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Censorship Essay, Research Paper

Censorship is berated and attacked verbally by proponents of freedom of

expression. Yet these same individuals seek solutions to the problems needling

society. A cause is always sought after and more often than not one of its

causes, ?the freedom of expression,? particularly in television, is not

given enough consideration.

Our ?free speech? and our decisions to act and behave according to how we

see fit is covered under the (#) Amendment(s). However, the First Amendment is

not an excuse to allow networks and their show?s writers to pass on just

anything to the viewing public. Andrew Carnegie himself was a patron of the arts

and thus said in his dedication address at the library of Pittsburgh:

?There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and

nothing else?My aspirations take a higher flight. Mine be it to have

contributed to the enlightenment and the joys of the mind, to the things of


spirit, to all that tends to bring into the lives of the toilers of


sweetness and light. I hold this the noblest possible use of wealth.?

Imagine the look on Mr. Carnegie?s face if he were to witness the ?noblest

possible use of his wealth? going towards not the high-minded art of producing

noteworthy things, but to the production of such adulterated shows as Temptation

Island or the tasteless jokes told on late-night television.

An argument frequently made that it is the parent?s responsibility, and not

a government to impose on the public what is good and bad to watch. The

invention and introduction of the V-chip wrenches the control from parents and

places it into the television set, an already untrustworthy source of images

prone to create more of a harmful dependence than enlightened independence. The

V-ship, in its technological glory, is supposed to ?read? a program and

search for the very things the parent has dictated to be unsuitable, and then

filter out those images. Unfortunately, the coding of ratings is voluntary, and

though compliance is progressing or has progressed, it still remains to be seen

whether information of the V-chip itself will be made readily available to the

parenting owners of television sets. The July 5, 1999 deadline for half of all

TV sets to be installed with the new technology has since been past and met.

Most major companies (Philips, Sanyo, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Thomson and

Zenith) have fully complied, with the hope that the remaining companies fall

readily into compliance.

Last but not least is the trumpeting cry for the children. When learning

tasks, skills, and non(acceptable) behaviors, children take a monkey see, monkey

do approach. Perhaps the reason why Sesame Street is so popular is because

children are allowed to imitate the Count counting or repeat the sound of words

being sounded out from the television screen. In the same way that television

can aid in the learning of young children, it can also help foster within them

aggression. : The average American child will have watched 100,000 acts of

televised violence, including 8000 depictions of murder, by the time he or she

finishes sixth grade (approximately 13 years old). These acts of violence that

flash across the pupils of the young does harm from the fact that children

follow examples.

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