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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
July 9, 1993     The Message
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July 9, 1993

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10 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana . TV violence advisory will have little impact, critics By MARK PATrlSON Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) The eight words "Due to some violent content, parental discretion advised" are not enough to stem the tide of violence on television, say Catholic media watchers. The parental advisory was voluntarily offered by the four broadcast networks and the Motion Picture Associa- tion of America June 30 in re- sponse to mounting com- plaints about TV violence. For a two-year trial period starting in {he fall, each net- work will determine whether a show merits airing the advi- sory. But as for the advisory's de- terrent effect, "I'm not confi- dent of that at all," said Miriam A. Crawford, director of the U.S. Catholic Confer- ence Office of Communica- tion Policy. "It's not doing anything to reduce the amount of violence." Moreover, Crawford said, "it's not going to deter the ad- vertisers. What it's going to depend on is the ratings." Crawford, in an June 30 in- terview with Catholic News" Service. aid she doubted wtleth,r the networks culd regultt; tl>msc'lves. Sh(' iv( an ironic laugh bet'or -.)ing, "Tlwv'v, hal tile opJo['tullitv Iltlillt:roljS times in the past to polio(: Letters to the editor are welcome Letters to the editor are welcome. Letters submitted d for Built with Quality to Save You Time & Money Factory and General Office Hwy. 231 S. Jasper, (812) 482-1041 i RESTAURANT SPECIALIZING IN DEUCUS GERMAN FOOD PRIME RIB CHARBROtLEn STEAOK COUNTRY FRIED CHICKEN SEAF000S SALAD BAR BANQUET ROOM FOR PRIVATE PARTIES FOR ALL YOUI CATERING NffS, CALL themselves. The guidelines they offered last December, we haven't seen any evidence of theln being implemented." Crawford was referring to an earlier plan by ABC, CBS and NBC to set common stan- dards restricting how and when the network would show violent acts. That plan -- which did not involve the fourth network, Fox -- was in response to legislation intro- duced by Sen. Paul Simon, D- Ill. But after the May sweeps period, during which the net- works aired such violence- oriented made-for-TV movies as "Murder in the Heartland" and "In the Line of Fire: Am- bush at Waco," the congres- sional drumbeat against TV violence grew even louder. Henry Herx, director of the USCC Office for Film and Broadcasting, noted that par- ticipants at the June 30 press conference announcing the advisory said that "none of the, series on television right now qualifies as being violent enough. One raises one's eye- brows." The advisory would extend to children's programs. While Herx said a Bugs Bunny car- teen wouldn't deserve an ad- visory because children "could not take seriously" the "slapstick" nature of its vio- lence, a cartoon like the Nick- elodeon cable channel's "Ren and Stimpy" shows "some nastv stuff." Tte only cable operator who has agreed to run parental advisories is Ted Turner, who owns five na- tional cable channels. Turner and his wife, actress Jane Fonda, added to the chorus of denunciations of TV vio- lence. Turner admitted he was guilty of airing violent shows sometimes. Herx said he would like to see other similar advisories, in particular one on sexual content. "Parents are really inte, r- ested in the sexual content of programs and the explicit na- ture of it," he said. "I think it's something parents would find extremely useful." Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles, in a June 30 statement, said the advisory was "a step in the right dire(:- tion," but "it is only a step." The cardinal issued a pas- toral letter last year on the re- sponsibilities of makers and consumers of movies and TV programs. Mary Ann Banta, a board member of the National Coalition on TV Violence, said in a July 1 telephone in- terview, 'Tm glad the televi- sion and movie industry has finally accepted the link be- tween television violence and societal violence." However, "anything short of a reduction in the prime- time violence is unaccept- able," Banta said. Even with the advisory, Congress h'as severatbi] awaiting action. One bill would establish l presidential cc TV violence h surgeon general and general. Another would (late quarterly reports Federal Comn Commission of all of TV violence. A third bill would a toll-free number at the for citizen complai: suggestions about ]ence, which w0 local stations and be ered when their censes are up U.S. Rep. Ed Mass., is also bills that would tion picture-style TV shows with technology that would parents to block shows from being their sets. ST. JOHN SUMMER SOCIAL 725 Frame Road * Newburgh. 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