Congress stays on violent marketing issue


Although members of Congress are largely unsupportive of legislation that would regulate the content of TV shows, movies, music and video games, lawmakers continue to push the entertainment industry for assurances that it won't market violent materials to kids.

House Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) held a hearing Friday on the topic: "Today's hearing is not about First Amendment pointing fingers, assessing blame or condemning the entertainment industry," Upton said. "It is instead about corporate responsibility and the stewardship of public trust."

Rep. Steve Largent (R-Okla.) expressed the most concern about the problem: "Whatever warning labels you are putting on, whatever effort you are making to self-police, it's not enough. It's clearly not enough."

Still, committee members did not back a bill sponsored by Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) that would grant the Federal Trade Commission authority to levy criminal charges on companies who are found guilty of marketing violent material to kids. "[Lieberman's bill] is a dangerous bill and it will lead to federal censorship," said Rep. Jane Harmon (D-Calif.).

Members were most concerned about graphic music lyrics, and scolded the music industry for not doing more to educate parents. - Paige Albiniak