Ever heard of the PTC? No matter; even if you haven’t I’m quite sure you’re familiar with their work. PTC stands for “Parents Television Council,” and it was founded in 1995 by ultra-conservative activist L. Brent Bozell III. The PTC is a lobbyist group that monitors television and radio broadcasts and determines whether or not the programs are decent and moral and uphold traditional family values, and by “traditional family values” I mean any value which marginalizes women, denigrates homosexuals, and views supporters of the first amendment as the enemy. Remember all the fuss made about Janet Jackson’s nipple? Most of the hoopla from that originated from the PTC. From the PTC’s website:
“The PTC has customarily focused on broadcast television programs — particularly during prime time, and especially during the “Family Hour” (the earliest hour of network television each evening). However, because of the influences late-night programming and cable can exert on the medium as a whole, the PTC does monitor shows airing in other time slots, and on expanded basic cable channels.”
So not only do they think they hold the final vote over what should be considered decent on broadcast television, they also want to screw with programming we’ve paid to watch. Why should you care about this? Because my impatient friends, according to Mediaweek “in December of 2004 that 99.8% of 240,000 complaints made to the FCC complaining about indecency in 2003 originated from the Parents Television Council. PTC is primarily responsible for the over 1,500 percent increase in complaints since 2002 (~14,000 complaints) and the increase of over 65,000 percent since 2001.”
Yeah, you read that right. 1,500 percent increase in complaints to the FCC originating from one self-appointed organization. Want me to scare you even more? Go to the PTC’s website and read some of the fascist nonsense they attempt to pass off as philanthropic watchdogging, but don’t stay too long and for God’s sake don’t drink the kool-aide.
How can we fight this censorship and current imposition into our culture by these technophobic fundamentalists?
Hell I don’t know”¦I’d like an answer to that just as much as you.
I guess we could all start by contacting our Senators and our Congressman and informing them that we hope for, nay demand a government which supports and protects the First Amendment to the Constitution against the righteous indignation of a few religious fundamentalists. That’s probably the mature thing to do.
”˜Course, they’ll delete that email faster than you can say “spam,” so perhaps a more juvenile method is called for. Here’s my plan: Any time some governmental stooge (Scott McClellan, George Bush, John Kerry, Oprah) appears on any television broadcast, go the the PTC’s webpage and lodge an official complaint with the FCC. If we flood the FCC with enough bullshit they might get annoyed enough to stop listening to the PTC.
Probably not, but since no organization with any credibility exists to protect the rights established in the Constitution we’ll have to do what we can.