Viewers around the country protest obscene programing on basic cable

From chilling violence, to explicit language, to near pornographic sex, pretty much anything goes


February 09, 2006 at 11:51 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Protestors presented their petitions to Cox Cable in Destrehan recently in an effort to get Cox Cable to reinstate the religious channel to it's basic channel line-up and to quit paying for MTV.
Photo taken by: Ann Taylor
Protestors presented their petitions to Cox Cable in Destrehan recently in an effort to get Cox Cable to reinstate the religious channel to it's basic channel line-up and to quit paying for MTV.
Several programs currently on basic cable television should be considered pornography, according to the Parents Television Council, yet they are part of the general basic programming offered by Cox Cable. We will not go over the details here, but explicit examples of obscene programming currently being aired on MTV, Fox FX, and other basic cable stations can be reviewed on the web site www.parentstv.org.

Locally, a recent decision by Cox Cable to move the religious channel off of their basic cable line-up while keeping morally offensive programming has spawned petition drives by concerned customers. To date, over 1,500 angry viewers have signed petitions protesting the move.

Many of the protestors aren't buying into the decision Cox made to put the religious channels on an optional digital tier. “I don’t understand why Cox has decided to take the one religious channel out of their basic line-up while keeping all of the immoral programming on,” said Hazel Cannon who collected over 500 signatures from concerned Cox customers. According to Cannon, she does not want to be forced to pay for obscene programming that she finds morally objectionable such as MTV or “The Shield”.

She is not alone. Cannon has entered a battle that is being staged throughout the United States. Local protesters may not realize that they are part of a national trend. But concerned viewers around the country are finally speaking out against the immoral programming coming into their homes via cable stations.

“Cable programming does not fall under the FCC's indecency regulations - in spite of the fact that more than 80% of US households are cable subscribers. That means the same content that would get a broadcast network (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, etc...) in trouble with the FCC, is perfectly fine for basic cable. That means that when your children are flipping through the channels it is likely that at some point, they are going to stumble across something you'd rather they not see. From chilling violence, to explicit language, to nearly pornographic sex, pretty much anything goes on basic cable. And what's worse - you, as a cable subscriber, are expected to pay for that content. Even if you never watch it... even if you find it offensive… even if you choose to block those channels on your cable box...you're still paying for it. It's nothing short of forced extortion by the cable industry,” says L. Brent Bozell, president of the Parents Television Council.

“There has been a strong push to offer cable subscribers the option of choosing cable channels on an a la carte basis. Offering parents the ability to choose the channels they want, and to pay only for those channels, puts power back in the hands of the consumer - of parents - and forces the producers of indecent or violent programming to fund their own raunch,” he said.

In other cities, Cox is listening to these concerns and has begun a “family friendly” base package that includes 40 channels of programming that leaves out MTV, comedy-central, and other obscenity-ridden fare.

Cox officials said they don't know when they will offer this package in the New Orleans market, since they are still trying to re-group since Katrina.

According to Molly Robichaux of For Heaven’s Sake bookstore in Boutte, Cox’s decision to take the religious channel off of basic cable has caused a lot of grief in nursing homes and hospitals… Many of the bedridden patients in these places as well as shut-ins at home counted on being able to see the mass or say the rosary with EWTN. “Now they don't have it,” says Robichaux, adding, “Nursing homes say it is too expensive for them to go digital. In an instant, these people have lost the one thing that gave them comfort,” she said. “Cox has completely disregarded this group of people. They could have made another choice. In St. Mary and New Iberia parishes, they have EWTN(the catholic channel) and TBN(Trinity Broadcasting Network) both 24 hours a day as part of their basic cable package.”

Let your voice be heard. Anyone who wants “Cable Choice” should let Cox Cable know by writing them a letter or calling them. Concerned citizens can also see TV and movie reviews and contact their local representatives via: www.parentstv.org.




View other articles written By Ann Taylor

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