Watching TV Makes You Stupid
©02 The Media Desk
Mr. Michael Copps, the only Democratic Commissioner of the five at the FCC, has heartburn.
Wednesday night he sat and stared wide-eyed at the CBS broadcast of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. He was looking for Something Indecent.
Evidently after a couple of hours of drooling on his remote control he found it.
The Desk stole a few minutes of time while at work Wednesday night and watched it as well.
It didn't see any Smut.
Sure it was a concentrated version of all those Hanes Her Way commercials, and a good dose of Baywatch and the 'romantic interludes' on soap operas condensed into one show. With a bit of the home shopping cable show's Intimate Apparel Hour thrown in for good measure. But it wasn't the Hardcore Pornography some of the screaming idiots on one of the Christian radio shows the Desk listen to from time to time call it.
First off, Dr. James Dobson probably wouldn't know hardcore porn if he tripped over it. Mr. Copps evidently has no idea what the working definition of Indecency is either because he wants the FCC to revise it to suit him.
The FCC Definition follows.
Material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory activities or organs.
The Desk will freely admit that it did Not watch the entire lingerie broadcast, but the fifteen or twenty minutes that it did watch toward the end of the show, including the finale, it didn't see any 'sexual or excretory organs' or activities thereof.
So it finds it hard to understand Mr. Copps' position. Although it does understand Dr. Dobson's. He is so far out of touch with reality he probably thinks Moses brings his breakfast every morning of manna delivered by ravens.
But in interest of fairness to them the Desk will look at somebody else who would have been up in arms...
The Wahabi Muslims of Saudi Arabia.
According to the Wahabi, and their cousins the Taliban formerly of Afghanistan, any portion of a woman's body except for a small area around her eyes, is Indecent.
Even in late 2002 in Arabia, if a member of the Mutawwa (the religious police) even suspect a woman of just talking to a man who is not a close relative they can detain her indefinitely, charge her with prostitution, or in some extreme circumstances, kill her. http://travel.state.gov/saudi.html
To the Wahabi, almost any American clothing advertisement in any women's magazine is pornography, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is seized and burned. So are Bibles, crosses, and Non-Muslim (and some moderate Islamic) literature.
So Dr. Dobson and Mr. Copps are in good company. They are in the same league as those that pay the families of suicide bombers who kill Jewish children, send recruits to fly airliners into buildings, and call for all Muslims worldwide to kill the infidels.
"Now wait a minute. James Dobson hasn't killed anybody." Somebody just said.
No he hasn't. Neither has Mr. Copps that we know of.
BUT. By attempting to foist their values on the rest of us whether we want them or not, Dobson with his deflating national radio ministry, and Mr. Copps by creating an official issue where none exist, they are looking to put our women in burkas and have our living rooms patrolled by Ethics Police just as assuredly as the Homeland Security Office wants you to call the FBI if your neighbor buys more fertilizer than you think he needs for his flower garden. How long will it be before they ordain Homeland Security Police to deal with unsavory elements of the public before we corrupt them?
This is America for crying out loud.
Even if you don't like something, you do not have the right to stop the rest of us from enjoying it. That's our wife's job. You may complain about it from now until sometime after the next Olympics, that's your right. And we don't expect anything less out of you. But don't go pushing new regulations through a Federal Agency just because they have a burr under their blanket.
The thought occurs that if Mr. Copps can't watch the Victoria's Secret show without getting all worked up and his thoughts wandering below the beltway, perhaps he needs to work on his own self control and evil nature.
As for Dr. Dobson, it's probably been twenty years since he had an impure thought that would make sense to anybody else. Since he probably considers it a terrible personal sin and he sits in his office and flagellates himself if he puts too much sugar in his coffee.
The issue here is not whether or not Gisele Bundchen should be allowed to parade across prime time TV in her underwear if Victoria's Secret can pay her hourly rate or not, but whether or not she has the Right too if all involved parties consent to it.
If the sponsors and the network think there is a market for it, and the public, including Mr. Copps, watch it, then the answer is that yes there is a market for it and if that's the way Ms. Bundchen wants to make her living, more power to her.
America is still a puritanical society no doubt. If you don't believe it consider our stands on sexuality and nudity. They ARE two different issues. You can be naked without being sexual, and you can be sexual without being naked, although it is difficult, and not a lot of fun.
However, most of the prime time sitcom audiences don't see it that way. And they consider titillation the height of entertainment. When you consider the fact that a 'show about nothing' with a mechanical laugh track has been named the 'Best Show' in the history of TV, you realize what Dr. Dobson and Mr. Copps are talking about.
The Desk would rather watch a NOVA episode than any sit-com so it is by no means the average TV viewer. In fact, in an average week it watches ZERO hours of Prime Time TV, it probably wouldn't count as a TV viewer at all to the Networks and their sponsors.
But it can judge those that do.
It knows people who 'watch TV'. It has talked to people who were upset with the schools for assigning too much homework because their kids didn't have enough 'TV time'. It has asked people who were watching TV what show was on during a commercial and they couldn't answer.
The current saw is true- TV makes you stupid.
And it holds up as exhibit number one Mr. Copps whose job with the FCC evidently requires him to watch TV. And he is now suffering from an overdose of whinny talk shows, reality TV, and laugh track plagued sit-coms until he thinks the Wednesday night show was indecent.
Whether or not it might fall under the umbrella that it was 'in good taste' or even 'for the general public' isn't even a worthwhile discussion.
If you didn't want to watch it. CHANGE THE CHANNEL!
But like Mr. Copps, so many of those who wanted to be offended sat through the thing in wide-eyed disbelief it was a hit.
And most likely, next year, they'll watch it again.
They will. The Desk won't. It has better things to do.
And if not, it will FIND something better to do.
[NOTE: The Desk is not affiliated with any of the above entities. It did not even know what network the special had been on until it did the research for this article. However, it thinks beautiful young women and their underwear are a good thing, TV show or no. All names are registered trademarks of their individual owners. No Infringment is intended. Thank You]