Orgs oppose bid to muzzle TV

The entertainment industry’s bid to ward off TV violence legislation will soon get a boost from a coalition of book publishers, newspaper trade associations and the American Civil Liberties Union.

A press conference is being planned to coincide with Congress’s return this month, according to a D.C. source.

Purpose of the press confab, the source said, is to “show that the entertainment industry is not alone in believing that this exercise (against TV violence) puts Congress on a slippery slope that could lead to censorship.”

By design, neither the major industry trade associations (the Motion Picture Assn. of America, the National Assn. of Broadcasters, the National Cable Television Assn.) nor the four networks will participate in the confab, the source said.

People for the American Way, the liberal D.C. public interest advocacy group founded by producer Norman Lear, is participating in the effort.

The coalition’s efforts represent the first organized non-industry effort to thwart congressional efforts to pass a tough anti-TV violence bill. However, ACLU legislative counsel Robert Peck says he’s resigned to the fact that some form of legislation will probably be enacted in 1994.

More than a half-dozen bills have been offered in Congress targeting TV violence, including measures from influential Senate Commerce Committee chairman Ernest Hollings (D-S.C.) and House telecommunications subcommittee chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.).

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