Commentary

PTC Targets MTV. I Need Some Zzzzzs

So here's the big yawn of the week: the Parent's Television Council (PTC) is going after MTV advertisers. Why? Because of what it calls MTV's programming sleaze. Sleaze? Please.

This is the same organization who had to apologize for wrongly linking World Wrestling Entertainment's programming to the deaths of four children back in July 2002, as well as claiming certain advertisers had stopped advertising on its show "SmackDown!"

PTC President Brent Bozell had to issue an apology. Why? Because he doesn't know when advertisers have pulled out of shows, are in shows for just one episode, or whether they really a particular show at all.

"Many of the companies we stated had "withdrawn" or pulled their support had never, in fact, advertised on 'SmackDown!' nor had any plan to advertise on 'SmackDown!'" he said in a statement at the time.

And we need to write TV advertising-related stories about Brent Bozell?

Still don't believe me? Okay how about this:

In the most recent study criticizing MTV, it listed the 'Top 10 corporate sponsors of MTV sleaze.' Number five was Viacom Inc., the owner of MTV.

If he knew anything about the mechanics of TV buying and selling, he'd know that Viacom was put on his list because some lame-brain PTC staffer logged not just all the paid advertising but the non-paid MTV and Viacom network program promos, as well.

Viacom isn't a paid 'sponsor' on MTV. That doesn't make sense.

The PTC sent letters to the 10 advertisers during MTV's spring break programming, asking them to justify their media buys.

Their justification is this: People watch the network. Bozell will get his way - and justifiably so - when and if viewers stop watching MTV. Then advertisers will not buy it, which will make good business sense.

No, we aren't going to list Bozell's advertisers here. He doesn't need any more publicity and we can't be assured of his accuracy.

Bozell says people are being duped because as cable subscribers they have to pay for MTV in their cable packages. Bozell has no argument: People pay for cable. It has nothing to do with Federal Communications Commission's rules on indecency. There is no public airwave argument.

And viewers don't need cable. They can rent religious videos about giving multiple births, or loading Czech Republic-made firearms, or scaring your neighbor with the right Halloween pranks. Blockbuster has many selections.

Why the yawn? Because we've heard it all before, and that kind of repetition makes me want to sleep to the dulcet sounds of MTV.

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