The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

FCC Wants to Regulate TV Violence

Posted by thelamp on February 26, 2007

Finally, the Federal Communications Commission is acknowledging what Christian parents have been telling the broadcast industry for years: TV violence may have an impact on children’s behavior.

The revelation came last week as Kevin Martin, the FCC’s chairman, asked Congress to create a law that would let the agency regulate violent programming. Such oversight is long overdue.

Click here to send an e-mail to the Federal Communications Commission, urging members to seek regulation of TV violence.

A bipartisan group of 39 House members first suggested the report three years ago. The request asked for a definition of violent programming that is harmful to children. The FCC also asked whether or not the agency could regulate programming without violating the U.S. Constitution’s free speech protections.
Certainly, Hollywood producers and industry lobbyists will do all they can to block any more FCC regulations. They’ll call it censorship.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1978 that the FCC could regulate indecency on broadcast TV and radio, but the court has never ruled on regulation of violence. Consequently, broadcasters are suing the FCC because they contend that the commission’s tougher indecency policies since 2004 are arbitrary and unconstitutional.

According to the new report, though, Congress could craft a law that would let the FCC regulate violent programming much like it regulates sexual content and profanity – by barring it from being aired during hours when children may be watching, for example.

Broadcasters and cable companies want to put the onus on parents to take responsibility for what their children watch. Their advocates point to technology like the V-chip as a way to block or control access. Broadcasters also claim their shows must become edgier to keep up with increasingly violent programs on cable networks.

“Everyone else is doing it” is hardly a convincing argument to justify unbridled gratuitous bloodshed, death, destruction and gore as acceptable entertainment for impressionable children. Entertainment violence is polluting the minds of our children. The FCC’s findings substantiate and underscore claims made by Christian organizations, including CMC, which have lobbied both Congress and the FCC to limit violence in television programming.

Basically, the commission’s report said there is strong evidence that violent media can have an impact on children’s behavior and there are some things that can be done about it. Giving the FCC authority to control what is – and isn’t – broadcast is the first step.

U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W. Va., has said he plans to reintroduce legislation he unsuccessfully pushed in 2005 to give the FCC authority to regulate violent shows. Backing from the FCC would give this legislation some momentum.

The commission could vote on the report at any time. Three votes are necessary to win approval. CMC is urging members not to let this opportunity pass. Please contact the FCC today, and let commissioners know how important it is to move forward with controlling TV violence. Then, forward this e-mail to three friends, relatives or church members, and ask them to write the FCC, too.

Click here to send an e-mail to the Federal Communications Commission, urging members to seek regulation of TV violence.



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