The Parents Television Council has a new report out this week about the supposed decline of the TV "Family Hour." The City Journal has just posted my response to that PTC report here. It begins as follows...
Who Killed TVâ€™s â€œFamily Hourâ€?
Itâ€™s not who you think.
by Adam D. Thierer
7 September 2007
The nonprofit Parents Television Council (PTC) released a report this week lamenting the supposed death of broadcast televisionâ€™s â€œfamily hour.â€ Though neither the Federal Communications Commission nor Congress ever mandated it, 8 to 9 PM Monday through Saturday (Eastern time), and 7 to 9 PM on Sunday, have traditionally been devoted to family-friendly programming. But the PTCâ€™s new report claims that these blocks of time are now â€œno place for children,â€ because â€œcorporate interests have hijacked the family hourâ€ and â€œhave pushed more and more adult-oriented programming to the early hours of the evening.â€
One might respond to this claim by questioning the PTCâ€™s methodology, particularly its definitions of foul language. Simon Vozick-Levinson of Entertainment Weeklyâ€™s â€œPopWatch Blogâ€ takes this approach, accusing the PTC of â€œcooking the numbersâ€ to suit its cultural agenda. But I donâ€™t want to engage in methodological nit-picking, since it quickly devolves into a subjective squabble about acceptable language and appropriate programming. Instead, I want to point out the fundamental flaw in the reportâ€™s premise. The family hour may well be deadâ€”but parents, not broadcasters, were the ones who killed it.
... read the rest at the City Journal's website.