An article in the USA Today 11.3.08 has me aggravated. The article states that Fox, NBC, and ABC, as well as other media are concerned that the FCC’s attempt to tone down the language on TV will cause wide-spread "self-censorship."

Now, I’m not the type to look to the government to solve problems or "do something" about issues…FCC regulation is not what this blog entry is about. I believe it is my responsibility to control the media in my home…the evils of Hollywood is not what this blog entry is about.

Rather, it’s the topic of self-censorship.

On one hand, in this democratic society, self-censorship should not entail fear of expressing yourself. I unabashedly talk politics with my liberal brother, at the same time self-censoring in order to persuade and not to offend him. He does the same. This is America, and the ability to put your ideas up against someone else’s is a cornerstone of freedom and democracy. That’s how the best ideas, by knocking against one another, come to the forefront of our society.

On the other hand, self-censorship should also not entail the right to offend someone. Because in America our ideas do knock against one another, we simpy need to be offended less easily. People have come to the conclusion that they should be offended every time someone’s ideas don’t mesh with theirs, particularly in the realm of religion. (Welcome to the litigious society.) However, the reality is, I don’t hate you if I don’t agree with your ideas. And that’s true on many levels, from religion to where we should eat dinner tonight.

But, self-censorship is not a bad thing. Think about it. Shouldn’t I self-censor a racial epithet? Shouldn’t I self-censor a moment of road rage? Shouldn’t I self-censor when I’m angry at dd or hubby? Shouldn’t a man self-censor an anti-woman comment? (And vice-versa, by the way). Ultimately, self-censorship is about self-control. And self-control is a good thing, whether in words or deeds.

I’m teaching my dd self-control whenever I tell her, "Control yourself before I have to control you."

Cher and Bono should have self-censored at the red-carpet events that caused the FCC to take another look at regulating language.

If they had, the FCC would not be looking to censor them.

Blessings!

(SUPREME COURT TO HEAR FCC APPEAL OVER DIRTY WORDS by Joan Biskupic. USAToday 11.03.08)

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