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CNN Today

Congress Thrashes Hollywood for Violence in Children's Entertainment

Aired September 13, 2000 - 2:19 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Violence in children's entertainment has emerged as a potent issue in this presidential race. Both campaigns are well represented today on Capitol Hill, as Congress thrashes Hollywood for the blood letting.

CNN congressional correspondent Chris Black is following the story up on Capitol Hill.

Chris, what do you got?

CHRIS BLACK, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Lou, the issue is so powerful it brought Joe Lieberman back to the Senate from the campaign trail for the first time since he won the Democratic vice presidential nomination last month. Earlier this week, Al Gore and Joe Lieberman called on the entertainment industry to follow their own standards and stop marketing violent products to kids.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D-CT), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This practice is deceptive, and I believe it is outrageous, and I hope it will stop. The leaders of these industries have to realize that they cannot tell parents that these products are inappropriate for their children and the ratings, and then turn around and market them to those same kids.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACK: Today, Lieberman said that the Democrats would give the entertainment industry six months to clean up their act. If they don't do that, they will seek legislation to give the FTC the power to regulate marketing.

Providing some political balance today was Lynne Cheney, the wife of Dick Cheney, the Republican vice presidential nominee. She said she opposes any government action, but was sharply critical of exposing children to rap artists like Eminem.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LYNNE CHENEY, WIFE OF V.P. CANDIDATE: There are many groups that Eminem is quite despicable toward, but he is a violent misogynist, he advocates raping and murdering his mother in one of his songs. He glories in the same song in the idea that he might murder any women he comes across.

He talks about how he will choke the women he murders slowly so that their screams will last for a long time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACK: While representatives from the music and video game industries came to the hearing today, not one studio had showed up. Must to dismay of committee chairman John McCain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), CHAIRMAN, COMMERCE COMMITTEE: There will be much said today, but thundering silence will be heard for motion picture executives. They have all been invited to testify. By some uncanny coincidence, every single studio executive was either out of the country or unavailable.

I can only conclude the industry was too ashamed of or unable to defend their marketing practices. Their hubris is stunning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACK: This hearing isn't over yet, but John McCain had a second set of invitations delivered today to 13 movie executives. He called the second hearing in two weeks just for them.

Chris Black, CNN, reporting live from Capitol Hill.

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