Saturday, May 29, 2004

First They come for Howard Stern... The highetened fears of cultural warriors and moral entrepreneurs have finally found a home in new movement. Parents Against All Media was created today by a consortium of we-know-better-than-you-do-groups to build on the momentum of Trust-me Tom Ridge, You-will-think-what-I-tell-you John 'Mr. Credible Sources' Ashcroft, and Mr. Preznit's appointed and annointed presidency. "We believe that teaching children to respect other cultures and have an open mind is far too dangerous in these times of elevated threat," the group's high and mighty spokesperson said. He continued: "Children are exposed to too many liberal, irreligious, and irregardless symbols in the media. Not to mention the images of love, trust, and hope that we see in films and television and hear on the radio!" The group claims to have leaders in Congress who are proposing legislation titled the Parents Say So Act. In closing the group's spokesfurher stated: "Finally we will be able to tell all parents and -- most importantly their children -- what we believe they should think, believe, and do." Bill text (HR 4239) House Bill Threatens Retailers Parents Can Sue Over Content May 21, 2004 Republican Californian Congressman Duncan Hunter has introduced a bill titled the "Parents' Empowerment Act," which would allow the parent or guardian of a minor to sue (in federal court) anyone who knowingly disseminates any media which contains "material that is harmful to minors." If it passes, this bill would affect the entire supply chain, from publisher/manufacturer, to distributor, to retailer. The bill goes on to specify that it will only apply if the material is distributed in a way that "a reasonable person can expect a substantial number of minors to be exposed to the material, is likely to suffer personal or emotional injury or injury to mental or moral welfare." Compensatory damages under the bill would start at no less than $10,000 for any instance a minor is exposed to harmful entertainment products. The bill also provides a separate definition of obscenity specifically for children. CBLDF Director Charles Brownstein said, "It appears to allow for civil actions against any, or every, member of the dissemination food chain, from the retailer to the distributor to the publisher, or work that an individual parent may object to. So any citizen, using their own sense of what is obscene or harmful to minors, can bring suit." This bill, which has been currently referred to the House Judiciary Committee, is backed by the Christian Coalition, the American Center for Law and Justice and the World Family Policy Center at Brigham Young University. It has also been co-sponsored by Rep. Robert W. Ney (Ohio, 18th District) and Rep. W. Todd Akin (Missouri, Second District). (Rep. Duncan Hunter serves the 52nd District of California.)
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