Brownback takes aim at TV violence

July 12, 2007 at 7:51 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 12 (UPI) -- Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, says he wants a federal standard that would bar broadcast networks from airing violent shows when children are likely viewers.

The presidential hopeful said he would offer an amendment to an appropriations bill that would have the Federal Communications Commission adopt measures to "protect children from excessively violent video programming," read the bill's draft language obtained by The Hill.

The National Association of Broadcasters said the proposal could prevent programs such as "24" and "Law & Order" from being aired before 10 p.m., The Hill said Thursday. The NAB is lobbying against the amendment.

"Broadcasters should not be allowed to use the public airwaves to disseminate violent or obscene material," Brownback said in a statement.

Brownback's amendment would allow the FCC to decide when violent programming should not be aired on broadcast networks, based on the likelihood that children might watch such shows. The amendment defines excessively violent programming as violence that is "patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards."

The NAB said finding such a definition will be difficult.

"Are we talking about 'Three Stooges' violence? 'Schindler's List' violence?" said NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton.

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