Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lawmakers Press Ahead with TV Violence Bills Monitor Plan `Doesn't Solve Problem,' Critics Say

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lawmakers Press Ahead with TV Violence Bills Monitor Plan `Doesn't Solve Problem,' Critics Say

Article excerpt

Some members of Congress seeking to curb violence on TV say they will continue to push their bills despite an agreement by television executives to hire an independent monitor.

"They're going to be monitoring what we already know; that doesn't solve the problem," said a spokesman for Rep. John Bryant, D-Texas. He has introduced a bill requiring the Federal Communications Commission to set standards of acceptable violence.

"The networks and cable systems have thus far, despite proddings for years and years, failed to do anything about the proliferation of violence," said Bryant's spokesman, Carleton Carl. "They have not policed themselves sufficiently."

Sen. Paul Simon, D-Ill., the leading critic in Congress of TV violence, announced the monitoring agreement Tuesday along with network and cable executives.

Details of the agreement are sketchy, but the networks plan to have a monitor in place for the 1994-95 season. Executives did not know whether they would hire one monitor for both networks and cable, or whether there would be separate monitors. The monitor would publish an annual, public report.

Simon said he didn't know whom the networks would hire to prepare the reports but said it "clearly has to be an independent monitor . . . not a puppet of the industry."

But some of Simon's colleagues, while praising the TV executives' action, say they won't stop pressing their bills:

Sen. Ernest F. Hollings, D-S.C., said he would push his bill. It would direct the FCC to limit violent programs to time slots when most viewers are adults.

Sen. Byron L. Dorgan, D-N.D., said he would introduce legislation requiring that new television sets be equipped with a "V-chip," a computer chip that would allow parents to block out violent programs.

A similar bill has been introduced in the House by Rep. …

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