Brent Bozell

That "different dynamic" is the assumption that families don't watch television together, and that if anyone under 12 is watching sleazy shows at 8 p.m., it's the fault of careless parents, not the blameless vulgarity distributors. (It was just last year that Tassler was touting their CBS's '70s-polyester-orgy flop, "Swingtown," as "something fun and fresh in the summer ... the summer gives you a kind of different license." She said that sensationalistic series was right in her "sweet spot.")

But there were funnier quotes in the Times story. "We are still in the line-drawing business," said Martin D. Franks, executive vice president for planning, policy and government relations at the CBS Corporation. "We may not have a formal family hour at 8 o'clock, but we are trying to be respectful of our audience and who makes up our audience at a particular time of day."

Forget it. The Times reported that recent research by Barbara K. Kaye of the University of Tennessee and Barry S. Sapolsky of Florida State University found that in 2005 television viewers were more likely to hear offensive language during the 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. hours than at 10 p.m.

The Times also found that TV producers think the recent "evolution" of cable stations re-running bedtime shows in mid-afternoon isn't a reason for more caution, but a reason for more carelessness. Neal Baer, an executive producer of the sex-crimes show "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," said that because his show was repeated in syndication and on cable during daytime hours, producers "could not worry" about who might see it. "It's hypocritical to say that you have to have shows on broadcast networks at 10, but they run at 3 or 4 or 5 in the afternoon on cable," Baer said. "Kids have access to cable." In fact, TNT will run an "SVU" marathon all day on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

People need to listen to Hollywood, for their words may be foul, but they are quite clear. Hollywood believes broadcast standards aren't fair. They are not in the line-drawing business. The only use for rules is to break them for fun and profit. The only use for words in a script is to search for "a thing that sounds like a thing you can't say."

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
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