June 28, 2007 12:23 PM
That’s the gist of what Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) said about the TV biz in a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on TV violence earlier this week. He called the industry “cowardly” in blaming parents for letting their kids see violence on TV, rather than itself.
Earlier Sen. Rockefeller introduced legislation in Congress that would let the FCC regulate TV violence. The FCC already has the power to issue fees for indecency, ala the infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction during a Super Bowl game several years ago.
So should the TV industry shoulder more responsibility for what it airs on TV? I say no. Broadcasters and cable operators have been dutiful in providing V chips and providing ample warnings in shows that the content might not be suitable for children.
Where in the heck are the parents? Last week at a flea market I saw a booth of cheap toys and was freaked out to see toy guns that looked like the real thing: semi-automatic hand guns, just like the police carry. The toy gun did have a red tip on the end, barely noticeable, to indicate that it was a toy.
But during a violent incident, when a police officer has to react quickly, those toy guys could, and have been mistaken for the real deal. But where’s the censorship there, with that flea market vendor selling something that could potentially be confused for a real weapon?
Bottom line: parents, and not the TV industry or that flea market vendor are responsible for their children’s behavior.