Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 5:33am
[SOURCE: Los Angeles Times, AUTHOR: Editorial Staff]
[Commentary] Armed with the latest studies documenting a rise in televised mayhem, some activists are pushing Congress to extend the federal nanny state's purview to TV violence. The networks' growing fascination with maiming, killing and vivisecting may be lamentable, but regulations to limit violence on over-the-air television would be even less rational and enforceable than the government's shifting standards for indecency and profanity. Past the First Amendment, there's two difficulties to regulate violent content: 1) it's difficult to define what constitutes violence, let alone what is gratuitous or excessive and 2) it's hard to see how a crackdown on broadcasters would do much to protect kids when over-the-air stations represent only one source of violent programming. The best way to protect kids from inappropriate fare on TV is for parents to monitor what they watch. Better parental controls for filtering TV are emerging, as is more useful information about content. Instead of trying to make decisions for Mom and Dad, the government should be pushing the industry to provide more effective ways for them to control what their kids are watching.
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