Rockefeller Will Push For Government Oversight Of Violent Media Content
Spoke at hearing on revisiting Children's Television Act in a digital world
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/22/2009 5:02:38 PM
That came at a sparsely attended hearing on revisiting the Children's Television Act in a digital world.
Rockefeller has tried before to expand the FCC's oversight to include violent programming, but without success.
Rockefeller openened the hearing saying that it was not the media "violence and promiscuity" he was so concerned about, but said that would be the subject of future inquiries.
He said he had not been deterred by the reactions of his fellow Senators to a hearing last year at which he featured a clip reel of violent programming. He said he was shot down, mostly by members of his own party, because of concerns over the First Amendment. "There was an automatic mindset that because the First Amendment exists, you cannot even be talking about this so don't waste my time. I was furious, and I was undeterred."
Waxing a bit philosophic, Rockefeller said the baseline of that inquiry, as well as the revisit of the Children's TV Act, should be a general fact-finding on today's kids. "It occurs to me how little I know about children, and how little I know about teenagers and what goes inside their minds that may not have to do with televisions and selections of that sort. But, what are the pressures of the modern world that make today's child different if they are?"
He said he was looking for books or studies that might help.
At that hearing, James Steyer, who heads Common Sense Media, argued that there was a way to craft regulations that both addressed Rockefeller's content concerns, which Steyer shared, and could be reconciled with the First Amendment, which he added he teaches about as a law professor at Stanford.
Rockefeller thanked Steyer for giving up part of his vacation to attend the hearing, saying "we're going to need you to help us work this fine line, if in fact we are going to do it, which I would very much like to."
"I want to plow ahead," he said, "and I am determined to do it."
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood shares Senator Rockefeller’s concerns. We are particularly concerned that media violence is marketed aggressively to young children.
Yesterday, we launched a petition urging the Federal Trade Commission to stop the film industry from marketing violent PG-13 films like Transformers and GI Joe to young children. Over 3,000 ads have already appeared on children’s television for this summer’s violent PG-13 blockbusters and their licensed toys and fast-food promotions.
The petition comes two years after we first urged the FTC to act on this matter. In response, the staff of the FTC urged the MPAA to devise a marketing plan for PG-13 films that is “consistent with the rating.” The MPAA’s PG-13 rating bears the warning, “Parents strongly cautioned: Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13,” and yet child-targeted advertising for violent PG-13 films and their related merchandise continues to flood children’s television.
Our petition is available on CCFC's website, commercialfreechildhood.org
Evan Silverstein - 7/23/2009 12:51:12 PM EDT
No related content found.
No Top Articles
Digital Rapids provides market-leading software and hardware solutions, technology and expertise for transforming live and on-demand video to reach wider audiences on the latest viewing platforms more efficiently, more effectively and more profitably. Empowering applications from..more