The Walking Dead may be the most violent show currently on television, particularly in light of its season opening episode—which featured popped eyeballs, mashed brains, and violent kidnappings all at the hands of a baseball bat-wielding maniac.
While normal Americans might respond by changing the channel, or by assailing the show in an emotional social media post declaring the season 7 opener their last episode ever, the nation’s social justice warriors responded by calling on the Federal government to use its policing power to boot TWD off the air for good.
Detroit Free Press cultural columnist Rochelle Riley told readers that the episode, which marked the first appearance of TWD comic book baddy Negan, should serve as a “wake up call” to the FCC to redefine what they consider “obscene” television content. Fantasy brain-bashing, she says, just “shouldn’t be allowed. Not even for money.”
She even went so far as to blame TWD‘s television violence for school shootings, and claimed that on “nearly unfettered, almost entirely self-regulated cable broadcasting, you can buy your post-traumatic stress disorder all day long in a free America.”
“We have freedom-of-speeched ourselves to death,” she whined. “[A]nd then ask ourselves what has happened.”
She wants Congress to crack down on what television shows Americans are allowed to watch on basic cable, and his begging the FCC and its allies in the House and Senate to use the law to circumvent the First Amendment. All so she and her impressionable, liberal children can have a safe space from zombie television shows.
She argues that The Walking Dead‘s zombie killers rise to the level of a “public nuisance,” like yelling fire in a crowded theater—and can therefore be legally banned.
Ironically, she makes similar arguments to the Parents Television Council, which is decidedly on the other end of the political spectrum.
But while she’s asking Federal authorities to punish The Walking Dead with the full and censorious force of the law, PTC—normally a prickly bastion of conservative activists—say their solution to TWD‘s violence is simply greater freedom in cable utilities. In other words, let Americans pay for only the channels they want to watch. More choice, PTC says, will make everyone happy; they’ll stick to the 700 Club, and you can have all the brain-bashing-barbed-wire-baseball-bats your weirdo heart desires.