Politicians Speak Out

but are wary of restricting film violence.

New York Times, Oct 13, 1999

Senate: Plans for special panel on American culture, a forum for a handful of senators from both parties to examine, among other matters, violence in popular entertainment.

The Federal Trade Commission, under orders from Clinton, has begun an exhaustive study on whether the movie, recording and video industries market violent products to kids.

In a sizzling debate in the U.S. House of Representatives in June 1999, one lawmaker after another denounced the entertainment industry. House unanimously adopted a hortatory measure calling the industry "irresponsible" and instructing it to do "everything in its power to stop these portrayals of pointless acts of brutality by immediately eliminating gratuitous violence in movies, television, music and

video games."

But no laws get passed. Why?


Columbine shootings pushed Congress.

Rep. Henry Hyde proposal would have made it a crime punishable by up to 5 years in prison to sell, distribute or lend violent movies, TV programs, videos, books and Internet materials to children.

Mr. Hyde:
"Anybody that thinks rotten movies, rotten TV, rotten video games are not poisoning, toxically poisoning our kidsí minds and making some kids think that conduct is acceptable just is not paying attention."

Most reps who spoke seemed to agree with Hyde.

But the proposal was defeated 282 to 146. Huge margin of defeat.

One conservative Republican said: "If I believed that passing one additional law would prevent incidences of school violence in America, I would lead the charge. But we need to figure out how to do this without trampling on the First Amendment."


Some steps: