By R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Ph.D.

Does “Skins” cross the legal line of criminal child pornography? Just imagine the moral culpability of a network whose executives even have to ask the question.

MTV turns 30 this year, and it is wasting no time as it rushes headlong into a mid-life crisis. The cable network, first known as Music Television, pioneered the music video as constant entertainment and, from the beginning, it pushed the boundaries of morality and taste. Indeed, it pushed far past those boundaries.

The network, now older than many of its young viewers, first flouted parental concerns with music videos that featured explicit sexuality. Later, it added racy programming to its mix, effectively competing against more traditional networks for viewers. The programs brought more viewers — and plenty of controversy as well.

In recent years, the network has been less controversial, but this says far more about a shift in social standards than about MTV itself. Once a transgression goes commercial, it loses some of its shock value.

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