Media Morality Regulation- The Grey Ghost

A very touchy and grey area in the regulation of media is that of media morality. While this subject is entirely objective to any individual consumer of media, there is certainly a line that must or must not be crossed. An example of what makes the media regulation on morality a bit hazy can be found in the textbook’s account of Bob Dole “shaming” Time Warner for producing immoral channels of media. Croteau and Hoynes point out may ways that Dole was in fact condescending himself on the subject of moral regulation. As Dole attacked Time Warner, his rhetoric was calling upon citizen driven pressure to amend the immoral content coming form the company. However, at the same time, Dole had helped pass legislation that allowed the media to be more consolidated, thus nullifying the citizen power. Therefore, if we are to look to our leaders to try and understand how we can regulate the morality in the media, it is difficult to find an entering point in which discovering moral boundaries can occur. Dole is quoted to have directly questioned the morality behind the “gangsta rap” that Time Warner was producing, yet one must wonder if it is really Time Warner’s fault for supporting media with an immoral message, or if it is a much larger issue at hand that speaks to the American condition. If the “gangsta rap” is what is selling, is it really such an issue for Time Warner to provide that- they are just doing what they do to make money. The entire essence of morality is un-definable, and by trying to figure out where the immoral bud is to nip, one will just fall into a rabbit hole. Morality in the media seems to be a two way channel- the people want what they want, and the producers produce what the people demand. However, if in this case it is that the media is telling the people what they want, and then Bob Dole’s attack is completely justifiable.

There is an anonymous letter that has been circulating the Internet lately that tells a tale of a “secret meeting that changed rap music forever”. This letter is by no means proven to be legitimate, and is nothing more than a conspiracy theory. However, if any of it does reign true, it shows the lack of morality behind moneymaking decisions in the media. In so many words, the letter describes a secret meeting that the writer had attended, which consisted of music producers in the early 90’s organized by an anonymous group. At the meeting the producers were briefed about how the companies they worked for had invested in private prisons, and they were ordered to increase their production of gangster rap with more criminal messages in order to fill these prisons. Whether this letter is true or not, it does rise the scary notion that media companies can utilize their power of connecting with citizens in order to benefit their other interests. How should morality in the media be regulated? It seems that this question is too general to answer. Perhaps there needs to be a more bureaucratic line of officers in each corporation that keep check on one another in order to defend the powers at the top. But regardless it seems difficult to tell any company not to operate in their best financial interest.  

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