White House to press FCC on enforcing kidvid law

A top aide to President Clinton said Friday the new adminstration will insist that the Federal Communications Commission enforce rules requiring broadcasters to meet the educational needs of children.

The comments from Carol Rasco, a domestic policy assistant at the White House , came in a speech to the National Summit on Children & Families here.

It was the strongest statement yet from the new administration on enforcement of the Children’s Television Act of 1990.

Rasco told the audience that enforcement of the kidvid law was “ignored” during the Bush administration. “The same kind of folks who informed us that ketchup is a vegetable were happy to certify ‘G.I. Joe’ as an educational television program,” she said.

“Well, the previous administration’s FCC wouldn’t enforce the bill — but ours will. By law, broadcasters who want to keep on operating must demonstrate their commitment to the educational needs of children. We’re going to hold them to that. And while they’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt if they cut out the gratuitous sex and violence, either,” said Rasco.

The FCC already has put the broadcast industry on notice that enforcement of the kidvid law is one of its top priorities.

The renewal of seven TV station licenses were recently put on hold because the stations did not adequately prove they are meeting the educational mandates for children.

The issue became a major controversy after a number of broadcasters filed statements at the FCC claiming that programs such as “G.I. Joe” and “The Jetsons” are sufficiently educational for kids.

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