A third provision in the Senate’s trio of broadcast issues being discussed last week involved the infamous V-chip from the Clinton era. In a bill approved by a voice vote, the Senate directed the FCC to study the effectiveness of the V-chip in controlling how much violence children watch on television.
That measure, sponsored by Sen. Ernest F. Hollings, (D-S.C.), directed the commission to ban violent programming during hours children most watch television if the commission’s study finds that the V-chip is not effective.
The Parents Television Council said Hollings' provision of the bill took a crucial step forward in the fight to return common-sense decency standards to broadcast media.
As with the other bills, the V-chip mandate was tacked onto the defense authorization bill and could easily disappear without further discussion. It is part of the bargaining process that goes on behind closed doors in the Congressional conference room.