Don#8217;t cover their ears without opening their eyes

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 20, 2006

Every couple of weeks, my two boys and I have a sort of slumber party.

We pull out the sofa bed, pop some popcorn and watch cartoons, Disney movies or just goof off.

The other night after they went to sleep, I was still awake and flipped the TV over to Comedy Central. After falling asleep for a few hours, I woke up in the middle of the night to Eddie Murphy’s “Raw,” uncut and unedited — “F” word after “F” word.

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You know what I did?

I changed the channel.

But that seems to be a concept eluding most.

Congress recently passed — and President Bush recently signed — legislation that increased the fine by tenfold for saying a swearword over the airwaves.

The maximum fine went from $32,500 to $325,000 — enough to bankrupt some local radio stations.

Now, I don’t want to condone the use of foul language around children. I was rather offended when I awoke to the “F” word being shouted every five seconds with my children by my side. I’m just thankful they were asleep; and I made sure I turned it off before they awoke.

I just want to know the reasoning for the increase.

Does the administration think that by sheltering our children from swearwords that they will grow up to be healthier, more productive adults?

Do they think getting rid of a few four-letter words is going to help the future of our nation?

With all the poverty, war, crime, drugs, lack of health care, joblessness and low wages, is this where our government’s priorities are?

Forget about the 36 million living — or should I say dying — in poverty; never mind the thousands dead and dying in Iraq, let’s worry about four-letter words?

And even if cursing were something that I thought demanded our immediate attention, I’m not convinced this tactic is the way to go.

After all, the fines can’t be levied against cable networks — only broadcast networks. So, Comedy Central will continue airing unedited Eddie Murphy movies while TV shows such as “Rescue Me” on FX and endless “NYPD Blue” reruns on CourtTV will continue showing partial nudity and adult themes.

Besides, I find it doubtful that children will be able to escape foul language on the playground. Like it or not, that’s just the way it is.

And instead of trying to shelter children from words we don’t want them to hear, why don’t we just educate them about why they shouldn’t use them?

It’s gonna be pretty hard to grow up and not hear some four-letter words.

And if you don’t want to hear them on the radio or on TV, just turn it off.

Don Willis is managing editor of the Ironton Tribune. He can be reached at (740) 532-1445, ext. 12.or don.willis@iron