Is television or media actually more censored than it was years agp?

This was a debate that some people were arguing online. Arguably, taboos in media and entertainment is even more censored than it was years ago, or there is at least more pressure against it. What is your opinion about that? I personally don’t buy into the argument that we should censor (most) things for youth. Sure, some things aren’t allowed, and no doubt we crossed the boundaries of right vs. wrong, but lately it seems like everything seen as taboo on TV or movies, no matter how mildly suggestive, is automatically deemed “obscene and offensive.”

Compared to what it was when I was a kid, modern TV programmers and movie makers don’t know the meaning of the word “censor.” There’s language and sexually suggestive (sometimes more than just suggestive, especially in R-rated movies) stuff that they never would have dreamed of doing four or five decades ago.

In the case of broadcast TV where juveniles will be watching, then yes, it absolutely SHOULD be censored. A LOT more than it is.

I dunno. Does censorship (for whatever reason) take the place of self-restraint?

There’s a reason why the programming is increasingly crude and vulgar. It’s because society itself is becoming crude, vulgar and animalized - and mass mediuh are on the forefront and are eagerly driving standards down.

I’d very-much like it not to be as it is; but I have a real problem with professional blue-noses, probably from government, coming out to dictate THEIR sensibilities on media.

And it does nothing to address the problem; in fact, it makes the problem WORSE. Instead of having disciplined adults with standards and taste using discretion, we have our Media Elites needing and welcoming CONTROL by GOVERNMENT.

Not the direction we need to go. The problem we have today, in large part, is that we have government in EVERYTHING.

What to do? It’s not satisfactory to many people…but it’s the easiest way that I can see. I don’t have a television set. Years ago I turned it off and kept it off. RARELY, I will watch a movie - generally a documentary; sometimes an old classic; and generally here on the computer. Because of its infrequency, I enjoy it all the more; and I’m not immersed in this culture of swill that’s washing over us.

The old tv shows, like Lucille Ball’s “I Love Lucy”, the couple slept in twin beds. She was one of the first to be seen pregnant on camera. Today, you should watch a soap opera. They have love scenes all the time, that leave little to the imagination, including gay love scenes. Also the language is a lot rougher than ever before. One show I watched Friday, they even said “Bullsh**”. They haven’t said the “f” word on daytime tv, but they say “friggin”.

The media that kids can easily access (prime-time shows on TV, PG/PG13 movies) has become totally disgusting. The shows and movies glorify violence, drug use, drug making, promiscuity, gangs, and a dozen other things I can’t think of at the moment.

What’s far more disturbing to me is there’s been a subtle shift in the type of person we’re supposed to root for (the “good guy”). With the Sopranos, it was a thug mob boss. Breaking bad, it was a meth dealer. In movies like Wolf of Wall Street, it’s the totally hedonistic drug user. Movies and TV seem to celebrate thugs, psychopaths, and all around “bad guys”. Remember when Kanye West crashed the stage in the Grammy’s? Why was he ever invited back again? He should have been banned for life from ever attending. But there he was again, ready to do it to Beck (who is ten times the artist Kanye could ever dream of being).

Strangely, it’s the Marvel comic book movies that send a good message. The good guys may have their faults, but they’re* good guys* (and gals). They protect people, fight the bad guy, and even glorify some American values (Captain America). The new Batman movies are too dark for me.

I hope our kids are getting good values at home. What’s out there is sickening.

TV is more censored if you are talking about political and religious speech, it is far less censored if you are talking about decadence.

“Censorship” has always been selective on the voluntary level but at the official level it is far less strict today, the government no longer cares about vulgarity or perversion and the Networks now choose to prohibit unbiased political and religious expression in favor of propagating “Political Correctness”.

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Maybe I need to explain this point further. What I was trying to get to but didn’t, it seemed like when you grew up during the 90s, the Nickelodeon cartoon “Rocko’s Modern Life” got away with saying the word “Hell”. According to some, you can’t get away with that on a show meant for young kids today. Can you?

Also, there was a late night movie show in the 1980s on a local Florida TV station, if the FCC saw today they would flip.

And I was talking more about 80s/90s TV, not 50s or even 70s. Maybe I’m just looking at those times through my rose-colored glasses.

In the '80s at least, it would have been unthinkable to have a TV cartoon with the gratuitous use of “hell.” In the late '90s, there was garbage on PBS that would have been at least rated R in a movie in the '70s, and would forbidden in the '60s. And I’d be surprised if it’s gotten better in the 2000s and 2010s. And the 2000s brought us shows (at least one sitcom and CSI) with sex toys.

“Censor” means government action; in ancient Rome a Censor was a government official, and that is the origin of our word. As a whole, that happens very seldom, and standards have probably loosened over the past 4 or 5 decades.

There are non-governmental, non-industry organizations (NGO and NIOs) - e.g. the American Family Association or the Parents Television Council - who try to use community pressure on broadcasters, stations, and advertisers to persuade certain kinds of restraints on the part of content creators and broadcasters (including cable-based). Such groups span the socio-political spectrum. It’s called free speech and is not censorship. Content creators and broadcasters have like freedom in how they respond (or not) to such pressure.

Content creators and broadcasters have their own standards - a combination of FTC rules, what their chosen marketplace wants, and their own worldview/politics. This is the nuts and bolts of how content creators and broadcasters use their freedom. E.G. MSNBC could have a Rush Limbaugh type conservative on-air, but that isn’t the marketplace MSNBC is targeting, nor is it the worldview/politics of MSNBC, NBC, or their corporate parent. This is standards and choices, not censorship.

I realize that what the NGOs/NIOs do is called, by some, “censorship,” but the epithet has no meaningful content beyond, “I disagree with their worldview and ideas.” And while “self-censorship” is common usage, it really is an oxymoron.

What I meant by “Self Censorship” was not really someone censoring “themselves” but Network Producers and brass making writers tow a particular line, still not a citizen government official but not entirely oxy-moronic either.

A great exception is Tim Allens new show over the last few years (Last Man Standing), it has a clear Conservative bent and is allowed on the air due to getting great ratings but it is NEVER mentioned in the Entertainment Magazine shows or in any reviews for particular nights beyond having the ratings listed. I think that is only because Tim Allen is so big and has such a consistent reputation that the in house Lefties can’t really get away with messing with his content.

Regardless, he is out on an island with that show; it is a miracle that it found an audience with near zero promotion in an age of hundreds of channels.

I was ecstatic to find that show on Netflix and discover it’s still being made. Very funny!

Also, [MENTION=15884]Swaggy D[/MENTION] , in some of those shows, you’re not necessarily meant to root for those guys. (I didn’t watch the Sopranos.) They’re stories, and they often give us some interesting stuff to think about. It’s really easy to dislike the bad guy protagonists now, but sometimes, circumstances drive them where any person might go in similar situations. You’ve got to wonder sometimes, would I? Would most folks? (Thinking “Breaking Bad” here, but it applies in other cases, including, never mind the bad science, the “The 100,” which creates lots of interest situations where most of the protagonists kind of suck at one point or another as they muddle through.) And we’ve got to ask ourselves, why do we want to cheer on Walter White? Or do we? Maybe he gets what he has coming by the end of the show. The lines maybe get a bit blurry because we’re a bit blurry in our human nature. We do good things. We do bad things.

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Also, my children are not permitted to watch those kinds of shows. They don’t watch those kinds of shows.

I find that I have to keep an eye on children’s programming, and they aren’t permitted to watch much of what’s out there today. I find Disney Channel’s young teen programming to be obnoxious in general, some of the worst TV in the history of TV, and that’s saying a lot.


Somewhere back up someone said, "…that kids can easily access."
Excuse me? Not in our home, they couldn’t. Our t.v. was strongly censored…and Mommy did the censoring. (Dad, too, but he wasn’t here as often as I.)

Our kids were allowed ONE t.v. show each during the week - and only if they got an “A” on their spelling tests. (Not necessarily a 100%, but at least an “A.” Both could watch each others fav, so many times that meant 2 shows per week.)
As they got older, more was allowed, but not much. Besides, they were too busy with sports and buddies, etc., to have time for t.v.
Did they watch things not on the approval list while our backs were turned? Most likely. "Forbidden fruit’, and all that. Thing is, our backs weren’t turned often enough for them to get an overdose of garbage, so basically a non-issue.

No, we weren’t over-lording prudish witches. Just believers in “what goes in, comes out,” along with knowing that there are much better things to do with your time than sit in front of boob tube.

Easy access? Depends on the parent.


I have to agree. I watch Last man Standing and I am surprised the show is still on the air.

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Had a Walker, Texas Ranger rerun on t.v. last night during my usual winter after dinner repose modes. Was for sure I’d fall asleep, as the theme was pretty worn out: A guy labeled as “retarded” gets accused of a murder he did not commit.

Ended coming away with an attitude I’d never thought of, really.
The “retarded” guy wonders why everybody hates him, and says, "I know, 'cuz I’m slow.
To which Walker responds: (paraphrasing, maybe)
“Nothing wrong with being slow. If only more people would slow down, there’d be a lot less crime in this country.”

Maybe not profound, but he certainly did make a point. And make me like “slow” people even all the more.

Point taken! Maybe I should amend my comment to: there are a lot more moral “grey areas” in TV then there used to be.

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Not familiar w/those particular shows, but thinking I’d like to be as it’s good to encourage some introspection - and retrospection - on one’s core values, beliefs, and principles.
Not to change anyone’s core principles, but putting them to the test sometimes, does help us establish - or reestablish - our grounding.

There is very little in the way of “grey” between right and wrong. But it never hurts to have ours tested from time to time.