Dreaded Purple Master

The V-chip: An answer in search of a question

I’m looking at a study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (http://www.appcpenn.org/) that appears to express some incredulity that more parents are not making use of v-chip technology to “keep undesirable content away from children”.

My own opinion is that there is no public support for this technology. Perhaps it is wishful thinking to conclude that the average television watcher does not trust a governmentally-mandated chip to decide what we should be watching and what we should not.

What we need, and so far don’t have, is a television that Mom and Dad can program to simply not come on at certain hours of the day. The technology exists: My thermostat can do it.

There are countless gadgets (from VCRs to TiVo to onscreen viewers’ guides) that make it easier to watch television, but nothing that makes it harder.


Daniel Taylor: Friday, September 15, 2000