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Monday, February 21, 2005
If you haven't had a look at the Parent's Television Council's website, now is as good a time as any. As Lewis Black pointed out on "The Daily Show" last week, the organizers of this decade-old organization are attempting to suppress questionable TV content by...posting it on the internet.
The column on the far right of the site (pun intended) leads to unedited clips from the Paris Hilton episode of "South Park" and Motley Crue's f-bomb on "The Tonight Show." "Sex and the City," currently syndicated on TBS, has an entire page devoted to it, which includes this rant by the PTC's president. As Mr. Slave might put it, "Jes-uth Christ!"
The PTC site also contains a "helpful" family-oriented TV Guide and a color-coded alert system. "Nip/Tuck," "Alias" and the like are regulated to danger-level red. Shows like "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" are rated on the safe, green level but, really, shouldn't the hue for these be brown?
A lineup of the best and worst shows for families from the 2003-2004 has "American Idol" listed in the top ten and "That '70s Show" slotted as the second worst show on television for its "irresponsible treatment of teen sex and drug use, which are depicted as risk- and consequence-free." Teens? Wait, isn't the entire cast well into their 20's?
There's also helpful tips on how to file complaints with the FCC against programs deemed objectionable. Michael Powell's office number is listed so I decided to give it a call (it's 202-418-0232 for those of you too lazy to follow the link).
A recorded woman's voice picked up the line when I called and offered the option to leave a message for Powell or any of his numerous advisors and assistants. Instead of leaving a complaint on his voice mail, I politely requested that he devote the final months of his tenure as chairman lobbying for new episodes of "Futurama." Oh, and, also getting "The Naked News" on C-SPAN. I'm sure he'll quickly get back to me on both of these requests.
Thanks, PTC! You've made a dull President's Day a little more interesting.