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TOPIC: Lieberman Rides Again

Lieberman Rides Again 26 Jan 2001 12:35 #1165

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As reported today in Variety.

Lieberman rips industry in new vow against violence

By PAMELA MCCLINTOCK

WASHINGTON -- Turns out you're not off the hook, Hollywood.

Resuming his crusade, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) said Thursday that he will introduce legislation designed to punish entertainment companies marketing violent movies, music and videogames to children.

Lieberman said he would co-sponsor the bill with Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), giving the Federal Trade Commission authority to prosecute companies marketing violent entertainment. The lawmakers made public their plan when releasing a report on the videogame industry and whether violent adult games are indeed being sold to minors.

After being called on the congressional carpet in September and faced with a report that found all sectors of the industry aggressively market adult-rated products to children., the movie industry has adopted a sweeping initiative prohibiting such schemes. But Lieberman said Hollywood hasn't done enough.

Among their accusations, Lieberman and the other lawmakers criticize the entertainment industry for marketing adult products during screenings of children's movies, in teen magazines or on kid-oriented Web sites.

Valenti disagrees

Motion Picture Assn. of America president Jack Valenti said he strongly disagreed with Lieberman's comments, adding that a 12-point plan put forward by the film industry following the FTC report was being implemented.

"I am in personal contact with each member company's compliance committees to make sure that all that we pledged we are redeeming," said Valenti, Hollywood's top lobbyist.

The entertainment industry has stringently opposed any legislation, saying it would amount to cultural censorship and would be in conflict with the First Amendment.

Under the industry's own system, films rated R due to sex, violence or language require that a parent or adult guardian accompany anyone under 17. A G movie is for all ages. Videogames have similar ratings to movies
and music with explicit lyrics usually carries a warning.

Lieberman said the FTC informed the senators that current law did not provide them with the authority to take action against the entertainment industry and retailers for marketing products to underage audiences.

Narrowly focused

Lieberman said he could not provide specific details of the legislation, but said it would be "as narrowly focused as possible" and would carry penalties.

"What we are saying is if the industry is producing and rating a product, a videogame, a movie or record -- as appropriate for adults they ought to be held accountable if they market it to children," he said.

Kohl said the legislation would give the FTC the authority to prosecute companies that market adult-rated entertainment to children for deceptive trade practices.

September's FTC report was ordered by former President Clinton after the fatal shootings in April 1999 at Columbine High School in Colorado. Brownback, in supporting the legislation, said well over 1,000 studies have shown a definite causal link between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children.

"There is no longer a question as to whether exposing children to violent entertainment is a public health risk. The question is: What are we going to do about it? What does it take for the entertainment industry and its licensees and retailers to stop exposing children to poison?" he asked.

In the past, the FTC has balked at policing Hollywood, citing First Amendment hurdles in carrying out effective law enforcement in this area.

An FTC spokesman said the commission had been asked to provide a follow-up report by spring on whether R-rated movies, games and music were advertised in teen media and whether the rating systems were included. He declined specific comment on the draft legislation.

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Re: Lieberman Rides Again 26 Jan 2001 15:22 #1166

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And to think, I voted for the bastard!


You'd think he was running for something. He lost, shut up! He's worse than the republicans.
At least they advocate keeping government out of peoples shorts.

He's as bad as tipper and the PMRC.
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