Is it time to rid your home of TV?

Is it time to rid your home of TV?

Gary Boyd

FCC v. Fox is being hailed by many as the most important case to come before the Supreme Court since 1978.  The case addresses a question of utility: Is it still desirable for the FCC to regulate the content on U.S. airwaves?  The answer is a resounding “no”.  Many who know me would be surprised at my answer, based on my socio-political-religious views and affiliations.  However, solid reasons form a sound argument for leaving the FCC out of the question of the content of our airwaves.

In 2001, I moved to Phoenix, AZ.  I made a conscious choice to stop watching television, as I was occupied studying for the CPA exam, and I knew that did not need any distractions.  About six months later, while visiting home, I was with some friends who decided to watch an episode of Seinfeld.  While I had never followed Seinfeld with any regularity, I had enjoyed it on occasion.  Whether my absence from television had cultivated within me a greater sensitivity to vulgarity, or whether the Seinfeld’s content had deteriorated a measurable amount in my short absence, I do not know, nor do I recall what content was particularly offensive.  I do recall, however, being shocked at what was allowed on television.

I kept off the television scene, partly due to my experience at home, but even more so because I rejoiced at the increased productivity and greater quality of life I enjoyed in consequence of abstaining from mindless television shows.  Occasionally, though, at a family member’s or friend’s house, I will catch a bit of a sitcom, and find myself in a much greater state of shock than I experienced in 2001.

The point is this: We are already saying bad things on television, and we are already dressing skimpily, and we deceive ourselves in assuming that we maintain some modicum of decency by merely shunning a handful of words that burn our ears.  We strain at gnats and swallow camels.

Additionally, there may accrue a benefit to removing FCC restrictions.  If that which we term to be vulgar is included in our daily television content, a line will have been drawn, and no parent can justify that a given show “isn’t that bad”.  The removal of regulations will result in a clear delineation between decency and indecency, and force parents to step up to the challenge of shifting children’s focus in other directions rather than watching the 28 hours a week currently attributable to them.  Rather than hypocritically abrogating responsibility, as the aforementioned statistic would indicate is the practice of most parents, good parents will search out more desirable pursuits for their children, and leave no question in their minds about right and wrong, moral and immoral.


So parents, what do you think?  Do you agree with Gary?    If so, are you willing to remove TV, completely, from your home?

You might be interested in answering UFI’s poll question of the week.  You can do so by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the page where you’ll find the poll on the right.

“If the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the FCC cannot police the airways for indecency, are you prepared to completely prohibit TV viewing in your home?”     Go here to respond.

  • Diane
    Posted at 15:41h, 23 January

    We haven’t ever done TV. But we have always done movies. 3 years ago we bought a clearplay dvd player. After watching edited movies and then going and seeing a movie with someone unedited, we were shocked what we allowed and were fine with previously, even though, we considered ourselves very careful movie watchers. I think we do just get used to certain things in the media and it doesn’t seem bad.

  • Linda ASH
    Posted at 08:42h, 24 January

    I agree with Gary completely! My husband and I rarely watch television, and like Gary, when we do catch a glimpse of it…even cartoons…the subject matter is violent, mindless, and demeaning. What happened to the inspiring, heart-warming, and clean family viewing that I grew up with?
    I’m grateful that my daughters don’t allow their children to watch television unless it is a pre-recorded show or a “G” rated movie.

  • Meagan
    Posted at 10:43h, 26 January

    Gary at first I was surprised, but you are right, if the FCC loses it’s not like all hell will break loose or the TV shows and commercials will dramatically change (they still have to make money and they know turning up the heat dramatically will lose customers)–but it will definitely cause some people to rethink using the FCC as a crutch. If I was told that the food safety inspection department was not going to be regulating restaurants anymore, I’d think twice about eating out so much and only go to restaurants I absolutely trust, and even then make sure my food was the right color, was served piping hot, had a good BBB rating, etc…Maybe this will improve people’s habits, but it’s also sad that the FCC has deteriorated this far at the same time.

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