Biden: Media Need to Better Promote Parental Control Tools

Speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors
Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden, outlining the White House's gun violence
initiatives, made a pitch for studies "on the impacts of young minds on
witnessing repetitive violent acts in movies, on television and video
games," but also indicated the industry was intent on helping and
encouraged them to better advertise the parental control tools they have.

and funding such research was one of the initiatives the Vice President vowed to
put all of his office's muscle behind.

said that did not make him popular with the entertainment industry, but that
neither was that an indictment of the industry, but instead was recognition
there were no extensive modern studies.

to meetings he held last week with National Cable & Telecommunications
Association President Michael Powell, National Association of Broadcasters president
Gordon Smith and others on the issue, Biden, he said. "It is worth
pointing out from my conversation with these industries, they seem intent on
doing what they can do to help."

cited the ratings system and parental controls that "the vast majority of
Americans don't know about."

took brief aim at a familiar target of kids TV critics, Saturday morning
cartoons. "If you have Infinity [Comcast's David Cohen was also at the
media industry meeting with the VP], you can go on if your grandchild or child
watches those early morning cartoons on Saturday that have excessive violence,
you can actually program your television to take out extreme violence, moderate
violence, or violence." He said he doesn't think that 90% of the parents
have any idea of that.

said one of his suggestions to them was to conduct a "major advertising
campaign" to let people know about it.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.