Which images may be disturbing?

Today I watched more television than I typically do. The bulk of the afternoon was consumed by a glorious victory by my Cleveland Browns. It was nice to share the sweet peanut butter flavored ambrosia with my boys. Today’s contest against the Dolphins was broadcast on CBS. This network uses its NFL games to promote its other programming. This presents a problem. Much of the programming they are promoting consists of crime dramas and murder mysteries. Hence, fictitious and gratuitous gun play, violence and human corpses are splashed across the screen.

Watching sports can be a great bonding experience with my young boys, so I’ve learned to keep a remote near at hand so I can change the channel when the body count in these promos gets too graphic for our kids, the oldest being seven years old. Way back in the day I remember there used to be a safe harbor concept where adult themes were only presented in the evening after it was assumed children would not see it. This afternoon at about 3:15 I was not quick enough on the remote and we were treated to the image of a dead Santa. Gee, thanks CBS. That was a conversation I wasn’t looking to have with my kids.

This was still sticking in my craw when later in the evening I was watching Sara Palin’s Alaska. Sarah and her father were caribou hunting to put food in the freezer. I can’t really think of anything more wholesome.  A father and daughter spending time together and respectfully harvesting the bounty laid before us.

But guess what? This program was slapped with a warning that the images we were about to see may be disturbing and viewer discretion was advised. So let’s compare and contrast.

  1. Gratuitous violence against humans for entertainment – OK any time for any audience. Even if we off Santa.
  2. A family hunting together to put food on the table – possibly so disturbing we must be warned so we might protect ourselves from the horror of it all.

Once again, I’m left to wonder how we got to this point.

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