeld posted on 3/3/2005 at 12:27 AM

When we sit down to watch a sporting event, we expect a fun sports event, not a nipple flash after a really cheesy/sleazy number. Not that I have anything against cheesy/sleazy shows. But they have their time and place. And that ain't during something what some of us consider a family event.

And there is the rub. The superbowl IS promoted as a family event. Not as a venue for popstars to show parts of their bodies, or to sing raunchy songs. Sure, some people may think that the superbowl itself is too violent for kids, and so they can turn it off ahead of time because they know it as such. But those of us who felt that the half-time show was a wretched raunchy surprise didn't have that choice.

(Of course, I could argue that Paul McCartney was a nasty revenge on us by the Network).

On the other hand, I think the government's reaction is going to far. We don't need censorship everywhere, and I think that the Network saw its mistake and fixed it. After that, why do we need government involving itself in cable and other places? The networks usually let you know what is good for kids and what isn't.

Comment 12 by John Farrar posted on 3/3/2005 at 1:54 AM

OK... granted, I am 42 and have teen age daughters. I wasn't a skirt chaser when in High School but was well aware of my human nature and natural desires. I was by no means perfect... neither am I now. That was said to say this... my wife and I both teach our daughters that if they dress leud then they stir up passions of wayward teens. There is a moral issue here just like putting a drink in front of an alcoholic is wrong if you know you are doing it... so is putting indecent material in front of some people. The censorship as put in a previous post is not about someone choosing content... but about non-volitional exposure. I guess you guys could go and rent videos from the local store and show your children what ever you want... but 20 years ago the "skin" that was exposed on TV was much less than today. The exposure seems to have no limit... rather a progression. And we adults have desires being human... but natural desires don't make things right! (Or how do you determine murder isn't a natural desire but sex is?) I have know of families abused daughters. Perhaps you would like to explain to them these stirred up passions are just the responsibility of abused children and women.

Comment 13 by Sean Corfield posted on 3/3/2005 at 1:58 AM

I don't know why the right-wing religious groups in this supposedly free country continually feel the need to legislate their morals on the rest of us?

I don't think nudity is a crime so I don't think anyone needs to be protected from it. I was watching a cable TV show last night about the history of tattooing and noticed some strange moral standards in play:

- men's breasts / nipples were shown
- women's breasts / nipples were pixelated (must be bad for us)
- tattooes that showed women's breasts / nipples were also pixelated (even art is bad for us?)
- a woman who had a double mastectomy showed her chest and was NOT pixelated

If the cable show controllers are already that confused, we certainly don't need additional legislation to make things worse.

What's wrong with seeing a woman's breasts? Or any part of anyone's body? How dare a vocal minority try to tell me what I can and cannot look at in the privacy of my own home!

Comment 14 by Sean Corfield posted on 3/3/2005 at 2:00 AM

"my wife and I both teach our daughters that if they dress leud then they stir up passions of wayward teens"

Sounds like you think that a woman who dresses trashily and gets raped was just asking for it?

Comment 15 by Raymond Camden posted on 3/3/2005 at 2:06 AM

Sean: While I can't speak for him, I can say this: I plan on teaching my daughter the same thing. It certainly doesn't mean I think she _deserves_ to get raped. Wouldn't you think it wise to teach your kids to not walk around late at night on an inner city street? Isn't it wise to not leave your wallet out on a park bench? Sure, you don't deserve to get mugged, or have your wallet stolen, but it's plain common sense that you don't go out of your way to entice folks to attack you.

Comment 16 by Sean Corfield posted on 3/3/2005 at 3:06 AM

Teaching your kids common sense about late night, inner city surroundings is reasonable but that has nothing to do with my comment.

Comment 17 by Raymond Camden posted on 3/3/2005 at 3:10 AM

I would disagee. You said that you thought the poster thought that if his daughter dressed badly, she would get attacked, and therefore she would deserve it. I was simply saying that that may not be the reason, and I gave my reason for why I will tell my daughter to not dress like a slut. Obviously I can't see for the original poster.

Comment 18 by John Farrar posted on 3/3/2005 at 4:34 AM

Thanks for the gracious understanding of my post Ray.

Sean... you are such a dramatist. NO ONE (meaning me) said what you could watch at home. Even the legislation is about what is made available (since a teen can "tape" content when his parents aren't as "savy" as he is). Slating something to later hours doesn't protect the parent's right to censor. Parent's have the right to censor... or are you against that also?

Comment 19 by Raymond Camden posted on 3/3/2005 at 4:39 AM

Let's all try to play nice. No name calling. Attack a person's words, not the person themself.

Comment 20 by John Farrar posted on 3/3/2005 at 4:51 AM

Sorry Ray... I honestly didn't think dramatist would be considered name calling. I will defer to your request gladly. Let me restate my phrase better. I feel that the argument given was exagerated... and it is as he said an issue of how personal freedom is viewed. This is a free country... but we are not free to kill because we want to. All of us agree with that (is it OK to call myself a dramatic?) statement. The question is what constitutes a basis for moral standards.

Now Sean... I don't believe because I am religious that my opinion is right and yours is wrong. History in Jewish, and Christian is combed with those who are of the sect not even knowing what it actually teaches. People who pushed their own ethics in contrast to the Bible. (Study Martin Luthur... you would like him.)