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Olympic TV viewing not suitable for all ages

Posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 10:59 am

EDITORIAL---ron-mug-colorgsI assume many Vandalia area residents have been like me since last Friday as I’ve been watching countless hours of NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
I’m so thankful for having a DVR to record at least two channels with Olympics coverage and have enjoyed the vast variety of sports offered in the olympiad.
One more reason the DVR has been a blessing is it gives me the ability as a father to pause or fast-forward the programming when there’s things on the TV that I don’t want my kids to see.
The first concern came during the Opening Ceremonies on Friday night.
Our family was trying to enjoy the unique presentations from the host country before the parade of nations.
Then, much to our surprise, a tribute to the Amazon tribes showed performers with exposed “bottoms” throughout part of a performance.
I fortunately was able to just fast-forward through the tribute but I didn’t move quick enough.
Tom Brokaw’s feature “The Amazon: Lungs of the earth, heart of Brazilian culture” was a good video enjoyed by our family.
It was solid for about five minutes until, to my surprise, an Amazon tribe was shown featuring a couple of families where there were women exposing their breasts on national television.
I caught it quick enough to where I quickly jumped from my chair and got in front of the television before fast-forwarding the video.
I couldn’t believe that there was no warning given to viewers before the video aired.
And in the days since the package was shown, I have found not one single online complaint by viewers.
For those of you who may not know, NBC is an FCC regulated channel.
If this video was shown on MSNBC, for example, the nudity can be shown with no regulations affecting the news network.
This is not the case with channels like NBC, CBS, and ABC, which have been regulated networks and have a different set of rules to follow (though those rules seem to be skirted more and more all the time).
While the Amazon tribe incident was by far the worst case of Olympic programming not being family friendly, the outfits some of the athletes are wearing have also been concerning.
I would love to watch a women’s sand volleyball or indoor volleyball match with my kids as they are exciting competitions.
Unfortunately, the uniforms leave little to the imagination.
There is very little clothing on the sand volleyball players.
Concerns for outfits can also be found with gymnastics, diving (both men and women), and I’m sure there’s other sports that are not coming to my mind at this time. While nothing will likely be done with Brokaw’s feature at this point, I do hope that some day the many Olympic sports federations might consider using uniforms that cover more skin.
I would like to watch the Olympics with my family and not have to acknowledge the elephant in the room as something inappropriate is blown up on our TV screen for all to see.
Of course, I’m having troubles screening these issues even with DVR recorded programs. I can’t imaging how other fathers like me are battling these concerns when watching the Olympics in real time.
Here’s hoping that some day the FCC once again will enforce its rules to help prevent future scenarios similar to Brokaw’s feature.
With TV networks always pushing the envelope on modesty, likely my concerns will only fall on deaf ears and the situation will only continue to get worse.