Tags: The | Network | Executives | Can | 'Stick | It'

The Network Executives Can 'Stick It'

Monday, 03 September 2001 12:00 AM

There it was, in black and white, the screaming headline on Page 1 of this past Sunday's Times, top of the fold: "As Cable Applies Pressure, Network TV Spouts Expletives."

That headline was mild compared to the revelations of just what the major TV networks – ABC, CBS and NBC – are preparing for this fall's TV season.

Steven Bochco, the executive producer of a new ABC program called "Philly," wants "a character [to] use a scatological reference that has never before been uttered on an ABC series." The word 'scatological' refers to excrement and may better describe what the networks are planning to dish up for American audiences, particularly the nation's youth, this fall.

Another executive producer, Aaron Sorkin of NBC's "The West Wing," says he wants to break "a longstanding network taboo" this year by blaspheming God – or, as he puts it, he wants "a character to curse in a way that uses the Lord's name in vain."

What ratings they must expect to get! More money in the bank!

Major producers at all of the networks told the Times they are going to push the envelope this year as never before.

The clear implication of the Times' story is that these ideas are coming not just from producers and script writers but also from network executives, who are said to be worried about the loss of viewers to the more provocative cable shows like HBO's "The Sopranos."

Let's take a step back for a second and peel away the spin to see what is happening here:

Sure, some adults may find this fun, and it's a free country. But on broadcast TV the networks have unimpeded access to the minds of children. Why pollute their minds? The revelations in the Times demonstrate that the networks want to do away with even the minimal broadcast standards left.

If they don't like their business and the rules, then they should return their broadcast licenses. If the FCC had any guts, it would consider whether some of the networks are actually operating in the public interest and consider yanking their licenses. ABC, NBC and CBS do not own the airwaves. The public does.

I am not worried about how God will fare in this battle. I am worried for my country, and for the younger generations who will know God as something to be mocked – instead of being the reason for our freedom and greatness.

When the media succeed in stamping out God from public life, there will be no America.

Even Better: Send an urgent PriorityGram to all the FCC commissioners and network presidents.

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There it was, in black and white, the screaming headline on Page 1 of this past Sunday's Times, top of the fold: As Cable Applies Pressure, Network TV Spouts Expletives. That headline was mild compared to the revelations of just what the major TV networks - ABC, CBS and...
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2001-00-03
Monday, 03 September 2001 12:00 AM
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