Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) said Tuesday that reducing television violence should be a priority of the Federal Communications Commission, citing what he said is a
growing body of medical evidence indicating a correlation between on-screen
mayhem and rising incidence of violent behavior among children.
Although he wants the FCC to step up the fight against sexually oriented
programming, too, he said restraining violence is more urgent
because there is more convincing evidence of harm from violent programming.
"As medical studies mount showing a correlation between viewing violence and
violent behavior, which is stronger than that of tobacco smoke and lung cancer,
it is clear that we must do something about the amount of indecency that plagues our
airwaves," said Brownback, who has promised to tackle the issue as chairman of
the panel's Science, Technology and Space Subcommittee.
As the commission's three free-market Republicans remained silent, the
agency's two Democrats endorsed the conservative Republican's concerns.
"I don't think we are doing an adequate job," commissioner Michael
Copps said, reiterating his call to include violent programming within the
commission's restrictions on indecent broadcasts.
In his first public statement on the subject, new commissioner Jonathan
Adelstein called on the commission to "uphold the law" and to better promote V-chip
"I have a child nearly two years old at home," he said. "It's particularly
profound for me to recognize that problem. I'm very concerned about it. We some
of the best programming on television these days and some of the worst."