"In our free society," President Bush said today, "parents have the final responsibility over the television shows that their children watch, or the websites they visit, or the music they listen to. That's a responsibility of moms and dads all across the country, to make sure their children are listening to or watching the right kind of programming." Then he signed the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act, which dramatically increases the fines for airing material the FCC deems inappropriate for children between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Why? Because "people are saying, we're tired of it, and we expect the government to do something about it." But to judge by the programming decisions of broadcasters whose livelihoods depend on attracting an audience, people also are saying, "We like it, and we want more of it." If only there were some way to reconcile these different interests, some sort of monitor in every home who could prevent kids from seeing "indecent" material without stopping adults from watching the shows they like.
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