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The Parents Television Council (PTC) was founded by Catholic League bigwig and conservative hack L. Brent Bozell III. The PTC's goal is to ensure that nothing entertaining will be shown on television so that you will not have to actually parent your children, you lazy bastards. They aim to replace shows like Family Guy with corny shows like Celebrity (Insert title of horrible show here) and The Lawrence Welk Show. Their website features a Best and Worst Family TV Shows of the Week which helps make choosing a television show easy: anything with a yellow or red stoplight is better.
Bozell founded the PTC in 1995; he felt that prime-time television was becoming less family-friendly in recent years. He served as president of the PTC until 2007, when Tim Winter took over. Bozell is a conservative activist, while Winter is a liberal Democrat. The PTC has been expanding over the years with branches in various American regions.
This group exemplifies the "Won't someone think of the children?" mentality, whereby one has completely forgotten what it meant to be young and attribute to the next generation the same intelligence and self-restraint as a goldfish on crack. This is based on the groundless assertion that children are mindless mimics of whatever they see. (See emotional appeal)
Their main issues in recent years have been with the Comedy Central network, and they seem to have a particular hate-on for MTV. Among the most frequent targets of the PTC are pretty much any MTV programming (whether it be their annual awards shows or cheap reality shows), and the higher-grade dramas on FX (Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me) that are on after 10PM and rated TV-MA specifically to prevent kids from watching them. It seems to love idealised versions of bygone eras, as one blogger put it: "TV was lost irretrievably with All In The Family."
PTC also has this sense of entitlement that the first hour of primetime (8PM ET/PT, 7 elsewhere) should be reserved strictly for family-friendly programming, even though the Family Viewing Hour policy by the FCC lasted only from 1975 to 1977 before being thrown out in federal court.
 FCC complaints
Their standard tactic is to flood the Federal Communications Commission with organized letter and email campaigns, complaining about shows that they themselves did not see, that children were never meant to see, and that any parents with common sense would not let their children watch.
This type of complaining led the FCC to fine CBS affiliates in the Central/Mountain Time Zones over an "indecent" episode of crime drama Without a Trace. Normally, the show aired Thursdays 10:00 PM (Eastern/Pacific) but in other U.S. time zones it aired an hour earlier as is standard for TV networks. The FCC's "no-indecency" timeframe is 6 A.M. to 10 P.M. regardless of time zone. Thus the PTC found a golden opportunity...
Not so fast. CBS appealed a few months after the fine by arguing that all the complaints came only after PTC asked its members to do so. An independent analysis by Television Watch, a group opposed to the PTC, confirms this. Does that ring a bell?
Other great moments in PTC complaints to the FCC:
- "several included Biblical scripture quotes"
- "In February 2005, a PTC campaign launched against a single TV episode of CSI accounted for 89 percent of the total complaints the FCC received that month."
- Sometimes the FCC has smacked the PTC straight in the face by proving PTC complaints to be batshit insane. In fact, at one time the PTC filed a complaint against the relatively tame Simpsons.
The PTC criticized MTV's reality show Jersey Shore and a public service announcement that aired on the network:
“”This is how MTV teaches teenagers. To teach teens that bigotry and stereotyping is wrong, they show a program filled with bigoted stereotypes. To teach them not to punch women, they show a woman being punched. And to teach teens not to send nude pictures of themselves to others, they show a picture of a nude woman.
This comes from an organization to warn parents that TV is raunchy by posting clips and relatively uncensored transcripts online to emphasize their point.
 Real advice for parents
Like most molehill mountaineers and those who love to jerk their knees, the PTC rarely offer any real and effective advice. This is mostly because, in comparison to the effort required to be a responsible parent, it's very easy to bitch and moan and try to place the blame for all society's ills on impersonal organisations. In short, there are few things parents can do to protect their children from the more obscene television content:
- Monitor your childrens' television viewing. Really. This is what good parenting is about. Ratings and time slots are controlled for a reason.
- If you "don't have time" to monitor their viewing habits, less even watch the tube yourself, throw out your television services altogether! There's no law requiring everyone to watch whatever cool shows are on, or even to have access to the signals. (Hell, in Britain and many other countries, you have to pay an extra tax to even have your TV hooked up!) If your children want to watch a show that you approve of, you can get it on DVD, and as you hold the purse strings you certainly can monitor their purchases.
- Teach your children good morals and values before sleazy TV programs force you to do so. Doing it too late makes things far too difficult as you would have to undo undesirable behaviours and attitudes first.
- There are many other activities besides passive TV viewing in which you can bond with your children.
 In pop culture
The Colbert Report mentioned the PTC in one "Word" segment.
The Daily Show covered the PTC three times:
- January 31, 2002 Within "Headlines" segment (starting at 5:16): Jon Stewart summarized the PTC's report "Wired in Raunch: A Content Analysis of Expanded Basic Cable's Original Prime-Time Series" and poked fun at the PTC's counting bleeped words in profanity totals and finding one use of "dickface" among 33 programs analyzed.
- February 16, 2005 "Back in Black: Indecency" segment: Lewis Black discussed the PTC study "MTV Smut Peddlers: Targeting Kids with Sex, Drugs and Alcohol" and the PTC's general catalog of videos supplementing its "Worst TV Show of the Week" review. He then characterized PTC's research as "watching porn all day".
- December 6, 2005 "You Can't Do That on Television!" segment: Covered congressional hearings on cable TV indecency; included a soundbite from PTC founder Bozell.
The WWE once had a faction called "Right to Censor" that mocked the PTC by having wrestlers cover other wrestlers who were doing lewd things and censoring speech they found indecent. Even though they were heels (presented as bad guys), heel alined people and groups would also join in fighting them. This was WWE's response to a months long campaign from the PTC accusing them of being indecent. Bozell claimed that WWE was directly responsible for several child deaths and started stalking advertisers demanding they pull their sponsership of WWE. PTC also crowed about how they caused the loss of 40 WWE sponsers. After a lawsuit, the PTC was forced to pay WWE 3.5 million dollars and Brent Bozell had to write a retraction and apology, which is, in our humble opinion, one of the most entertaining reads available without a montly credit card charge.
In the summer of 2008, the CW television network plastered the quote "Mind-blowingly inappropriate" from the PTC on promotional posters for its teen drama series Gossip Girl.
A 2008 vanity card by Chuck Lorre mocked the PTC after they complained about the content of Two and a Half Men. According to the text of the card, Lorre thanked the PTC for the plug and sent a "box of fancy cupcakes".
In 2012, the New Zealand TV network Four used the PTC "Worst TV show of the Week" tagline in ads for Family Guy.
Funding for the PTC comes from its members, supporters, and organizations, including such prominent right-wing organizations, as:
- Anschutz Foundation (founded by entrepreneur Philip Anschutz, a frequent donor to Republican candidates and Christian organizations)
- Pat Boone Foundation (Boone is a former singer and current conservative cultural columnist at WorldNetDaily)
- The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation (this foundation has contributed to Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to restrain public employee unions in Wisconsin.)
 See also
- The Daily Mail
- Hollywood values
- Media Research Center: Another watchdog organization founded by Bozell.
- ↑ Thompson, Bob. "Fighting Indecency, One Bleep At a Time." The Washington Post: December 8, 2004.
- ↑ Learmonth, Michael. "Parents Television Council sees new era." Variety: March 17, 2007.
- ↑ Eggerton, John. Parents TV Council Takes Aim At Tonight's Joan Rivers' Roast On Comedy Central. Multichannel News: August 7, 2009.
- ↑ Eggerton, John. PTC Doesn't Want Its MTV. Broadcasting & Cable: February 1, 2005.
- ↑ Moss, Linda; Umstead, R. Thomas. PTC Puts a Bad 'Rap' On BET, MTV. Multichannel News: April 10, 2008
- ↑ Worst Cable Content of the Week archives.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Williams, Casey. "MTV Smut Peddlers: Targeting Kids with Sex, Drugs and Alcohol." Parents Television Council: February 1, 2005.
- ↑ Brent McKee responded to a column by Bozell criticizing the FX show Sons of Anarchy: "[Bozell] denounced FX for being more concerned about artistic vision than the 'prospect of a 10-year-old boy finding a terrifying castration scene as he's flipping channels in his home.' Personally, I'd be more troubled by the irresponsibility of the parents of any 10-year-old who would allow their son to be channel surfing, unattended, at 10 o'clock at night."
- ↑ McKee, Brent. "Who Does the PTC Hate THIS Week? - February 29, 2008." I Am a Child of Television. References the poem "A Valentine to Television...As It Was" by Christopher Gildemeister, TV Trends columnist for PTC.
- ↑ Group calls for voluntary return to TV 'family hour'. CNN: Aug. 1, 2001.
- ↑ PTC studies on programming during first hour of primetime: "The 'Family Hour': No Place for Your Kids" (1997) and "The Alarming Faimly Hour: No Place for Your Children" (2007)
- ↑ PTC main page, where you can learn who aired indecent programs and send a form letter expressing your personal outrage.
- ↑ FCC consumer facts page
- ↑ CBS Affils: Retract Trace Fine, B&C
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 TV Watch Press Release
- ↑ In the dark: a consumer perspective on FCC broadcast indecency denials. Federal Communications Law Journal: December 2007.
- ↑ Notices of Apparent Liability and Memorandum Opinion and Order. In the matter of Complaints Regarding Various Television Broadcasts Between February 2, 2002 and March 8, 2005. FCC: Adopted February 21, 2006; Released March 15, 2006
- ↑ FCC Denies Complaints About 'Friends,' 'Gilmore Girls'. Associated Press: January 24, 2005.
- ↑ "Jersey Shore on MTV." The Worst Cable Content of the Week. Parents Television Council. December 18, 2009.
- ↑ One example about an episode of Family Guy.
- ↑ "The Word: Great F---ing Idea." The Colbert Report. Comedy Central. Aired June 13, 2006.
- ↑ "Wired in Raunch: A Content Analysis of Expanded Basic Cable's Original Prime-Time Series." Parents Television Council: 2002.
- ↑ Stewart, Jon. "Headlines." The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Comedy Central. Aired January 31, 2002.
- ↑ Black, Lewis. "Back in Black: Indecency." The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Comedy Central. Aired February 16, 2005.
- ↑ Stewart, Jon. "You Can't Do That on Television!" The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Comedy Central. Aired December 6, 2005.
- ↑ Bozell's Apology
- ↑ Parents Television Council Unimpressed by New ‘Gossip Girl’ Ads. New York magazine. July 23, 2008
- ↑ Chuck Lorre no. 228
- ↑ “Worst TV show of the week”. Breaking Copy: February 14, 2012.
- ↑ PTC Annual Report 2008, p. 15
- ↑ From local roots, Bradley Foundation builds conservative empire. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Nov. 19, 2011.