On the first day of Chol HaMoed, I went with my family (and some extended family) to Sesame Place out in Pennsylvania. The place was rented out by an organization called the Yeshiva Fund (I have no idea who they are) and accomodations were made for Orthodox Jewish guests (kosher food, sukkos, no mixed swimming [although I actually managed to snap photos of boys and (fully dressed) girls in the same pool at the same time anyway]). The crowd was, in my estimation, overwhelmingly Chareidi. While some Jewish music did blare from the speakers on occassion, the majority of time the music played consisted of Sesame Street songs.
While there, I mentioned to a cousin of mine that I was sort of surprised that this event was so well attended by Chareidim, considering that the whole theme of the place was centered on a television show. His response was that the majority of the people didn't know that it was based on a television show. I countered that I was reasonably sure that just about everyone there knew what Sesame Street was.
My cousin pointed out that, as far as television shows go, Sesame Street is certainly one of the most harmless shows out there. And, he's correct on that point. However, that doesn't seem to be the way the Chareidi world looks at things. They prefer to take a "ban it all" approach. I remember when the Menahel of my son's school would speak to the parents, invariably he would bring up the subject of television (and he always based it on the same ma'amar Chazal). He would often add "and don't tell me that it's OK because it's an educational show, or it's a nature show, or whatever. It's all tamei." The same applies, of course, to communities that have chosen to ban internet usage.
I think that we can all agree that there are television shows, movies and internet sites that children should not see. And, I think that we can all agree that it is the responsibility of the parents to monitor what their young children see and watch. Granted, there are those parents who, out of laziness, ineptitude or simple lack of concern will abdicate that responsibility; but that's no reason to treat the rest of us who do take that responsibility seriously as if we're incapable of doing so. The approach of "it's all tamei" regardless of its content is akin to saying that we should ban knives from homes because some parents are careless about letting their children play with them.
Ultimately, no one knows my children better than I do (except for Eeees). No one knows better than we do what is appropriate for him to watch, what he can handle, and what his interests are. The Menahel, if he had his way, would have banned nature videos - but that's precisely the type of thing that my oldest son loves. He has a fascination about the animal kingdom that most children do not have. He reads and educates himself about the animal kingdom all the time. For his sixth birthday, we bought him a five-tape set called "Secrets of the Ocean Realm" which is an adult-level program about marine life -- and he loved it. I think that he's a richer, better rounded person for it. What should we have done? Told him that he can't have an interest in animals because he can't watch videos or read secular books on the subject? Tell him that the subject that he likes the most is verboten? Of course not -- chanoch l'na'ar al pi darko -- and allow him to use his appreciation of the animal kingdom to better appreciate HaShem's wonderous world. But that's an approach that works for him -- and a "ban it all" approach would rob him of that. In short, all such an approach does is make everyone into cookie-cutter versions of the same mold, with absolutely no diversity of thought or opinion. I know that may be the goal in some programs -- but it's utterly wrong.