Skip to main content

Senate Prepares To Weigh In On Violence

The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a media violence hearing for May 17.

The FCC two weeks ago released a report to Congress on TV violence, saying it had increased, that kids were affected by it, and that Congress could find a constitutional way for the commission to regulate it.

With the backing of Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), committee member and media violence critic Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) plans to introduce a bill that would give the FCC the ability to regulate TV violence as it does indecency, which it channels to a time when children are least likely to be in the audience (10 p.m.-6 a.m.).

Congress has been periodically taking aim at TV violence and its effect on children for decades, including immediately after the Columbine shootings, but legislation, including a similar bill from Rockefeller in the wake of Janet Jackson, has failed to move in Congress faced with the difficulty of defining violence and winnowing out the "good" from the "bad."

No witnesses for the hearing had been scheduled at press time.