Conservative Watchdogs Take Aim at Advertisers

Few conservative groups can better manage the balance between freedom of speech and culture-watch than the Parents Television Council. For years, the PTC has become an invaluable resource for parents, Christians, and conservatives who want to find out what kind of garbage Hollywood is turning out. In an era where it has become passé to speak against the smut, violence, and rampant attack on traditional values found on today’s TV schedule, the PTC is a breath of fresh air.

This week, the PTC released their list of best and worst advertisers, naming and shaming those companies who sponsor cultural decline and those who stand against it. Among the group’s favorite advertisers are Wal-Mart, Dunkin’ Donuts, Papa Johns, TJ Maxx, Crest, and Hewlitt-Packard. In the “needs encouragement” category were Target, Red Bull, Microsoft, Burger King, The Gap, and others.

What’s sad about the new list, though, is that even the “good” list of companies have sponsored their share of cultural garbage. This, as the PTC has explained, is because there’s virtually nothing left in the TV landscape still appropriate for family viewing. Once upon a time, the networks made an effort to at least keep the primetime viewing hours safe for traditional principles. That time has long passed, according to the PTC; they are rarely able to hand out their “green light” award anymore. Instead, the advertisers that drew praise from the PTC were those who were responsive to warnings about the content they sponsored.

Perhaps inevitably, the group struggles for publicity. The networks certainly don’t want to give any coverage to a group pointing out the anti-family crap they are filling their airwaves with. Still, the PTC has managed to stay relevant simply because no one else is helping parents make informed choices about what they let their kids watch. In a culture that has grown almost unbearably permissive, the notion of monitoring what kids watch is almost an outdated notion. That’s a real shame, because a steady diet of sex, drugs, violence, and anti-authoritarianism does not a well-adjusted child raise.

That’s to say nothing of Hollywood’s rampant promotion of liberal values, many of which have been pushed into the mainstream by a handful of special interest groups. It’s not politically correct anymore to talk about subjects like “the gay agenda,” but there’s nowhere you’ll find more of it than in the country’s sitcoms and movies. Considering some of the recent allegations surrounding Bill Cosby, this may not be the right time to say this, but: America could really use a Cliff Huxtable right about now.

Of course, critics will say it’s always been this way. Every generation decries the changing culture as they get older. But this is a problem that has been brewing since before many of us were born. Things got especially bad in the late 90s when television was dominated by such cultural paragons as Jerry Springer and WWF Raw. Today’s Kardashians and Family Guys aren’t much better, though. Is it having an effect on the state of the country? Well, look at divorce rates, crime, incarceration, and culture, and decide for yourself. Television and movies can’t shoulder all the blame, but the pungent liberalism coming from these twin evils certainly isn’t helping.

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