So you think the government should regulate TV?

I was just reading a thread on an internet forum on the subject of whether the government should regulate content (particularly profanity and sexual content) on television. Some people–obviously older (50+) Republicans; I could tell by their refusal to admit the parts of their argument that were wrong, as they subtly and gradually changed what they said while claiming they never said their original statement–made some incredibly ignorant arguments and I couldn’t leave it alone, but I knew it was pointless to actually post on said forum, so I resorted to my blog, or as I sometimes like to call it, my rant engine.

Fallacy: “The government needs to regulate television content.”


Nonsense: “Because what if they advertise porn while my kid is watching Spongebob???”

1. This is pure idiocy. No television network would do this unless, I don’t know, they were showing Spongebob as some sort of joke for their adult target audience or some similar ridiculousness that still would probably never happen.

2. If this did happen, then you call the network and complain. If it’s a subscription channel, cancel that subscription. Petition your service provider to remove the channel. Do everything you can to make the network lose money for doing something so blatantly inappropriate. When their entire customer base does the same, they will either make things right, or they’ll go out of business.

While this next point wasn’t expressed in the original forum thread I’m talking about, I’ll go out on a limb and say some might think it.

Desperation: “But NOBODY (except me) would put in the effort to do anything about it, and nothing would change, therefore we need government to enforce it.”

That either means that the majority doesn’t actually want it to change, in which case government regulation would be enforcing the will of the minority at the expense of the majority, or society is too lazy to work for changes that they want. If society as a whole won’t work for what it wants, then it doesn’t deserve to get what it wants. Block the channel; cancel your subscription; do what it takes so you don’t watch that channel again. You can affect your own corner of the world, even if you can’t rely on the hopeless, degenerate masses to make real change.

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