Does the M in MTV stand for morals?

Work. Supply. Suicidal. Shoot. Trigger. Trap. Rob. Noose.

Before you wonder why today’s editorial is a mundane list of words, please allow us to digress.

Music Television, more affectionately known as MTV, has been providing the proverbial pulse for the music industry since the summer of 1981. Music videos, award shows and reality television are the staples of MTV programming.

Whether it was the immature atrocities of “Beavis and Butthead” or the casting of an openly gay man with AIDS on the “Real World” in 1994, MTV seemingly has never shied away from controversy.

We view MTV a bit differently.

The 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, known as the VMAs, aired Sunday night. The reasonably entertaining show, complete with ridiculous award categories and compelling performances, showed that MTV is still capable of luring an A-list group of celebrities to one room.

Aside from any discussion involving how MTV has changed over the years, especially in regard to the VMAs, a much different issue caught our eyes – and ears.

During Linkin Park’s performance of its new single “Bleed It Out,” something strange happened. The typical, garden-variety swear words were censored, as expected. However, MTV curiously chose to censor the word “noose” from the broadcast.

Most people probably agree that the censoring of the more harsh and abrasive language is acceptable for a cable television show, especially one that appeals to young people. What we at the Daily Kent Stater do not agree with is the censorship of words that do not fall into the aforementioned category.

Sure, the word ‘noose’ does not conjure up positive thoughts or feelings. That’s not the point.

The point is MTV is taking the liberty of deciding not only what content we consume, but also which specific words are acceptable for our consumption.

Work. Supply. Suicidal. Shoot. Trigger. Trap. Rob. Noose.

Consider noose to be added to the list of words that can be used without question for virtually any news source nationwide, but deemed unacceptable for our ears by our beloved MTV. Each of those supposedly naughty words have been censored by MTV.

In an era where controversy sells, it seems as though MTV is selling itself short, along with its audience. It would make a bit more sense if the VMAs were being broadcast on a network television station where the FCC would wield power to punish obscenity with heavy fines. (Ask CBS if they remember a certain Super Bowl halftime show a few years ago).

In the position of being a cable television station, MTV need not worry about FCC action. While it is not in any cable television station’s interest to show obscene material, the scale of indecency is a bit more complex. Whether the word “noose” is indecent is arbitrary in this discussion. The fact that we agree that the word should not be censored is not the point either.

The idea of MTV filtering its content in this manner is ludicrous. It is difficult to make a list of words that always need to be censored. MTV should not take the liberty of expanding the list as it pleases.

We can handle hearing the word noose uttered by a performer.

Can MTV handle taking a stand on an issue that matters?

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.