Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Feb. 17, 2004 / 25 Shevat, 5764

Laura Ingraham

Laura Ingraham
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Have they no decency? | The entertainment elites are angry. The little people (a.k.a. the rest of America) are interfering again. Those little people want to be heard. They want an end to gratuitous sex and violence on television. They want us to clean up our act. How dare they.

"It's a hysterical overreaction," said an irritated Steven Bochco, creator of NYPD Blue, after ABC had discussed removing a sexually explicit scene from the drama in markets where it aired before the 10 pm time-slot. The network proposed the change in light of the public outcry over the Super Bowl half-time show.

Half-time performer P. Diddy sniffed that the complaints were ridiculous.

Pat O'Brien anchor of the groundbreaking show Access Hollywood was "shocked at the level of attention [the Super Bowl half-time] is getting" and expressed dismay that "the bar has been raised so high."

Yes, he said "so high."

The elites simply do not get it.

Years ago, revolutionaries used to ask "Which side are you on?" The controversy over the Super Bowl is one of those events that illustrates that there really are two sides to the culture war, and that it really makes a difference which side you are on.

Viacom chief Mel Karmazin was among the big-wig media types who were hauled before Congress this week to explain themselves. If there were subliminal subtitles on C-Span, one could imagine Karmazin thinking to himself: "These bozos think they can intimidate me?! Hah! I'll humor them for the day then in a few months it will be business as usual."

"It is not clear what is meant by 'indecency,'" Karmazin told the House subcommittee, whose members had been slammed by calls and emails from infuriated constituents. Not clear? (Earth to Mel: Get out of Los Angeles and New York and spend some time in 'fly-over' America (no, Aspen doesn't count). Sit down and talk to parents trying to raise children in a sex saturated culture.)

The definition of 'indecency' is clear to most parents — heck, most teenagers get it. Rule 1: No crotch grabbing. Rule 2: No tearing at each others' clothes. Rule 3: No wearing of S & M clothes that result in 'wardrobe failures.' Rule 4: No lyrics that promise getting naked 'at the end of this song.' Got it?

Behind all the talking points that their lobbyists have prepared for them, behind all the smoke and mirrors about "the First Amendment" and "free speech" is simply a vast indifference to the effect of what popular culture does to our society. Insulated by their money, their private schools, and their nannies from the realities of raising children in this society, they look on with indifference at the struggles of those who don't have their resources.

Donate to JWR

But poor and middle class parents, who are suffering under a flood of filth, immediately saw the Super Bowl show as just another example of how corporate America is undermining their effort to pass along their values to their kids.

It's easy to say that the government has no responsibility, because each parent should be responsible for passing along their values. But by that logic, we should have no welfare programs, because each parent should be responsible for feeding and clothing their own children. Fortunately, we have a welfare system because we realize that not everyone has the resources to make it in our highly competitive society. For the same reason, the government should be engaged in cultural welfare to help those parents and kids who don't have access to the resources and schools that the rich enjoy.

Make no mistake. This is a big deal. If poor and middle class Americans can't even pass along their values, then this country isn't working for them. Most Americans will never be rich. Most will never be famous. The only legacy most will ever leave is the values and ideals that they pass along to their children. It is obscene for the elites to trample on the efforts of the "regular people" for no reason other than sheer greed. And it is doubly obscene if the people's representatives hide behind legal niceties to avoid standing up for their constituents.

In the modern world, poor and middle class Americans need to be able to let their kids watch over-the-air programming without fear. These airwaves belong to the people, not to any company. We need to make sure that Congress -- and Big Media -- understand this fact before it's too late.

Every weekday publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Laura Ingraham is the host of a nationally syndicated radio show and the author of the just released "Shut Up and Sing: How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the UN are Subverting America". Comment by clicking here.

01/22/04: The Dean bubble
01/09/04: Jumping conservatives at the border
11/20/03: The Media Misses the Point — Again
10/29/03: The attack of the open border elites
09/11/03: Blame America redux
09/04/03: Back To School, or Back to...Sex?
08/27/03: The elites' anti-religion obsession
08/14/03: Dems whine, democracy shines
08/12/03: What would Reagan do?
08/06/03: Hillary, courtside
07/30/03: Gray skies just got darker
07/23/03: Sticking it to the Children
07/08/03: He's not invincible
07/01/03: It's time to take back the Constitution
04/01/03: Peter Arnett's MOAB
03/25/03: The Dems' Michael Moore Problem
03/18/03: Dixie Chicken out
03/11/03: The real predator drones
03/04/03: The French PR machine crashes
02/25/03: Keep us safe --- let's be more like Europe!
02/11/03: Hollywood loves dictators
02/05/03: First Amendment frauds in Cincinnati
01/28/03: The elites versus the voters
01/22/03: Playing (and losing) Homeland Security politics
01/14/03: What have you done for the free world lately?
12/17/02: Who is the better leader: Gore or Lott?
12/10/02: Who, more than anyone else, is actively advancing the cause of civil liberties around the world?
12/04/02: 'Tis the season to hope for the worst
11/27/02: The Federal P.C. Police Versus Small Business Owners (Cont'd)
11/19/02: Bipartisan moves to reward illegals
11/13/02: Eminem, a rebel? You gotta be kidding!
11/05/02: In defense of low turnout
10/30/02: Hell, no they won't go!
10/22/02: Where are the moderate Muslims?
10/15/02: California dreaming, cont'd
10/08/02: Slick Willie's running
10/01/02: Euro-worries about wall flower status
09/26/02: How lucky we are that the Straight Talk Express drove off the cliff!
09/18/02: What Jackson and Sharpton know about conservatives
09/12/02: The Today Show v. guns
08/27/02: Bush not attending the UN-sponsored "bash Amerika" conference!?
08/20/02: The NEA: Let the anti-American indoctrination begin!
08/13/02: Bubba's revenge
08/07/02: Bilingual bust continues its drag on our schools
07/30/02: Dems love for big lawyers=big opportunity
07/23/02: No time for vacation
07/16/02: Is Homeland Security all wet?
06/25/02: The firing season has arrived
06/18/02: Picking the next chief
06/11/02: Intelligence coup, with much more to do
06/07/02: The Bush administration's foul ball
05/30/02: Post-feminism in the aftermath of 9-11
05/23/02: The press gunning for Ashcroft
05/19/02: El Jefe basks in Carter's Light
05/15/02: Former presidents who don't understand the word "former"
05/07/02: Ozzy deified, many mortified, drugs glorified?
05/01/02: Bush: "California here I come ... sort of"
04/27/02: The good news about conservatives versus Bush
04/17/02: While the cat's away....
04/09/02: Preview of 2004: See how Dick runs!
01/29/02: A kinder, gentler human-rights violator?
11/27/01: Military tribunals provide streamlined justice
09/07/01: Scariest animal wears pants
08/17/01: Depressed after seeing uncut version of Apocalypse Now --- and for good reason
07/20/01: The other, maybe more important, news
06/22/01: Washington's pro-Bono worship is unnerving
06/01/01: Burying conservatism
05/17/01: Ashcroft's abuse of power

© 2002, Laura Ingraham