Television censorship is non-existent

Published 2:50 am Monday, January 24, 2005

By Staff
Lee Weyhrich
It seems like anything goes on television nowadays. Whether it is sex, violence or foul language, you're going to see and hear it all on the tube. Not only is this featured during late night TV, but on primetime as well.
It's funny how things change over the years. You go from watching the Brady Bunch, HeeHaw and the Cosby Show to watching off-the-wall reality shows, Law and Order Special Victims Unit and NYPD Blue. The Federal Communication Commission would have never let those types of shows air 20 years ago.
People eating rotten, maggoty cheese and risking their lives for money and a quick glimpse of a nude backside isn't unusual to see on TV today. Television shows have also started "dropping" more cuss words than in the past. Not just the smaller words that describe the fiery furnace below us, but the ones that take God's name in vain and describe human anatomy.
This topic was first brought to my attention in October of 2001 after Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fined for his language following his win in the EA Sports 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway. He didn't take God's name in vein or let a major cuss word slip; he just allowed his enthusiasm to take over and said a word that NASCAR felt was inappropriate.
For his word mishap, Earnhardt was fined and docked 25 Nextel Cup points, which are used to determine the season champion. Following the fines, he dropped from first in points to second.
The topic arose once again when testing and tuning for the upcoming Daytona 500 began earlier this month. NASCAR drivers are gearing up for another season under the new points system and surely everyone will be watching their P's and Q's. The question still remains why it's okay for hit sitcoms and drama series, which are fictional, to voice inappropriate words, but it's not okay for individuals put on the spot.
It's hard to believe something so minor would get a professional athlete in trouble, especially after all that some athletes get away with. The FCC should worry more about the major broadcast networks first before they start in on the cable networks.
Whatever happened to TV censorship?
When children turn on the television today, there's no telling what they'll see. What's the use of parental controls because even cartoons are starting to cuss and some are even getting sexual.
The best solution is to just do away with all the foul language. Why is it necessary?
What's next?
(Adam Prestridge is president and publisher of Atmore Newspapers. He can be reached at 368-2123 or by e-mail at

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