Groups Weigh In On FCC Violence Report
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/26/2007 9:01:00 AM
Reaction continues to pour in in the wake of the FCC's violence report to Congress.
The Parents Television Council and Common Sense Media are both applauding, while the Media Coalition gives it a thumbs down.
“I congratulate all five Commissioners for tackling head-on a very vexing issue in our society today," said PTC President Tim Winter. "While violence has been part of dramatic story-telling for millennia, the violence on television today is shockingly graphic and offensively gratuitous and it is being pumped directly into every home in the nation on a daily basis.... With its report, the FCC has taken its public interest obligation seriously in addressing the issue and offering a broad range of solutions,” said PTC™ President Tim Winter."
Common Sense Media, which rates and reviews media for parents, says the report confirms its concerns, but also says that it is not fan of censorhip.
"One of the things the report makes clear is that the V-Chip has not been successful in keeping kids from TV violence," says CEO James Steyer. "Parents need better, easy-to-use tools based on detailed, independent information to help them make the choice about what content is right for their kids."
"At Common Sense, we believe in sanity, not censorship - and that is going to be the challenge for Congress and the FCC moving forward. No one wants kids to be exposed to material that is inappropriate - but how do we accomplish that while protecting the First Amendment? It is going to be up to all of the interested parties to make it happen - parents, political leaders and the media industry."
And finally there is the loud "boo" from the Media Coalition, not surprising since it represents booksellers, librarians, recording, motion picture and video games producers,and retialers and motion picture exhibitors, all of whom could wind up in the government's sites on the violence issue.
"The FCC is broadcasting the wrong signal,” says David Horowitz, executive director of the Media Coalition. “The courts have consistently found restricting violent content is contrary to the First Amendment. Contrary to what the FCC has implied in this report, the Supreme Court has made clear that speech is presumed to be protected by the First Amendment unless it falls into one of a few very narrow categories: defamation, incitement, obscenity, and pornography produced with children. Media with violent themes or depictions, on TV or otherwise, does not fall into any of these categories.”
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