WASHINGTON — At today’s White House parley focusing in part on showbiz and violent youths, the Clinton administration plans to reveal creation of a nonprofit org aimed at reducing such aggression in youngsters.
Similar nongovernmental organizations have been formed through the White House’s help to combat teen pregnancy and promote the hiring of former welfare recipients. Summit and org formation come on the heels of the recent high school shootings in Littleton, Colo., that claimed 15 lives.
“We will form a nonprofit organization … to identify what works in reducing youth violence … and work with the media and others to make sure they’re sending the right signals about youth violence,” White House chief domestic policy advisor Bruce Reed said.
Prompted by carnage
Summit was arranged at the request of Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., and other members of Congress following the Colorado rampage by two teens.
Reed said he expects about 50 people to attend the summit, including the presidents of the four major industry trade groups in Washington: the Motion Picture Assn. of America’s Jack Valenti, Recording Industry Assn. of America’s Hilary Rosen, National Assn. of Broadcasters’ Eddie Fritts and the National Cable Assn. of America’s Decker Anstrom.
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet The Press” Sunday morning, Valenti once again pushed for a Surgeon General’s report to flush out the questions surrounding the causes of youth violence. “I’m not saying that movies don’t have an impact, I just don’t know what it is.”
Valenti also pointed out that other countries watch Hollywood movies but don’t experience the U.S. crime rate. “All I know is that other countries whose children watch the same movies and shows as we do here have crime rates that are much lower.”
The only corporate CEO expected to attend is America Online’s Steve Case. (AOL is located in Dulles, Va., a suburb of Washington.)
Entertainment reps will be in the minority at what the White House has officially christened a “Strategy Session on Children, Violence and Responsibility,” with most of the attendees representing a wide range of groups including police, parents, teachers, clergy, psychologists and foundations.
Reed said gun owners and gun makers, along with a representative of the National Rifle Assn. of America, will be at the summit, although an early list of invitees did not include anyone from the gun industry.
Also expected are President Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, with Vice President Gore and his wife Tipper Gore (who has long voiced publicly her concern about media influence on youth), FCC Chairman William Kennard and FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani.