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Once upon a time at the Washington Post
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, May 19, 2008

Some clever agitator at the Washington Post has dug up and published a Washington Post editorial, circa 1978, that is worth reading.
The Federal Trade Commission has now agreed to consider imposing major restrictions on television advertisements aimed at young children. The primary goal of the proposal is to reduce the amount of sugar children eat. Few people, least of all thoughtful parents, will disapprove of that goal. But the means the FTC is considering are something else. It is a preposterous intervention that would turn the agency into a great national nanny.
[...]
But what are the children to be protected from? The candy and sugar-coated cereals that lead to tooth decay? Or the inability or refusal of their parents to say no? The food products will still be there, sitting on the shelves of the local supermarkets after all, no matter what happens to the commercials. So the proposal, in reality, is designed to protect children from the weakness of their parents — and the parents from the wailing insistence of their children. That, traditionally, is one of the roles of a governess — if you can afford one. It is not a proper role of government. The government has enough problems with television's emphasis on violence and sex and its shortages of local programming, without getting into this business, too.
[...]
But a flat ban on commercials involving, as it would have to, certain judgments a government shouldn't be encouraged to make or enforce, would make parents less responsible, not more.

 
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Wow, people who read the Washington Post must have actually used "governesses" back then.
 
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