Clueless By Choice

Terry Gross spent today’s Fresh Air talking to Parents Television Council attack dog Tim Winter, and because I listen to NPR while I do the dishes I caught most of the interview. It’s really worth a listen, if only for the glimpse inside the wingnut mind.

I don’t actually have a problem with the PTC generating nearly all of the complaints received by the FCC regarding the horrifying pornography or whatever it is they think they see on TV. Good for them for efficiently bringing pressure to bear on an industry of which they largely seem to disapprove. I may not agree with them, and in fact I may think Winter in particular spends an awful lot of time monitoring the number of instances in which women’s breasts appear on TV, but I admire their efficacy.

And I’d sign on in a second to his plea to make cable TV an “a la carte” system, because I live and breathe Bravo and FX and I could give a damn about Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel.

What got my back up was the admission, at about the program’s 6-minute mark, that Winter has NO IDEA WHAT THE TELEVISION RATINGS SYSTEM MEANS. And he used the argument that he simply couldn’t figure it all out to argue that most parents couldn’t, either, and therefore we just need to take boobies off TV entirely, okay?

“The TV rating system much like the motion picture system, you have different, you know, TV MA, TV 14, TV G. I’ve been in the broadcast industry for almost 25 years, and I still don’t understand really what those monikers mean.”

Let’s help little Timmy out a little, shall we?

A two-second Google search turned up this handy little guide, complete with pictures for those of us too mesmerized by televised titties to read actual words.