"If Public Television doesn't do it, who will?" —PBS motto
Public television's pithy tag line is meant to have positive connotations—innovating, filling a void, performing a vital public service. But the slogan took on ironic overtones last year when it appeared on advertisements heralding the arrival of Teletubbies, the first television program ever broadcast in the United States for a target audience of children as young as 12 months.
The FTC's recent report on Hollywood's violation of its own voluntary rating codes had politicians of both parties expressing indignation about how the entertainment industry targets children with violent and indecent material. Both Gore and Bush promised to increase pressure on industry executives; Gore even threatened regulation if the industry failed to "clean up its act." But few critics have focused on the deeper problem--that media executives routinely exploit children for profit by marketing kids' products the industry officially rates as unsuitable for them.