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FCC Violence Report Could Be Out This Week

Apr 24, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The Federal Communications Commission is preparing to release a long-awaited report on violence on TV. The report says credible studies suggest a link between viewing violence and aggression in children and that Congress should limit “excessively” violent content, much as it limits indecency, by curbing its airing between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The report, which could be released as soon as Thursday, doesn’t take a position on how to define “excessive” violence, instead leaving that difficult job to Congress.

The violence report was requested by Congress, where Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., has tried to move aggressively to step up FCC oversight of violence.

Last week’s shootings in Virginia are expected to greatly increase attention to the FCC report.

Media associations and some civil rights groups have questioned the possibility of restricting violent content, suggesting that defining “excessive violence” is difficult if not impossible. They also say any attempt to curb content could raise significant First Amendment questions and eliminate the media choices of adults.

The FCC’s current indecency standards already are facing two court challenges.

On Monday night, the National Association of Broadcasters’ Dennis Wharton said, “Broadcast television is far more tame than cable and satellite.” He also noted broadcasters are part of a broad coalition that has been providing $300 million worth of public service messages explaining how the V-chip allows parents to cut off programming they regard as too violent for their kids.

(Editor: Horowitz)