June 7, 2006 4:59 PM PDT

Sen. Clinton: Feds must help parents on video games

WASHINGTON--The federal government needs to step in to ensure that electronic media including video games isn't harming children's development, Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton said Wednesday.

To that end, the New York senator said she's pushing for approval of federally funded research into the broad effects of media--everything from television to video games to the Internet--on children. A bill chiefly sponsored by Clinton and Connecticut Democrat Joseph Lieberman contains such a proposal and received unanimous support from a Senate committee earlier this year.

Speaking at an event here organized by the New America Foundation, a public policy think tank, Clinton dismissed critics who have questioned the need for such a project and its cost to taxpayers.

"We don't know the effects," Clinton said. "Never have children been raised in such a media-saturated environment. How do we get more research, better facts and evidence?"

Unless Congress acts, the parenting experience will be nothing more than a "great experiment on our children," she said. "I'd like to have a little more reassurance that it's going to turn out all right."

A longtime foe of violent and sex-themed video games, Clinton said she's also hoping that Congress will pass another bill co-authored with Lieberman that would impose fines on businesses that sell or rent video games with a "mature," "adults only" or "ratings pending" tag to anyone under age 17.

Clinton's call for more government involvement in family lives is hardly new. Her 1996 book, "It Takes a Village" drew fire from conservatives--and a response in the form of a book called "It Takes a Family" written by Republican Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Clinton's office also released on Wednesday a one-page, downloadable "media guide" for parents. It spells out definitions for the ratings systems used by TV shows and video games and gives a brief rundown of technological parental controls available on video game consoles, televisions and services like TiVo.

"Obviously parents are on the front line, but a lot of them need help," Clinton said.

Clinton's remarks on Wednesday came just hours before the U.S. House of Representatives voted 379-35 to approve legislation that would impose a tenfold hike in indecency fines on broadcast TV operators--from $32,500 to $325,000. The Senate had approved the same legislation in May, so it now awaits President Bush's signature, which is expected.

The Parents Television Council, a nonprofit advocacy organization with more than a million members, was quick to applaud that move. Families are "fed up with the sexually raunchy and gratuitously violent content that's broadcast over the public airwaves, particularly during hours when millions of children are in the viewing audience," Brent Bozell, president of the council, said in a statement.

It doesn't look like politicians' scrutiny of media will be slowing down anytime soon. A subset of the House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to consider approaches to controlling access to violent and explicit video games at a hearing scheduled for June 14.

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Nanny State
I guess this follows her "It Takes a Village" approach to raise
children. Individuals needs to stop relying on the nanny state and
take responsibility for their actions. It takes two, involved parents
to raise a child, not the Federal government.
Posted by liberty4all (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
People just don't get that the threat of force is not justified for every little thing. That threat is implied in ANY law or government program.

Popularity has no bearing either, it just amounts to a 'Tyranny of the Majority'.

Let's try rational thought for a change...
Posted by freemarket--2008 (5058 comments )
Link Flag
Here is an idea, get off your butts..
and do something constructive with kids instead letting the TV, computer, or video game babysit them . By encouraging them get out and play instead, they'd be doing them a favor considering weight problem this country has. Heaven forbid parents manage to spend a little time with kids not infront of a TV.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why can't parents just do their jobs? Why does the Government
need to be involved? If I, as a parent, see my child doing
something I don't like it's my responsibility to instill my values in
my child.

My parents did it. Their parents did it before them. It worked.
None of us are mass-murderers or raving lunatics unable to
differentiate between fantasy and reality.

The Government is good at many things. Parenting is not and
should not be one of them.
Posted by nightveil (133 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Remember when...
You acted up as a child and you got spanked... now it's child abuse. How is "time out" discipline? Man if given the choice of going out in the front yard and picking a switch for my mom to use on my butt or sitting in the corner, I'd be all about that corner. I'd probably do the same thing again if I knew my only punishment was sitting in a corner by myself for 20-30 mins.

It's like today's parents are NOTHING like our parents.

It's scary how the government keeps invading our homes and lives little by little, eating away at our privacy in the name of security. Now they are going from BIG BROTHER to BIG MOTHER, not only are they watching us, they are slowly starting to tell us how to live, what to watch, how to play and where to eat.
Posted by SeizeCTRL (1333 comments )
Link Flag
It's official - She's running for President
She needs to advocate this kind of thing so she looks "moderate" - of course, there just had to be some sort of federal spending involved.

But her liberal bootlickers will give her a pass on it because they know she doesn't really mean it. If a Republican advocated this, CNet "news" and the libs would be ripping them.

But not St. Hillary.... ROFL! The lib hypocrisy!
Posted by fafafooey (171 comments )
Reply Link Flag
In case you haven't noticed...
...people from all parts of the spectrum are ripping on her. The reason it isn't as prominent is because the much, much, much greater majority of these "let us do the parenting" bills come from republicans. Especially as of late.

See: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.gamepolitics.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.gamepolitics.com/</a>
Posted by Tomcat Adam (272 comments )
Link Flag
Sentor Clinton should truly ask for a cinema rating for child use protexion
I couldn't fit protection as needed; though a "R" Rating minimum would leave her with thornless rose bushes.
Posted by Stalin Hornsby (60 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Good ob Senator Clinton - We need lot more controls to protect our kids
Very good move. It is unanimously agreed by senate. We need lot more such controls and restriction when it comes to protecting young young kids from the bad influence of new media and technology.
Someone wrote: it is govt. entering our privacy and our family room.Leave it to parents Absurdest argument I ever heard. Are theey expecting every parent to sit at home whole day and master all the new technologies and media - which is by the way changing every day- and set up parental controls on their TV, go through internet sites and and set up filter, play anew video game before handing it over to kids, and may be watch a movie before taking kids for a movie ( in the absence of a rating ). Thats a job itself which an average or even well informed parent can not master and impose all the time. Instead of doing the policing at home let the parent get an assurance - from govt imposed ploicies that "It's Safe for kids" and enjoy their time with their kids with peace of mind.
We need more leaders to come out with such sensible laws and bills. They are long over due.
Posted by sudokuscore (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I think our leaders should butt out
and clean their own houses first. A poor kid playing a violent game is not as bad as a rich kid acting like a snob!
Posted by casper2004 (267 comments )
Link Flag
Are you saying that it is hard to read the ESRB Ratings breakdown on the back of a game case? Or to just send the kids outside? Parents need to know how to say "No." One is not required to constantly supervise their children, only mere guidance is needed, a few "This is not good, and why" moments combined with the aformentionned word "no" can go a long way. The government should not be telling me how I can raise my kids.

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
Posted by sidewinder (41 comments )
Link Flag
Its called active parenting.
Taking an interest in the activities and intrests of your children is not a burden to be passed onto agenda pushing politicians who care more for you vote and money than they do your children.
Posted by Godplas (2 comments )
Link Flag
Here's some advise for Sen. Clinton
Why don't you consider writing up some legislation on how to control and impose penalties on sex crazed husbands who bang the office help. Since Clinton and Gore invented the internet I guess all that exposure to indecent online content led him to become a cigar c**t dipping ***** addict.
Posted by talus7 (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A sex fiend is nothing compared to the warhawks we have now
I'd rather see a President banging the office help than have one who is a warmonger
Posted by casper2004 (267 comments )
Link Flag
Have you lost your damn mind?... Its not the government's responsibility to monitor a kid video game usage... that's the PARENT'S RESPONSIBILITY... GET A FREAKIN' CLUE!!!
Posted by Blackspeak (42 comments )
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