Who am I to judge a TV viewer's moral opinion? Here's a recent blog about CBS' somewhat controversial 1970s period drama about adult swingers, "Swingtown"
: "This show is just trash. It's primetime porn. And it is sending the wrong
message to young people, but Nina [Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment] knows this. This show is morally wrong and does not belong on any network."
Then, one more thought: "I want
Right. So extramarital relationships are bad -- but blood-sucking mythical creatures, vampires, are fine. Tell the kids it's wrong to screw around -- but it's okay to
believe some people live for hundreds of years with bad dental work.
In the '90s, I worked for a very conservative-minded Connecticut-based publishing company, which included a mature woman
in the human resources department whom I thought was also very conservative.
I'd had just written a story about -- ironically enough -- religious-minded pressure groups, which attracted
the attention of a famous New York-based radio personality. Out of the blue, the Conn.-based executive called me up to congratulate me. "I heard Howard Stern reading your story on the air! It was
As I said, I don't claim to know or judge anyone's guilty -- or non-guilty -- pleasures. As long as, in the game of life, no one ends up on the DL. No matter. The Parents Television
Council rails about CBS' "Swingtown" because, of course, it's morally wrong. They believe someone might get hurt.
In this exploding digital media
environment, everyone wants to put a value on things. This
includes TV shows
with nerdy roommates, back-biting Upper East Side young adults with too
much money, hard-core drug purveyors in Baltimore, and real-life mediocre reality-show contestants -- singers, cooks, business executives, dancers, hairstylists, models, fashion designers, and gym
Last week, Fox News' conservative-minded news opinion show "The O'Reilly Factor" lost out for the first time to MSNBC"s left-leaning "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" among key 25-54
TV news viewers.
The business question is whether someone will take the time to see a particular TV show and/or buy some advertising on it. The social question is whether parents want their
under-age child to be influenced in some way.
It's all out there -- and the best way to handle it is for parents, single adults, teens, and advertisers to play the game with as much
information as possible.
After that, just take a swing. You can't lose