An anti-tax government-watchdog group is criticizing senators who want to commission a $90 million study of the electronic media's impact on children's development.
Citizens Against Government Waste Thursday criticized Sens. Hilary Clinton, D-N.Y., Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Rick Santorum, R-Pa., for reintroducing the Children and Media Research Advancement Act, which would earmark $90 million to research the effects of television viewing and other media on children's cognitive development and eating habits. The legislation was introduced Wednesday.
"This proposal is just one expensive rerun," CAGW President Tom Schatz said. "For decades this issue has been studied to death, always yielding the same results. Calling for yet another taxpayer-funded study belittles the ability of parents to use common sense in deciding what shows are appropriate for their children."
CAGW noted that groups such as The American Psychiatric Association and the Parents Television Council have already examined the more than 1,000 studies demonstrating a connection between aggressive behavior in children and exposure to depictions of violence on TV and other venues.
CAGW's statement went on to heap derision on Clinton, so far the Democrats' most promising hope for the 2008 presidential election, and spared her co-sponsors.
"The millions of dollars already being spent on research and advocacy are not enough for Sen. Clinton, who calls sex and violence in the media 'a silent epidemic'," CAGW said. "The not-so-silent epidemic Sen. Clinton and her colleagues should be most concerned with is the rabid spending in Congress and the monstrous deficit created by redundant and useless programs such as this. Sen. Clinton in particular is clearly aware of the effects of violence in the media; she has commented on them countless times. Taxpayers need more comments and action on wasteful spending, not the creation of another worthless study."
CAGW pointed out that it had named Sen. Lieberman "Porker of the Month" when he sponsored the same bill last year.