Brent Bozell

Webster's defines "conservatism" as meaning "marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style or manners." Sadly, today there are those who call themselves "conservative" who have no interest in preserving tradition, who uphold no standards on the question of taste and who have no appetite for appearing the slightest bit fuddy-duddy on the question of manners.

This kind of conservative has embraced the anarchical libertarian worldview, which on matters of traditional manners and tastes throws caution to the winds, embracing the notion that the "market" -- society's lowest common denominator on cultural issues -- should decide. And if this erosion of traditional values leads to the disintegration of the culture, so be it.

This might explain why a managing editor of National Review Online, a brand name synonymous with conservatism, argues that the F-word is not indecent on national broadcast television in prime time; insists that the idea of "community standards" in matters of public morality is out of touch; and perhaps most surprisingly, mocks the idea that "the sanctity of children's ears" is a defensible moral cause, as if innocent kindergarteners can't handle full-fledged cussing binges.

That editor, Peter Suderman, wrote an article appropriately titled "Flipping Off the FCC," which argues that this agency, regulating broadcast television content from its "coastal perch in Washington" (on the coast of which ocean is the District of Columbia?) is simply unnecessary because Hollywood will adhere to market restraints on indecent content.

Suderman wonders: "What would really happen if the FCC suddenly decided to take a genuine 'hands-off' approach to broadcast indecency? Would it lead the way, as the Parents Television Council recently warned, to television networks allowing 'the use of the F-word and S-word in front of children at any time of the day?' Probably not."

Here's Suderman's evidence: "Even on channels like HBO -- not exactly known as a bastion of restraint -- R-rated and other adult fare is almost always relegated to the evenings. Saturday mornings tend to be filled with kids' shows, and afternoons typically see programs aimed at teenagers." He says this alleged schedule shows the "best business model" is to "save the rougher fare for after hours."

There's only one problem with this evidence. It's not true. A casual look at the HBO schedule quickly reveals that "R-rated and other adult fare" are not "relegated to evenings" or "after hours."


Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
 
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Brent Bozell's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.
 
©Creators Syndicate