If this boycott fails, network executives will continue their disregard of moral standards on the public airwaves.

Reporters who have been following the activities of Donald Wildmon, chairman of the Coalition for Better Television, have persistently misjudged him. He has been referred to as an “ayatollah of the airwaves” (Newsweek), as a “religious fanatic” (Chicago Sun-Times), and as a censor by just about everybody who doesn’t agree with him.

He is none of the above, of course. The United Methodist Church, in which he ministers, has little of theological substance in agreement with fundamentalism; and Wildmon himself is beating no fundamentalist drum. Rather than fanatically promoting any particular religious view, his doctrine is one of common sense about common decency on television. Judeo-Christian morality undergirds his coalition to be sure, but it is no more than the same morality that has been the cement of Western civilization as a whole. Wildmon is not a censor: he advocates not censorship but economic pressure in the open marketplace. It is the most common strategy known to capitalism.

On March 4, Wildmon called for a boycott of the products of NBC and its parent company, RCA (CT, April 9, p. 74), because, he said, it has refused to stop exploiting sex, violence, and profanity in its television programming. He said the boycott will remain in place until NBC agrees to: downplay drug use; stop portraying alcohol as universally used, and begin showing the real consequence of its overuse; downplay violence, and show its consequences; portray sex from its Judeo-Christian perspective; prohibit the advertising of feminine hygiene products; cease from profanity; treat fairly the merits of the free enterprise system; and ...

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