One of the most powerful methods of communicating with Americans is the media. It can be used to inform, enlighten, encourage, and educate the millions of us who tune in every day. And yet, advertisers and producers, particularly in cable TV, have chosen to focus on the lowest common denominator in human behavior.
The whole time I grew up in an extremely violent household, one of my main escapes was television. I could watch I Love Lucy, the Carol Burnett Show, Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, Ed Sullivan, and Perry Mason to name a few. The programming was aimed at adults, and everyone from a six-year-old to my grandparents could watch any program without the fear of seeing lurid or degrading acts.
Today, programming is primarily aimed at adolescent boys and girls to titillate, arouse, encourage, and excite them into acting out in an extreme manner, all the while presenting their broadcasts as normal. You see “reality” shows of people who sleep with their neighbors, commercials that use sexual language and images to sell everything from toothpaste to car batteries, and talk-show commentators who use foul language and yell at each other to increase ratings. The trend is toward showing the worst of society and as much violence as possible.
I was fortunate I had decent programming to watch on television when being abused because it showed me that not everyone was like my parents; that there was a possibility once I left home I could live in a decent environment. What do you think the millions of children who are being abused right now are thinking as they watch these despicable television programs? Where are the role models for appropriate behavior?
What would the television world look like if there were shows about enormously good work being done by nonprofits in America, the kind teachers and police officers working in their communities, of businesses providing support of disabled employees, of the tremendous scientific achievements performed at the Centers for Disease Control? I could go on and on.
What do you think child abuse victims would think of that world?
I found an excellent website http://w2.parentstv.org/Main that I would highly recommend. They provide the resources to contact advertisers and television producers to make your voices heard. I would encourage you to make use of their services because your voices will make a difference. We, as Americans, deserve better than the trash we are watching today.