Beyond the Norm-Mel

More people should care about television programming

I was saddened to see recently that another quality television icon has passed away.

Captain Kangaroo died last month and yet again those of us who fit into the Gen X category and remember watching Mister Rogers Neighborhood and the Captain are saddened.

With their deaths also go the memories of innocent, educational television that didn't have an agenda, but rather taught being nice to your neighbor is good.

It seems you can't watch anything on television without being bombarded by inappropriate language, immoral behavior and indecent exposure any more.

Even the Super Bowl has been tarnished in a new way with Janet Jackson's "costuming malfunction" this past weekend.

For a malfunction it sure has got Jackson, who has a new album coming out soon, a lot of attention.

The Jackson incident is what most people are talking about, but what about the streaker, and the entertainer who kept grabbing himself inappropriately during the halftime show. This has been touted as the second most watched Super Bowl in history and rather than being entertained by half-time entertainment, a large portion of the American public has been shocked and appalled.

There are great debates going on around the country as the Super Bowl is being reviewed and investigated.

This is only the latest in a great number of incidents that has been broadcast over the airways, and I'm not talking about on cable.

Cable is one thing, people have to choose to pay to gather their news and entertainment from cable. This is the basic free service that is regulated by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).

There has been talk of FCC investigators cracking down on television stations that let inappropriate behavior slip by. Radio stations across the country are currently paying fines due to violating FCC rules, why don't the television stations do the same?

Maybe the problem is not enough people care. We should all care, who knows what will be next broadcast over the airways as television stations vie for ratings and stars attempt to use their "star power" and shock value to gain publicity. What about all of the children out there who may have been watching the Super Bowl with their parents? Is that appropriate behavior to expose them to?

Hopefully, they won't think they can take behavior they saw on television into the classroom and get away with it.

. Melissa Browning can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail


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