The new FCC chairman wants to keep live TV “clean” -- but we must again note -- in this age of expanding and diverse media -- that it is really about broadcast TV.
Always a lightening rod issue among public TV pressure groups, TV network programming executives and consumers, over the air TV still has issues over obscene language and content. And their are rules and laws.
Some of this was again prompted by the recent “Grammy Awards” on CBS where highly awarded singer Adele, in botching her tribute to George Michael, used the f-word. For a number of years, the Grammys, in particular, have been a problem spot. A seven-second delay by TV networks stops virtually all of this.
Unfortunatel,y that is what adults do -- and elect to listen to -- if they chose. Children? Not so much. Many parents want protection.
In large part, these issues surround live TV programming -- now deemed “premium” TV for many viewers and advertising. Trouble is, there will always be spillage. Who cleans up that mess? Parents need to do the talking.
For years, advertising-supported cable networks -- exempt for the FCC oversight -- sneak in a bit of profanity from time to time, especially in prime-time dramas. But those shows on the likes TNT, FX, USA Network, and others channels never seem overdo it, just dotting scripts here and there.
All this has been done to appease TV advertisers, the same companies that buy broadcast TV networks, to give those marketers comfort in similar quality content.
Maybe we need to have a new way of thinking about this.
Because, of course, it isn’t just broadcast TV in the conversation, and cable networks -- ad-supported cable networks and non-ad premium channel. We have many other loaded issues of young kids around mobile phones, tablets, and computers and access to Internet.
Words and images and mean a lot. And not just profanity. Harsh words, abrasive and nasty words make its way on TV -- including for example, from some of the highest elected officials in the land, especially in the most recent political campaign.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told Fox Business: “We are duty-bound to enforce the law. And the law that is on the books today requires broadcast TV [emphasis added] to keep it clean, so to speak.”
But all that may just be a small piece of the bigger media puzzle. What about the rest -- including stuff with no f-bombs?