Proposed New TV Rating Category: TV PO
On March 12, 1998, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an order that established requirements for installing “V-Chips” into televisions 13 inches or greater manufactured after Jan. 1, 2000. This has enabled the implementation of a ratings system designed to enable parents to control access by their children to certain types of programming by enabling the blocking of programs whose signal contains an electronic tag of a certain type, such as “TV MA MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY.”
I’ve never been much interested in the system. It has, however, spawned an advertising campaign to explain its use as well as debate about its role with respect to government censorship.
I now believe that there may exist an application for this system that I would find useful: enabling the blocking of political ads.
I propose the new classification: TV PO POLITICAL ADVERTISING. Political ads containing the tag TV PO would be detected electronically by a V-Chip equipped device and blocked if the owner has programmed the device to do so. In place of the ad an image of an American flag waving in the breeze would be displayed along with a message crawl at the bottom stating IN ORDER TO REDUCE FURTHER INSULTS TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE THIS POLITICAL AD HAS BEEN BLOCKED. GO READ A BOOK INSTEAD.
What has prompted me to suggest this approach are the ads suggesting that a certain candidate for political office is responsible for current gasoline prices and has ties to certain female celebrities. That such ads are being run indicates that the electorate is held in extremely low esteem by politicians.
That’s nothing new, but I believe that the TV PO tag, when applied across the board, would allow for an independent filtering of such nonsense by people who believe that such messagesadd nothing to the political discourse at a time when the nation and the world face pressing problems.
Copyright (c) 2008 by Dennis D. McDonald