Thursday, January 19, 2012

Judge H. Lee Sarokin - What TV Harms Children More: Seeing a Person Murdered or Seeing a Person Naked?

H. Lee Sarokin served on the United States District Court (N.J.) appointed by President Carter, and the United States Court of Appeals (3rd Cir.) appointed by President Clinton. He retired in 1996 after 17 years on the federal bench and now resides in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.

As the Supreme Court (FCC v Fox Television Stations) once again wrestles with government control of profanity and nudity on broadcast television, I marvel at the focus. Children can watch murders, rapes, kidnappings, stabbings and beatings a hundred times a day, but it appears they need protection from profanity and nudity! In considering the difficult First Amendment questions, should the Court be asking whether there is a need or justification for the regulations? The statute and regulations creates a "safe haven" -- safe from what?

The network that allowed Janet Jackson to bare her breast for a millisecond was fined $550,000. The supposed basis for these regulations is to protect our children. How are children harmed by seeing a bare breast or a naked behind? I am not talking here about pornography or obscenity -- which also have their own definition problems -- but language and nudity. What happens to the children of the country after seeing a breast or even an entire naked person? When we were kids we called them "dirty pictures" and somehow we have incorporated that concept into law (and survived and even enjoyed the experience). Every child has or will see someone naked during their lifetime. Are they somehow traumatized by seeing them when they are young?

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1 comment:

  1. I feel like if I were to have a recurring soapbox rant, this would be it. Kids are harmed by seeing violence. Nudity is natural. It can't hurt them.


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