Valenti Re-Emerges As Tv Defender
Hoping to convince conservative religious groups and family activists that they already have the tools necessary for keeping undesirable programs away from their children, former MPAA chief Jack Valenti has revealed that the major broadcast and cable companies have developed a plan aimed at educating parents about such tools. Speaking before a Senate commerce Committee hearing on decency in the media, Valenti said that the industry will be aided by the Ad Council and will include public-service announcements on local and network broadcast/cable outlets. Moreover, he testified, electronics retailers will begin distributing to customers materials about how to employ the V-chip, which supposedly ensures that bad language, sex and violence are blocked from TV screens. "The beauty of this is, we don't torment and torture the First Amendment," he said. Valenti indicated that cable providers and broadcasters have agreed to spend between $250 million and $300 million on the campaign. It was immediately attacked by Brent Bozell, head of the Parents Television Council, which has been responsible for most of the anti-indecency protests that have flooded into the FCC. Bozell called the current system, "an inconsistent, inaccurate, arbitrary and capricious mess."