Tags: Lieberman | Considers | Hearings | Sleaze

Lieberman Considers Hearings on TV Sleaze

Wednesday, 05 September 2001 12:00 AM

Long-standing

"I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves,” Lieberman spokesman Dan Gerstein told NewsMax.com. "We don’t have any plans right now. But it’s been a longstanding concern of his.

"I wouldn’t put it outside the realm of possibility that in the future he may decide to hold additional hearings to look at how the public interest standard is being enforced. But that [a full-blown Senate hearing] is one possibility.”

He recalled that the Connecticut senator had previously held hearings on the ratings system that supposedly distinguishes adult material from television fare that is appropriate for children.

Lieberman’s first reaction to Sunday’s New York Times article, as relayed by Gerstein, is that "it’s not surprising. That’s the direction that the broadcast networks unfortunately have been headed for some time now. And the race to the bottom is accelerating.”

Lieberman, chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee since the Democrats gained a Senate plurality, had sent a letter of complaint on this issue last year to the Federal Communications Commission. That letter, co-signed by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., then chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., now Senate president pro tem, expressed concern about the lowering of standards and the harm to the public interest.

Lieberman, the Democrats' vice presidential candidate in 2000, believes it is reasonable to question whether "the networks, in their outlook, are meeting their legal obligation to serve the public interest by putting on so much objectionable, inappropriate and harmful content,” especially "during the hours when a lot of kids are watching.”

Lieberman thinks it is irrelevant to argue that taking God's name in vain on NBC’s "The West Wing,” as anticipated this season, merely reflects reality.

"He understands that there’s going to be essentially objectionable or offensive language on television. The question is, are there going to be any boundaries? Is there going to be some line involved?” And what about influence on the children?

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Long-standing I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves," Lieberman spokesman Dan Gerstein told NewsMax.com. We don't have any plans right now. But it's been a longstanding concern of his. I wouldn't put it outside the realm of possibility that in the future he...
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2001-00-05
Wednesday, 05 September 2001 12:00 AM
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