Speaking at a Club luncheon on July 27, 1995, Reed Hundt,
chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, called
for new government rules to improve the quality of children's
television and reduce the amount of sex and violence on TV.
"Eighty percent of Americans think TV is harmful to society,
and especially to children," Hundt said. "Children themselves
report that television encourages them to take part in sexual
activity too soon, to show disrespect for their parents, to
lie and engage in aggressive behavior." Reed said that the
FCC had made a "colossal mistake" in not requiring broadcasters
to make a commitment to serve the public interest before
granting them broadcast licenses. "Market values are not the
same as family values," he said. The FCC has a chance to
correct this mistake by granting licenses to broadcasters for
a new spectrum so that they can broadcast a digital signal,
Hundt said. "As we enter the digital age of television, we
must not waste...TV's potential." Reed called for "limited
but clear and enforceable public interest requirements." He
also favored the so-called "V-chip" to help parents select
from the avalanche of broadcast programs pouring uninvited
into their homes. "The FCC, broadcasters and the American
people need to recognize that TV can be more than it has
been," Hundt said.
National Press Club Record, Volume XLV, No. 29.
August 10, 1995.
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