PTC Action Alert                                                                                           January 30, 2008
Donít Let CBS Bring a Violent Premium Cable Show About a Serial Killer to Broadcast TV
Write to Your Local CBS Affiliate TODAY and Tell Them to Say No to Dexter!

CBS wants to bring a series that glamorizes and glorifies a sadistic serial killer to prime-time broadcast TV. Take action today by writing to your local CBS affiliate and urge them to preempt Dexter.

Imagine a television series in which a psychopathic serial killer is... the hero?

This is what CBS is planning to bring into America's living rooms starting February 17th when Dexter, a graphically violent show in which the "hero" is a serial killer, makes its broadcast TV debut. The PTC is urging CBS to cancel plans to air Dexter and we are asking all of our 1.2 million members to join us in this protest.

I can't overstate the urgency of this message. CBS is violating the trust of millions of Americans by forcing this appalling content into every American home where it has the potential to do untold harm to millions of impressionable children and forever change TV standards.

Please take a moment to contact your local CBS affiliate and remind them that along with their broadcast license comes an obligation to serve the public interest. Humanizing and glorifying a serial killer does not serve the public interest. Urge your local CBS affiliate to preempt Dexter and to tell CBS why they are refusing to air it.

CBS has a long history of flouting its public interest obligation, ignoring Federal broadcast decency laws, and forcing graphic, envelope-pushing content into every American home. Remember, this is the same network that brought us content that bordered on soft-core pornography in the syndicated The Howard Stern Radio Show; the voyeuristic Big Brother; the annual Victoria's Secret lingerie show; a teen orgy on Without a Trace; and the now-infamous Janet Jackson striptease during the Super Bowl halftime show (which, CBS claims, was not indecent)... And now they intend to air a series that celebrates murder.

The Showtime series depicts Dexter stalking, torturing and killing multiple victims, slicing their cheek with a blade so he can get a drop of their blood to keep as a trophy, sometimes stabbing his victims before dismembering them, sometimes dismembering them while they are still alive accompanied by the horrific sound of a power saw and the screaming of his victims.

CBS will insist that the program will be edited for broadcast, but beyond the intense and disturbing violence, the biggest problem with this series is something no amount of editing can get around: the series compels viewers to feel empathy for a serial killer, to root for him to prevail, to hope he doesn't get discovered. CBS is exploiting this fact in a "Good Dexter, Bad Dexter" promo spot which you can see here.

Science has proven time and time again that exposure to violent television content is damaging to a young, impressionable child -- and that the effects are not only immediate, but long-lasting. Even CBS President and CEO Les Moonves acknowledges the devastating impact of violent media on children, having said, "Anyone who thinks the media has nothing to do with this [the bloodshed at Columbine] is an idiot." And now Moonves and CBS are contributing to that culture of violence.

Dexter does not belong on broadcast TV. Let's work together to keep it on a premium cable channel where adults who choose to seek such "edgy" content can continue to pay for access.

We can not sit idly by and allow CBS to normalize and glamorize a ruthless serial killer. We can not allow CBS to continue to abuse the publicly owned broadcast airwaves to promote its envelope-pushing agenda. If we don't all join together and take a stand here and now, we are complicit in allowing the utter destruction of reasonable TV standards.

Please help us stop CBS. We urgently need you to take action by contacting your local CBS affiliate today and tell them an intensely violent program about a serial killer does not serve the public interest and will not be tolerated.

Over the coming weeks, the PTC will be contacting every major advertiser, urging them not to support Dexter with their advertising dollars. With pressure from the advertisers and its affiliates, CBS will have to reconsider the wisdom of putting Dexter on primetime broadcast TV.

Please go to http://www.parentstv.org/ptc/action/dexter right now to let your voice be heard. After you do that, please forward this message to everyone in your address book and urge them to get involved.


Tim Winter
Parents Television Council

P.S. Don't forget to go to http://www.parentstv.org/ptc/action/dexter to take action now. When you are finished, please forward this message to at least five people in your address book. Together we can make a difference.

TAKE ACTION! Contact Your Local CBS Affiliate Today!

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