TV banhammers dropped abroad

The United States of America prides itself on one of its basic founding principles: the right to free speech. The Constitutional right to blurt out (almost) anything we want gives us creative expression, which is a cornerstone of America's gargantuan entertainment industry.

We'll put whatever we want on television, as long as it's somewhat entertaining and sells enough beer and deodorant to make it profitable. Because of this, we let things such as "technical accuracy" slide--most people watching Grey's Anatomy care more about what's going on in between Meredith's sheets than whether she's properly clamping a systemic artery.

Not so in Italy, where a prominent medical group is protesting hospital dramas for their many medical gaffs, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The National Federation of Medical Colleges has singled out American-made doc shows ER, Grey's Anatomy, House, and Scrubs, along with several Italian productions, as major offenders and is calling for Italian networks to stop airing them.

"These programs are teaching viewers inaccurate views on medicine," said NFMC president Annalisa Silvestro. "They are spreading misinformation." In other words, if George Clooney offers to give you a tracheotomy, the NFMC says it's best to kindly decline his offer. However, she was curiously silent on how well the amorous nature of TV docs was representative of real-life hospital hookups.

Over in France, the country's broadcast authority has decided to keep its kiddies TV-free, says the Associated Press. France has banned programming aimed at children ages three and under, claiming what your mother has told you all along: TV is bad for kids! [Editor's note: Even Yo Gabba Gabba!?!?]

"Television viewing hurts the development of children under 3 years old and poses a certain number of risks, encouraging passivity, slow language acquisition, over-excitedness, troubles with sleep and concentration as well as dependence on screens," the High Audiovisual Council said in a ruling.

The debate about using a television as an impromptu babysitter has become a global issue, with most experts agreeing that plopping a baby in front of the tube isn't the best way to grow up. But all-baby networks, such as BabyFirst TV and News Corp.'s Baby TV, have popped up over the last few years amid the criticism, claiming that their programming helps foster the parent-child relationship. How? By fighting over the remote?

What's your take? Have you tried to set a broken leg after watching Scrubs? Is television turning our babies into zombies? Comment below!

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Totally agreeing with France on the children-watching-tv-issue. Parents should be the ones teaching their kids and entertaining them, not dumping their own responsibility on the television. Concerning the banning hospital/doctor shows: i think they are kinda overreacting.
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I don't think people take medical advice from those shows, while it isn't all made-up, we know that they take one too many dramatic licenses for us to take everything they say as fact.
France appears to be going the same way as England: Totalitarianism.
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The question is if anybody thinks these views are accurate.
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These shows are meant for Entertainment, this is true. But why not to benefit from these shows. Example, Grey's Anatomy reflects many interesting cases that happened in reality (according to a documentary about the series). Why not to know the symptoms of some illnesses. This helps a lot and God only knows when the information reflected in the series can be implemented in real life.

I respect the Italian Hospital Group, at least they use a new much more interesting way to teach.
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This is ridiculous, at least the Italian hospital group is. These shows are meant for ENTERTAINMENT, not a documentary used to train potential doctors. If they're going to ban medical shows, why not ban all other "inaccurate" shows and movies in existence? Why is Heroes allowed to air.. clearly their superpowers and ability to heal themselves (claire) is NOT a factual representation of reality! Ban HEROES! I'm being sarcastic but it truly is mind-numbingly stupid of them to do this.

On the other hand, France's push to ban toddler shows doesn't bother me much. Kids that young shouldn't be watching TV, so I agree with them on that.
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Yeah, these bans are just silly. Turn the channel.
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What the problem here isn't so much of the banning as much as it is the motive.
While tv can be a bad influence, it's all subjective. For example, shows such as PBS Arthur or Dora the Explorer can helpful tools in developing social skills and comprehension. Banning selected tv series or genres does not extract the root of the problem. ACCOUNTABILITY. While television shouldn't be a substitute for parenthood, it's not the root of evil.
It's how one nurtures a child, in my opinion, that can be a major influence on their behaviors as adults. By France's logic, every child whose been raised to watch Tom and Jerry should be violent sadist. I know, that's open to debate, but clearly we're not inundated by serial killers.

Another truth is while it is a nice belief that tv will assist in better social behaviors and people, it's not the only factor.
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there's definitely something wrong here!
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Wait, Scrubs isn't medically accurate?! No way! Real doctors aren't like the ones on Scrubs?! Well, there goes my final hope that life really could be a musical....



Seriously, you have to be kidding me- of *course* Scrubs isn;t accurate and neither are the other ones. And here's a question- why do we care so damn much that the medical dramas aren't accurate, but no one give a damn about the innacuracires in crime dramas (specificall CSI and the CSI effect, which is basically what happens when you get jurors who watch CSI and expect that what they see on CSI is real and want DNA for everything, when in reality DNA is rarely used- it makes people expect tons of forensic evidence in every case when it simply doesn't work that way). Real doctors don't learn medicine from these shows, yet everyone is freaking out while we have potential jurors watching CSI and ultimatly setting guilty people free because their standard of evidence is what they see on CSI??? I really think they need to rearrange their priorities and look at what really is a problem as far as TV causing misconceptions.
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Don't be so naive. American's hardly have freedom of speech. They racially profile there's double standards everywhere and plus we're completely brain washed with all the propaganda provided to us from the great Fox news channel and CNN. If you think we're free over here you're wrong. unless you think cattle are free. Plus in France (I'm half french) parents are more responsible and don't just put there kids in front of the tv when they don't feel like taking care of them. most of the time french children don't really watch tv. it's not a part of the culture. I know i spoke in generalities but for the sake of argument i just needed to. Otherwise the french aren't perfect either, but i think it's unfair to judge when most of the time people know nothing about it.
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Agree with others. Freedom of speech in USA = freedom to say what the government allows. In other countries it's the opposite. On the public service channels that is funded by tax money or tv licenses, they air everything censor free. Of course they cannot air material that breaks other laws, like nazi propaganda. But it's a given that cursing and nudity is NOT beeped or blured. In a dream world, American TV production would be free of censorship. Just imagine simple shows like Two And A Half Men not have to adjust every joke to the censors liking.

Artistic freedom for everyone!
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My 5-year-old sister has pretty much all of those symptoms that were explained there; Overexcitedness, trouble sleeping, all of them. That's bad...
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I'm from Italy, and this news it's a shame, Italian Tv shows aren't better than foreigner ones, but I think someone is searching to promote italian made medical series, which we have plenty. And those are just tv shows like any other, with their errors and fictional plots. Many italians (you can be suro about this) think italians docs better to care more about their patients and professionality, in order to defend their reputation, instead watching Tv fictions.
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thats a load of crap saying kids wont learn anything from tv my 3 year old daughter learned spanish from watching dora and she has learned many songs from other shows, so they dont know what they are talking about. its parents that put their kids in front of dbz and mortal kombat thats bad because of all the killing, but channels like treehouse are great for kids.
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Well, I agree with the whole banning baby TV thing. I think parents need a few less options for how to be a bad parent.

But the medical drama stuff, seriously? Does anyone actually believe these are accurate? If you still believe everything you see on TV... well you were probably raised by parents who plopped you in front of it everyday.
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I live in Italy and could see why they don't want medical dramas: Italian doctors are a joke. They are sloppy, not well educated (scary!!), and lack the professional demeanor and bedside manner to be adequate physicians.
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Banning Medical Dramas just because they don't portray operations in the right way, is just sad. I mean I don't watch them, but is their any truth too any telly or film? Thats the fun in being a viewer, reality sucks, and escaping from it is what we find entertaining. If I want too see surgery done right I'll go and sit in a hospital, if I want too be entertained I'll watch telly, simple. Were does the nanny state end?
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> Oh, come on now. It's just entertainment, people. They're acting, not performing brain surgery! Hey, just because they're not brain surgeons, doesn't mean they can't play one on TV!! You know, it might be possible to take the Italian move seriously, if they didn't include Scrubs on that list. I mean, if you're stupid enough to take ANY event on a comedy show seriously and assume there is truth in it, you deserve to end up like Andy Kaufman! ============================== Look at all the politicians, around the world... They don't know their butts from shinola but they still stand around telling everyone else how to do their jobs!! ...And that's not on TV!
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Although I understand where these guys are coming from, I think it's daft. A country without House is no country at all. In fact, Canada was only made an official country after House debuted on Global.
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Oh, come on now. It's just entertainment, people. They're acting, not performing brain surgery!
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Bravo for France, childrens entertainment sucks anyway.



People need to follow places like Pixars example and make more high brow entertainment for younger audience, because it's a win win.



Considering that pieces geard exclusively toward young children are simply poor and of low standards in general, i figure why not just make them start liking more matured stuff early.



My most fond memories from child hood was not really from those kinds of younger based shows, especially upon revisitation, but rather slightly more mature shows that treated me like i was more adult than i was and could handle more mature themes, such as Batman TAS, the X-men cartoon, and most anime's i caught on the Scifi channel back in the day.
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"Television viewing ... poses a certain number of risks, encouraging passivity, slow language acquisition, over-excitedness, troubles with sleep and concentration as well as dependence on screens," Wait a second, that explains what's wrong with me! Tom. :)
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And all this time I was going to skip medical school. I was going to learn how to do surgery from watching Scrubs re-runs and Grey's Anatomy. And why study? House will clue me in on all the possible medical mysteries I could encounter. Is that what they really think will happen? Seriously? I mean there are so many other shows that bend reality. Why target medical shows. Just because I've watched SpongeBob doesn't mean I think Squirrel's can live under water. They need more things to fill out there day. =)
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Banning television shows because of how they choose to portray certain aspects of life seems ridiculous. These shows are fiction. I don't want to watch a doctor show that accurately portrays an operation that, in reality, would take several hours. On top of that, I definately don't try to recreate that operation at home, or any operations for that matter. I watch television to get away from reality, not to be reminded of how mundane it can really be.
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I would respectfully suggest that perhaps Italy should consider opening some actual Medical Schools, instead of expecting its health care providers to learn medicine from such inaccurate American sit-coms!
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if only they stopped showing the shows in america
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Well, I'm neither from France nor from Italy, but I'm German, thus European. Currently I'm not aware of any TV series being banned in my country (quite some might not be shown yet, but then, the stations have to buy them and that money has to come from selling time for ads between other series before, hasn't it).

I can understand Italy trying to make sure young children (three and younger) are not simply 'parked' in front of the TV. It's not true they develop language faster as experiments have shown in the meantime. They might even lack some abilities (and not just speech). On the other hand, a few hours of TV a week wouldn't hurt - provided the program is suitable for small children.

But then, what do I know? I've grown up with Tom (from "Tom & Jerry") smoking and one of the "Sesame Street" inhabitants living in a garbage can. Today, such scenes are either censored or the whole show rated much higher.

The whole thing about ER and so on is something I can't understand, though. TV series about hospitals and doctors are not supposed to be training for medical emergencies. They're entertainment. And anybody who'd try to take "House" away from me would meet with pitchforks and torches, too, indeed.

@BeachfrontGlass: Don't worry about German engineers, they're too busy designing machines for places all over the world to watch "Star Trek". And those who don't are fans of the series and would never try to argue with the science of it.
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They haven't banned the stations in France. Baby first etc are not allowed to say they're targeting babies and toddlers anymore because of the danger it entails. It's the only way to send a message to parents to say it's not alright, because apparently parents are too stupid not to know it. They need to revamp their networks, change the motto so that it is not targeted primarily to toddlers and babies under age 3. As for the italians, may I remind you guys, you have the worst organization that has ever existed it's called the Parent Television Council with their stupid policies and ideas. They send complaints electronically which has forced the courts to make sure that the complaints are coming from physical people who did watch the programs in question. I like when you guys talk about international stuff, but it's better if you remind the people who read the stuff you write of the crap you also have. The Italians won't do anything about it, so nothing to see, just pass your way... btw, cartman66, the only government funded station in the US is PBS. As for the networks like CBs or FOX etc, their only obligation is to air news. That's the obligation they have so that they keep their transmitting licence. And telling someone not to utter a word is censorship, it just happens that the US supreme court has decided a long time ago that obscenity and indecent content is not protected by the first amendment to a certain extent. But it is still censorship.
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"Not being able to say the F word on network TV is not censorship. Network TV is a government funded and provided service."



Um, what have you been smoking/snorting/shooting/ ingesting, and why haven't you shared any with the rest of the group? Not being able to say something isn't censorship?? Stupid dictionary, telling me that's the exact definition of censorship! And the government provides network TV??? Huh? Maybe in Britain (with the BBC) or here in Canada we've got the CBC, but since when is CBS not only government PROVIDED, but government *FUNDED*? Silly me, I thought the networks had to sell ad time to fund themselves. Where have I been? So, let me see if I got this straight - censorship means something other than "stopping people from saying what they want", and Bush & Co. provide me my episodes of Lost. Got it.
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Not being able to say the F word on network TV is not censorship. Network TV is a government funded and provided service. Thus they want to keep it clean for children (radio is the same) at hours they may watch. Some shows are able to get away with more depending on the hours. Cable can do whatever it wants. Its just capatalism that stops it from going all the way. Cable requires commercials to make money so if a commercial provider doesn't want your show to show boobs then you won't show them. The government is not going to ban Nickelodeon (a cable network) from making shows for kids. The same goes for films and videogames. For years the Supreme Court has upheld that the government has no right in governing these mediums in which they have no part.
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Ha Ha, what will they ban next?
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Free speech... Right. So that's why you have to beep out George Carlin's favourite words, you have to tune into HBO to see some female breasts (which are a great way to sell beer) and with every storyline the producers have to worry that some evangelical nutjob alliance is going to take them out.
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Kids under three in front of a tv is just sad, so banning that is ok by me. Banning an adult tv show for its actual life inaccuracy would basically result in no more tv shows at all. (And for Fox, even news would have to be banned:-)
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Haaahaaa this is absurdity!!!!
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Next they will ban Star trek because the Vulcan anatomy is wrong... lol Maybe the German engineers will unite and let us know that a warp engine won't really work like Mr Scott explained...
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"Television viewing hurts the development of children under 3 years old and poses a certain number of risks, encouraging passivity, slow language acquisition, over-excitedness, troubles with sleep and concentration as well as dependence on screens"

Well at least the most of that is true with the most American kids and teens nowadays. I guess they grew up while watching telly.
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It bugs me when people take stuff like this too seriously, I mean, come on, it's just for entertainment!
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at the end of the day it doesnt really matter, they'll just download the shows.
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I think the brainwashing is coming from the governments and not the tv - banning programs that any individual has a right to watch is stuping. we'll soon be told exactly when to eat and what times we have to be in bed!!



this is rediculous
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if you think that brainwashing kids is completely normal, well, be an american, you can be glad to be one because we'll throw rock at you in France.

So funny, to see people speaking about the right to free speech, seriously ...
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Whatever.
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Tv is supposed to be entertainment - not a babysitter or encyclopedia of medicine. If people are offended or outraged by a program, there is an OFF button.
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I work in a hospital and I watch House and Scrubs. I don't watch them to for the medical part, all though I do have fun pointing out errors, or even when something is done right. I don't think someone would watch ER and think they could set a broken arm. I watch for the entertainment factor. If I wanted to see what was at a hospital, I would go to work.
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I can understand both sides of this. the Kids part I can even agree with, although banning it is anti-free speech...

as for the doctors part, I can understand that too. TV has led to so many basic misconceptions such as coughing up water when CPR is preformed on a drown victim, when in fact that does not happen as the water stays in the lungs. But then who really ever intended Grey's or what have you to be educational? its TV, its fiction and its is purely for entertainment (and money of course)

and if anyone band House Id come at them with all the pitchforks in the world and light their bum on fire XD
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i can see both sides of the arguement. on one side, france is right that watching tv at a young age encourages dependcy on tvs. it also increases laziness with reading and outdoor activites, i mean just look at mainstream america. HOWEVER, sometimes, mother's do need a break from their kids and sitting them in front of the tv while they clean, rest, etc. can be very useful.

Bottom Line: While children's tv time probably should be cut back, it should not be up to the government to decide. The decision should be up to the individual parents and what they think is best for their child.
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"Dependence on screens?" excuse me???

First of all, I don't think the accuracy of medical shows should be all that much of a concern...after all, anyone in Italy who's serious about being a doctor should be going to SCHOOL to study medicine, not at home studying primetime. Also, it's no secret that TV shows in general don't accurately portray real life. TV movies like High School Musical don't represent the reality of public schools. I wonder if THAT has been outlawed in Italy as well?

And I think the whole argument on kids and TV is just like beating a dead horse. I agree that too much TV (when used as a replacement for parental guidance) can be harmful for kids, but that's more of a content issue. TV itself has been in children's homes for the last fifty years...if it was as incredibly harmful as this study makes it out to be, everyone under 50 would be unable to tie their own shoes in the morning (which is not the case).
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oh please! a protest? thats ridiculous!
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once again glad i live inthe usa
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I can understand them not realizing Scrubs is supposed to be funny.
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Glad I don't live there. That hospital thing is stupid, nobody watches it for that, and the kids thing is MAJOR STUPID! If anything TV HELPS language acquisition, parents will set their kids down in front of TV anyway, might as well deal with it and give the kids something safe to watch. Now it will be DVDs.



EDESSACITY that free speech thing was 110% correct, no need to laugh at the truth.
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