SpeakSpeak News


Want a Radical Idea? Watch TV with Your Kids.

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/13/2005 @ 11:28 am

Karen McCallum offers a simple solution to the “TV is corrupting our children” argument: Sit on your butt.

In a different and possibly simpler time, June Cleaver said, “Ward, I’m worried about the Beaver.” Well, it isn’t 1957 anymore, and we’re all worried about our children. Rather than vilify the media for portrayals of sex and violence, use TV as a tool to bring the family together. Sit with your kids, watch with your kids, talk about what you see and develop the answers together. The Beaver will be OK.

From the Albuquerque Journal.

Assaulted by Porn?

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/13/2005 @ 11:23 am

Are we being assaulted by porn? Is ‘porn creep’ a valid phenomenon, or a sleazy guy in an adult bookstore?

Regina Lynn, sex columnist for Wired News, reviews Smut: A Sex Industry Insider (and Concerned Father) Says Enough Is Enough by Gil Reavill. Reavill started his career at the uber-dirty Screw magazine and has also written for Penthouse and Maxim.

Reavill makes it clear that he sees nothing wrong with sexually explicit material “being available to every consenting adult who seeks it out.” He reminds us – several times – that he opposes government censorship, supports freedom of speech and belongs to the American Civil Liberties Union.

But he objects strenuously to having smut flung in our faces when we’re not looking for it, not consenting to it or not old enough to understand it. He’s not alone. He refers to a Parents, Media and Public Policy poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2004, in which 60 percent of the respondents rated themselves “very” concerned about how much sex their children see on television. The internet was a secondary apprehension.

Says Lynn of Reavill’s book:

It’s not a diatribe against the porn machine or an attempt to impose one uniform set of morals on a million other people.

Instead, he presents a well-supported argument about how much sexually explicit content is forced on us each day. And he makes several common-sense suggestions about what we can do to stop it.

Right about now I can sense some First Amendment hackles rising. Let me assure you, this is not about eroding our civil rights. It’s about upholding them.

When you live in a community, you have to make some adjustments that aren’t required if you live 10 miles from your nearest neighbor. It’s rude to let your car alarm blare all day, to play your music at top volume late at night and to send your dog down the street to defecate on someone else’s lawn.

Likewise, it’s rude to force your sexual expression on folks who don’t want to see it. I doubt you would be thrilled if I barged into your house and wallpapered your dining room with Michael Brandon posters without your permission.

Yet that’s what it feels like when you drive down a city street and every billboard leers or propositions you. Or when you check your e-mail and you have spam sporting subject lines about incest, bestiality and statutory rape.

Slippery slope? As always, it comes back to the question of where to draw the line, and who gets to draw it.

Check out the book, and the review.

Mumbai Cracks Down on Naughty Movie Posters

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/13/2005 @ 11:05 am

Mumbai (India) officials have long been at odds with the city’s most recognizable industry. (Mumbai is the Hollywood of Bollywood.)

Their newest claim is that racy film posters have been causing traffic jams and fender benders.

They have vowed, again, to take a hard line against movie producers.

Dems Call for Investigation into PBS Oversight

Filed under
  • PBS
 by Amanda Toering — 05/13/2005 @ 10:33 am

Democrats John Dingell and David Obey, top Dems on the Commerce and Appropriations committees, have called for an Inspector General’s investigation into the politics of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. CPB Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson has been criticized lately for trying to infiltrate Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood with a GOP agenda.

Tomlinson says “bring it on!” He defends his efforts as trying to “encourage public broadcasters to take more seriously the need that our current affairs line-up reflect objectivity and balance.”

According to Broadcasting & Cable, Dingell and Obey also want to

investigate a press report in the New York Times that Tomlinson hired a consultant to review the Now with Bill Moyers” program for political content, as well to look into CPB decisions to “remove” Kathleen Cox as CPB president, hire a pair of programming ombudsmen, and hire Mary Catherine Andrews while still director of the White House Office of Global Communications–she moved to CPB–to draft guidelines for a review of the public TV and radio content.

From B&C.

Support Honest, Accurate, Responsible TV Sex

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/13/2005 @ 10:16 am

Meet The Media Project, the entertainment industry’s resource on sexual health, who recently launched, Take PART, an organized effort to stop censorship in Hollywood. Take P.A.R.T.’s mission is to let broadcasters and the FCC know that we ” applaud their efforts to depict adolescent sexual health in an honest, accurate, and responsible manner.”

Let’s face it — abstinence does indeed work, but only if you practice it. For better or for worse, many teens don’t. And, for worse, the current political climate often keeps vital sexual health information from kids who go down that for-better-or-for-worse road.

That’s where Hollywood comes in. According to their website, “Take P.A.R.T. offers positive reinforcement to the creative industry and gives a voice to a community that understands the power of entertainment and its effect on the social attitudes and behaviors of young people.”

Take P.A.R.T. is currently sponsoring campaigns to support Law and Order: SVU (for showing the importance of protecting minors’ right to confidential health care), Summerland (for showing the importance of teens talking with trusted adults about sex), and Judging Amy (for offering safer sex messaging and a depiction of the importance of living a full life when HIV-positive).

Please take a minute to drop by Take P.A.R.T.’s site. Send a note to broadcasters and the FCC letting them know that you support the responsible depiction of adolescent sexual health. Or, don’t — and wait for the chastity belt to make its prime time debut.

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