Should Decency Standards Be Changed


It seems the Supreme Court will again be looking at the television broadcasting standards and determining if they should be removed, effectively allowing network television to say or show whatever they would like. As usual there is the first amendment argument which says that broadcasters should be able to broadcast what they like. The counter argument is people shouldn’t be forced to watch offensive programs.

This is one of those issues where I have to admit I am on the fence about. When people claim that they will be forced to watch programs which are offensive I have to disagree. No one forces anyone to watch anything, the beauty of this country is when we don’t like something on television or the radio we can always change the station. Part of this argument is that if children are watching television they could inadvertently put on something they shouldn’t be watching, however there are blockers out there which could be used to filter out programs with different ratings.
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Commercials on the other hand would be harder to control and arguably there is more of a problem with these. Whether it is previews for programs of suggestive commercials for clothing, alcohol or violent video games, this is what should be controlled. But even this is a hard issue since I believe in free enterprise; it can be argued that advertisers have the right to air them.

The one argument I don’t agree with is that we should just get rid of the standards since, at least as far as language goes, we all use those words already. My argument would be we use that language because we have been subjected to it through the media already.