Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye said this week he supports an effort by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) to give the FCC the authority to regulate TV violence.
Rockefeller introduced a similar bill in the last Congress, but it failed to gain traction. He vowed to reintroduce it in this Congress, as first reported by B&C.
Following a hearing on emergency communications in the committee, Inouye said he supported the bill, arguing that delaying passage could mean that "thousands will be murdered from lessons they learn on television," according to Congress Daily. That quote caught the attention of Johnathan Rintels, of the Holllywood backed Center for Creative Voices in Media, which has been fighting the "censoring" of so-called indecency. "It’s an extremely unfortunate remark that is utterly without basis in fact and denigrates all who work in television," said Rintels.
A Commerce Committee staffer confirmed the quote, saying that the Senator felt that children learn a lot of violence from TV, rather than their parents, and that "that violence can translate into action."
She emphasized that the bill had yet to be fully written, but that the chairman supported "moving forward," and was interested in working with Rockefeller on it "within the bounds of the Constitution." The FCC is preparing to issue a report to Congress that is expected to advise it that there is a constitutional route to expanding the definition of indecency to include violence.