THE Broadcasting Authority has a low opinion of Hong Kong's children. It thinks they are silly and simple-minded. And they need the protection of a super-amah, in the form of the authority itself, to stop them coming to harm. The authority would not admit to this view. But how else can we explain its extraordinary wrist-slapping of ATV and TVB for showing stunts that could be harmful - if they were imitated. ATV was criticised for screening a McDonald's advertisement which showed a youth cramming a compact disc into his mouth. Presumably it was tastier than the sponsor's products. TVB's sin was to show a singer pulling a rubber glove over his head and inflating it until it burst. At the heart of the authority's ruling is the busy-body belief that people, particularly children, are not capable of leading sensible lives without its guidance. It denies in children the qualities of intelligence and common sense. It also tries to usurp the role of parents in caring for their children and bringing them up sensibly. These unnecessary rulings were made as part of the bureaucratic process of self-justification. The authority is trying to create a role as protector so has to find examples of danger from which children need protecting. A far more sensible view came from ATV. It believed the CD-crunching was fantasy and no one would take it seriously. Quite so.