Friday, September 7, 2007 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Who Killed TV's "Family Hour"?

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 TV’s “Family Hour”?

It’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 television’s “family hour.” 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 PTC’s new report claims that these blocks of time are now “no place for children,” because “corporate interests have hijacked the family hour” and “have pushed more and more adult-oriented programming to the early hours of the evening.”

One might respond to this claim by questioning the PTC’s methodology, particularly its definitions of foul language. Simon Vozick-Levinson of Entertainment Weekly’s “PopWatch Blog” takes this approach, accusing the PTC of “cooking the numbers” to suit its cultural agenda. But I don’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 report’s premise. The family hour may well be dead—but parents, not broadcasters, were the ones who killed it.

... read the rest at the City Journal's website.

posted by Adam Thierer @ 2:30 PM | Free Speech , Mass Media , Online Safety & Parental Controls