Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) Monday reiterated his pledge to give the FCC the authority to regulate violent content on television and expand its authority over the content on cable and satellite.
B&C first reported his intention to do so January 22. Rockefeller, a frequent and vocal critic of TV violence , called on the FCC to provide "real solutions" in its long-awaited report to Congress on TV violence.
Rockefeller was responding to comments FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell made last week to the National Association of Broadcasters in which he suggested technology and marketplace forces were a better governor on violent content than a government attempt to come up with a definition of inappropriate and violent content.
The FCC report is said to tell Congress that there is a way for Congress to constitutionally give the FCC power to regulate violence.
Saying TV violence had reached "dangerous" proportions and that McDowell's approach was shortsighted, Rockefeller said self-regulation by the industry hadn't worked. “The broadcasters have already tried and failed in their attempts at self-regulation. The bottom line is, if they can’t or won’t do it, then the federal government must step up to the plate.”
Rockefeller's bill, which he tried to introduce last session, would exempt news and sports programming.
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