Date: 17th October 2000

FCC Chief Scolds Broadcasters About V-Chip

FCC Chairman Bill Kennard chided broadcasters Monday for doing little to make parents aware of the V-chip and encourage them to use it to prevent their children from seeing unsuitable programming.

At a Washington hearing, Kennard also accused broadcasters of "coarsening" standards and offering less time for public-service announcements.

Former FCC General Counsel Henry Geller suggested that instead of compelling broadcasters to continue airing public service programming, the commission should consider assessing them one percent of their gross advertising revenue and using the money thus raised to fund public television.

Commissioner Gloria Tristani went further, accusing broadcasters of producing programs that represent "a health hazard" to the minds of children. "None of us would hesitate to act if our children were being physically violated," she said, "but too many of us fail to act when our children's minds are violated." Broadcasters attending the hearings balked at the suggestion that additional government regulations ought to be imposed.

Source: Studio Briefing