BROWNBACK'S "VIOLENCE IN THE MEDIA" PR STUNT: FREE SPEECH ACTIVIST GROUP SAYS DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!
The much-publicized release of a joint statement from four different national health associations, the American Medical Assn., the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Assn., and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, decrying "violence" on television, in horror films, rock and rap music and video games, released last week at a "public health summit" organized by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. deserves greater public scrutiny, says a spokesman for a national censorship watchdog group.
"The release of this all-too-predictable statement was of course timed to coincide with this so-called summit," John Woods of the group Rock Out Censorship said in a statement today. "This 'statement' is just rehashed old views from these groups, while Brownback has been, by his activities and statements, clearly long hostile to the First Amendment.
"Unfortunately, these groups putting forth such a naive, ill-conceived statement, that a TV program or a song lyric can somehow 'cause' violence in youth, only buttresses demagogs like Brownback in their efforts to chill America's creative community.
In fact, one of the groups, the American Academy of Pediatrics is reported to have provided initial backing to Tipper Gore's anti-rock congressional hearings she and her husband convened in the mid-'80s, hearings which in fact provided the model for Brownback and company's attempts to hobble the First Amendment today--Censorship-by-intimidation."
The Associated Press wrote "Brownback says he hopes the statement will convince lawmakers that something has to be done about media violence." Woods asked, "What can Brownback be asking for lawmakers to do anyway, outside of repealing the First Amendment, which in fact he and his Parents Television Council seem to be publically advancing."
Sen. Sam Brownback sits on the board of the Parents Television Council, "a group most recently known for pushing for censorship of professional wrestling by targeting advertisers with boycott threats," says Woods. "The PTC is headed by former Pat Buchanan campaign manager Brent Bozell, infamous anti-rap bad-mouth C. Delores Tucker, Sen. Joe 'v-chip' Lieberman and even, God help us, Steve Allen. The PTC's whole shtick is based on hauling out instances of kids hurting themselves, blaming not parental negligence but rather of all things, professional wrestling!"
John Woods co-founded Rock Out Censorship, an organization which has monitored censorship attempts around the U.S. since 1990 and through it's website (at http://www.theroc.org) since 1997.
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