Fans of 24 know that when the country is in jeopardy, Jack Bauer will do whatever it takes to save the day. The hero tortures enemies of the state as often as President Bush mangles the English language. But if the FCC has its way, everyone’s favorite CTU agent may soon go soft, and gorefests such as CSI and CRIMINAL MINDS may find themselves having to take a “less is more” approach to violence. The FCC – which already regulates profanities and sexual content on the airwaves — is petitioning Congress for the authority to levy fines against networks which air programs deemed overly violent. Apparently, the squeaky wheel – aka parents who refuse to take responsibility for their children’s viewing habits, as well as people who want to control not only what they watch but what you watch as well – may just get the grease after all.
Speaking to the folks at The Hollywood Reporter, Jonathan Rintels, executive director of the Center For Creative Voices In Media, raised several valid points. “What this is is government control of creative content, and we have a real problem with that. Will it count on news or reality programming? What about sports? In hockey, will it count when the gloves come off? How about documentaries? Or will it only count on scripted TV?”
But as the people whom this would most directly impact, we at theTVaddict.com are curious to know what you think. Remember, this isn’t necessarily a question of whether or not some shows have gotten too violent, but rather whether or not the government should decide what viewers can and can not see. Is it the government’s responsibility to “protect” us from violent programming, or should people be allowed the freedom to choose to watch – or not watch – what they want? Is this an example of proactive government or censorship? We know you’ve got opinions… so let’s hear ‘em!