Do Not Ban TV Ads for Toys
By Alex Epstein (sent to the New York Times on September 17, 2007)
Re: "Toys for Saps"(September 16, 2007)
Op-Ed contributor Gary Cross levels many criticisms against today’s toys, including that they have "nothing to do with any recognized child-rearing ideal or even imaginative play." But instead of offering his criticism to parents as food for thought, he seeks to ban television ads for toys he dislikes. He praises 1970s "child advocates" who "tried to ban these commercials" and complains that, with regard to toys, "government does nothing to protect children’s psychological needs."
This is nothing less than a call for censorship. If implemented, it would mean the end of freedom of speech on television--the ability of any influential pressure group, from conservative religionists to liberal environmentalists, to censor any ideas they claim go against "children’s psychological needs." Could anything be more destructive to children--or to America?