The Super Bowl - Not A Safe Bet For Family Viewing


By Lisa Sarrach & Kevin Fobbs


Weíve all now heard or have seen the infamous half-time show at the Super Bowl, culminating in the raunchy, strip tease performance of Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.


Hollywood-Hero agrees with the F.C.C. chairman Michael Powell who said:

"I am outraged by what I saw during the halftime show of the Super Bowl," Mr. Powell said."Like millions of Americans, my family and I gathered around the television for a celebration.Instead, that celebration was tainted by a classless, crass, and deplorable stunt.Our nation's children and citizens deserve better.I have instructed the commission to open an immediate investigation into last night's broadcast," he said in a statement."Our investigation will be thorough and swift."

Weíve written before about the continuing debasement of our culture as seen now on a daily basis on our television and movie screens.We hope that finally there will be a price to pay for pushing the envelope beyond all reason of decency.

From swearing, gross displays of affection between both women and men, and crotch grabbing on award shows - To the counter programming on basic cable channels like a celebration of Gay weddings, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy marathons, sexual and violent videos on MTV, and sexual content on our ďfamilyĒ sitcoms - There is no longer a safe place on television for our children.

It should go without saying, but bears repeating in this current climate - There is a place for this type of programming:pay cable channels.Adult fare that is controversial, overly sexual (both Gay and Straight), and violent, has no place on public airwaves or on basic cable.

Todayís households get their television reception primarily from either cable or satellite.Cable and satellite services are our antennas.The day of rabbit ears is long gone.There is a plethora of programming available, and sold in packages that offer real choices.However, what used to be a safe bet for parents, just not subscribing to pay channels like HBO or Showtime, where the adult fare used to live, is no longer a safe option.

With hundreds of channels to choose from on basic cable or satellite, dangers lurk everywhere that make it almost impossible to find safe choices in programming for parents.

And guess what, the powers that be, the huge media outlets, apparently, donít give a hoot about it.Tough cheese, they say, as long as they make money.Weíll make the point one more time, that until consumers uses their power to let them know what they will or will not tolerate, the continuing debasement of our entertainment choices and the marketing of sex and violence to our children will continue.This isnít the last time they will go over the line, but it should be the last time we tolerate it.

Letís look at the upcoming Grammys this weekend.Once upon a time, years ago, the Grammys or Tony Award Shows were not the place for political activism, lewd and lascivious behavior or the place to be if you wanted to be outrageous.It used to be the evening where you could see a number from a Broadway show youíd never get to see otherwise, a chance to celebrate the theater and all its wonders.The Grammys gave us live performances from some of the greatest recording artists this country has even seen, and again, an opportunity to see them perform a favorite number, live.We could safely expose (no pun intended) our children to the joys of our rich culture in word and song.

No longer are the Grammys and Tony Awards fit for children consumption.What a shame that now it appears that the Super Bowl has been added to the list of non-family fare.

Consumers are being bombarded with rate increases for their cable and satellite services.Families who are concerned that they now have to block more channels that they can watch with their children, can and maybe should consider going back to those rabbit ears.They can abandon the high tech garbage thatís being offered; invest in a video library of acceptable family fare, such as classic movies, favorite animated flicks like Finding Nemo and concerts that are now widely available in both VHS and DVD.Itís a better and safer investment for todayís children, with the control solely in the hands of the parents, where it belongs.

How do you think the media conglomerates that control what is being produced and aired would react to a wholesale revolt of their programming?Itís an idea whose time may have come, and it will be no onesí fault but theirs.

One sad footnote to the goings on over the weekend - When exactly did we as a country, lose any and all requirement for truth telling?

Whether itís the blatantly transparent attempt by Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson to assert that their stunt was an accident or any one of the democrat candidates for president, or any media outlet with an agenda, we have lost the ability to ferret out the truth.And we donít seem to care.President Clinton lied about sex, it matters not.Politicians lie about their records, or their opponentsí records, and it matters not.Celebrities lie to get out of a jam, and it matters not.

In todayís world of the Internet, 24 hours a day news coverage and pushing the envelope for acceptable behavior on our public airwaves off a cliff - our children and the truth are the casualties.It appears that the truth is second only to our children as throwaway commodities, no longer seen as important and vital to our nation, not necessary to protect, not important enough to fight for.They have sadly disappeared in a puff of overproduced stage smoke.

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