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Pryor Thanks Adelstein Bill Support

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) gave a shout-out to Democratic Federal Communications Commission member Jonathan Adelstein Wednesday for the latter’s support of his Child Safe Viewing Act (S. 602).

"I appreciate commissioner John Adelstein’s support for the Child Safe Viewing Act today," he said in a statement. “It’s time for the FCC to take a fresh look at how the market can empower parents with more tools to choose appropriate programming for children. The Child Safe Viewing Act would initiate that review and require the FCC to evaluate advanced blocking technologies. It’s a pragmatic and sensible approach where parents, kids and technology can all benefit.”

Pryor was referring to Adelstein's praise for the bill in a speech Adelstein gave to the Media Institute in Washington, D.C., Wednesday as part of a general call for a proactive FCC agenda to help "insulate children not only from indecent and profane programming, but also violent and unhealthful content."

The bill was introduced in March -- the latest incarnation of a similar bill Pryor introduced during the summer of 2007 -- and it is meant to help parents control indecent content.

The act would direct the FCC to collect data on the most advanced methods for blocking video content, including on wired and wireless platforms and across a variety of platforms including TVs, DVD players, VCRs, cable set-tops and wireless handsets.

The bill is based on a variety of assertions outlined in its preamble. They include that "studies suggest that the strong appeal of video programming erodes the ability of parents to develop responsible attitudes and behavior in their children," and that "there is a compelling government interest in empowering parents to limit their children's exposure to harmful television content."

One of the arguments broadcasters are making in their challenges to FCC indecency actions is that the V-chip/ratings system is an effective content-control tool and, thus, a more narrowly tailored means to the government's end of protecting children.

But the Pryor bill asks the FCC to look at technologies that operate independently of any ratings system, as well.