[Letters] The slippery slope of censorship
I am a long-time subscriber and have usually enjoyed the editorials in your paper. Even though I do not always agree with the opinions expressed, I usually can understand the points of view. However, I read the editorial “Blasting bad language” on June 24 with some disappointment. While I can understand the problem with vulgar language on TV, I cannot agree with your call for censorship on the part of the networks.
As a leader in the community, I feel that the JoongAng Daily is fully within its purview to call upon TV personalities to curb their vulgar language or to encourage viewers to stop viewing. But in calling for punitive measures for broadcasters in this situation, you are simply attempting to censor free speech.
I agree that indecent language and profanity do not belong on TV during times when children could be watching, but your source cites a review of late-night programming aimed at adults. In my opinion, adults have the ability to choose what they want to watch and calling for the censorship of these shows is extreme.
Furthermore, the only two examples that your paper cites of damaging language are in fact not instances of bad language but rather ideas that you disagree with. You may support the president or may be against legalizing marijuana, but in the end the two examples are simply ideas, and not in fact vulgar language.
In a democracy, it really should be anyone’s choice to speak out on any subject, be it the president or drug laws. You may not agree, but in a free society you must allow the opinion. To call for the censorship of ideas is most heinous.
You are correct, audiences need not be brought down by this perceived vulgarity, but there are always other better options than censorship. Perhaps the best solution is the simplest: If you see or hear something on TV that you find offensive you should do what I do, just change the channel. Or better yet, turn the TV off altogether.
Claude Drolet, University of Incheon