The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is, in effect, the indecency police of America. Their job is simple and to the point: they exist to censor and define what is and is not decent on television. Unfortunately, the rules by which they operate are at times vague and unable to convey any concrete meaning.
What this means is that while the FCC is at times adamant about what they will allow on television, their decisions are always up for revision. It has been seen as common that one day they will denounce a program for its use of language and the next ignore the same material. Often this is based largely on who commits the indecency, but a good amount of the time it is because they are attempting to appease the federal government.
There is no doubt that the government, which regulates nearly every aspect of American life, would seek to control the very basis of television programming. This is a many-sided issue that ultimately affects only those who can't yet fully decide what they will watch based on what is seen as right and wrong. Many individuals champion the cause to censor television based on how current-day programming is believed to affect children. Others, however, would argue that the federal government should not be attempting to regulate television. Instead it is the job of the parents to decide what their children can and cannot watch.
The FCC is in a sense a revolving door, accepting one program as decent while at the same time denouncing another of the same type as indecent. Guided and controlled by the federal government, the FCC is constantly revising its standards and acceptance of many television programs.
There is no doubt an expected measure of profanity, violence, and sexual content that is seen as acceptable on television. TV reaches a wider audience and as a result can be more influential. The FCC does exist for a purpose, but with its inconsistencies stands as a poor substitute for the common sense that parents are expected to provide. The FCC will not be coming into one home after another to ensure that kids are in any way affected by the programs they see. When it comes to the television shows that children are allowed to watch, parents should be the first and last authority.
Censorship on television is not a bad idea. Allowing television programs to become a free-for-all is unwise. Without any limitations or rules to follow when creating television shows, the content would be off the charts with nudity, violence, and language. Although the FCC is often ineffectual and quite confusing in their duty, it is likely that without them the result would feature programs not fit for adults to watch, let alone children.
But the idea of creating a double standard in censorship is not only unfair, it creates a negative precedent. If one program is censored for its material, then every other program that comes after it should be censored for the same.