Finally, a subject politicians can all agree on: media is bad, bad, bad!
In recent months, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman have joined two of Senate's most conservative Republicans in requesting $90 million in federal funds for research on how Internet and other electronic media "affect children's emotional and behavioral development." Clinton called sex and violence in media a "silent epidemic."
Actually, epidemic in values-free entertainment isn't silent -- you can hear it blasting out of every radio speaker and cineplex. It's politicians who are periodically silent. Over past 25 years, they have jumped on sex-and-violence bandwagon about every five years or so. Remember V-chips and before them, Tipper Gore?
Hmmm....so why does problem never seem to get better? Quite simply, it's because a small number of publicly traded companies control most of what our children see and hear -- and business of these corporations is to make money, not shape our children's values.
I don't blame media conglomerates for this. Remember, these corporations are owned by you, public. And in a free market system, a corporation's mandate is to maximize return to its shareholders. If you held stock in Viacom, for example, how would you react if company hired a born-again Christian CEO who announced that he was pulling plug on MTV's sexy rap videos, vowing to make similar changes across other operating units? Well, you might be outraged or delighted -- but either way, you'd dump stock.