The Senator vs. MTV

Commercials that air on nighttime television can sometimes leave people wondering if the Federal Communications  Commission (FCC) actually watches TV these day. While peoples’ tastes, tolerance levels, and values may differ greatly, the FCC is in charge of the delicate task of defending the First Amendment right to free speech, while protecting children and others from exposure to material that may be considered obscene, indecent, or profane.

While the United States government believes in minimal censorship of any kind, one senator is fighting to protect the reputation of his state.  According to, MTV is set to premier a new reality show in January titled, “Buckwild,” which is something like “The Jersey Shore,” but takes place in West Virginia.  Senator Joe Manchin III is horrified at the prospect of his state’s reputation hinging on what is seen on the reality show.

“I am repulsed at this business venture. You preyed on young people, coaxed them into displaying shameful behavior and now you are profiting from it,” Manchin wrote in a letter to Stephen Friedman, MTV network president, according to the website.  Manchin obviously did not approve of the antics of the nine young stars that he saw in the previews and he is not appreciative of air time that others may have considered free PR to raise tourism rates.

“Buckwild” is unlikely to be subject to any censuring laws and will most likely air as scheduled in January. Senator Manchin has already been teased by Jay Leno for lodging his complaint to MTV, but there may be many people who would like to vote some reality shows off the air given the opportunity. Which reality shows would you want to censure if you were in charge of the FCC?

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