Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin got quite a bit of coverage recently when she did an interview while turkeys were taking the first big step toward someone’s dinner table. Morality in Media President Robert Peters noted the “minor media uproar” that ensued, and wished that the same type of uproar would accompany violence in the media involving humans. He then went on to note events in one program, Fox Network’s “24,” and moved on the the contents of a couple of movies.
Describing his own reaction to the Palin interview, he wrote, “This one hits home for me because I still remember accompanying my father to a turkey farm in the 1950s, watching him pick out a turkey, and watching the farmer cut the turkey’s head off. This was no ‘NC-17’ or even an ‘R-rated’ affair.”
RBR/TVBR observation: There’s a difference between reality and entertainment. People watching “24” know they are watching fiction. Meanwhile, most Americans are far removed from the nation’s agrarian roots, and are not used to seeing dinner in the act of its decapitation.
How wonderful for Peters that the Palin interview background fit in with the community standards of his youth. But it likely puts him out of the US mainstream. And his wish that entertainers produce programming that is shock-free at all times, whether on TV, radio, the movie screen or the pages of a magazine, is equally outside the mainstream, and would result in the dullest artistic content since we started painting on the walls of caves.
The fact is, while we might or might not question the tastefulness of the Palin interview background, we do not question the right to put it on the air, any more than we question Fox’s right to broadcast “24.” If Peters does not wish to see this or other programming, we highly recommend that he check out the amazing item included with almost every broadcast receiver: a channeling device.