- - Monday, March 24, 2014

Armstrong Williams recognizes that even the best of parenting needs help from the outside environment in order to produce moral children who will become productive citizens (“Changing the conversation on parenting,” Commentary, March 17).

In the past, this support was provided by the church and schools, both of which reinforced the lessons learned in the home. This is no longer true. Into the void created by this absence was added the monkeywrench of counterproductive messages coming through the television. These messages are not benign, and many are distinctly biased against morality.

Ironically, the public is unwittingly subsidizing a constant barrage of negative influences when they pay their monthly TV bills. Of the hundreds of channels available, maybe only 10 or 20 are actually wanted or watched — but patrons must pay for the others if they want sports included in their “package,” and this is often the most expensive option.

This generates a substantial amount of money that can be used to promote whatever mindless nonsense (or worse) those in charge may choose. This material is then sent into most of our country’s homes, influencing young minds already confused about the difference between right and wrong. Meanwhile social pathologies explode.

Reform of the TV industry to allow freedom of choice in paying only for what we choose to view would go a long way toward improving our moral deficit. Parents need help raising their kids; they are not getting it.

ELIZABETH WARD NOTTRODT

Baltimore