Wednesday, January 11, 2012


The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments from broadcast television stations on the topic of what is indecency and whether the FCC should be regulating broadcast stations when cable tv is less regulated.

The arguments have been limited, as I understand it, to fines for brief partial nudity and the slipping of f and s bombs on live broadcasts.

But what about so-called “reality tv” shows – both broadcast and cable.  These steaming piles of excrement do more damage to society in general and our youth in particular than any wardrobe malfunction or slip of the tongue.

As a writer with what I believe is something to say I am generally against censorship and a supporter of free speech.

But those appearing on reality tv shows can barely utter the King’s English let alone have something to say, other than “Hey, look at me.  I’m an idiot!”

We are just now beginning to understand the damage done to society by this type of reality tv.

Data compiled by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that In the US there has been an incredible 59% increase in plastic surgery from the year 2000 to 2008.

Shows like THE JERSEY SHORE and THE REAL WORLD that glorify drunken promiscuity and fighting as the norm for settling disputes certainly tell impressionable young viewers that such behavior is acceptable.

A news item recently reported –

The Girls Scouts are warning of the dangers of reality TV after a study by the Girl Scouts Research Institute concluded that reality shows are having a negative effect on young women, reports.

The study found that reality television ‘more frequently portrays girls and women in competition with one another rather than in support or collaboration. This perpetuates a 'mean-girl' stereotype and normalizes this behavior among girls,’ the story reports.”

The study concluded: “Teen girls who regularly view reality TV accept and expect a higher level of drama, aggression, and bullying in their own lives, and measure their worth primarily by their physical appearance."

And the monetary rewards and media attention paid to reality tv “performers” such as the Kardashians and Spookie and the other sluts and skanks of THE JERSEY SHORE and similar crap shows that one does not need intelligence or ability or talent or hard work or courtesy or common sense or self-respect to be successful – all you need to do is drink to excess, have sex with anything that moves, and basically just act like an idiot.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I agree with the premise of your post. "Reality" programming is about as far from reality as most people's lives get. However, did you consider the increase in cosmetic surgery has to do with a dramatic decrease in costs due to the competitive nature of the industry? I have a couple of clients in this field and the price pressure is quite strong. Using one statistic in a vacuum without considering other contributory factors is what I would consider intellectually dishonest.