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pd19fe96 Message on the Observance of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year...
<DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page i-ii] Monday, February 19, 1996 Volume 32--Number 7 Pages 237-311 Contents [[Page i]] Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents [[Page ii]] Addresses and Remarks Idaho, departure from Boise--293 Iowa Community in Des Moines--267 Community in Iowa City--242 Community in Mason City--249 Roundtable discussion on the work-study program in Des Moines-- 262 National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council--277 New Jersey Education technology initiative in Union City--298 Roundtable discussion in Union City--294 New York, fundraising dinner in New York City--302 Oregon, workers and volunteers at the flood wall in Portland--290 Radio address--240 Roundtable discussion on tobacco use prevention--273 Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys--280 Terrorist attack in London, United Kingdom--240 Virginia, roundtable discussion on the V-chip with families in Alexandria--237 Washington Community in Woodland--284 Roundtable discussion on the floods in Woodland--284 Bill Signings Farm Credit System Reform Act of 1996, statement--259 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996, statement-- 260 Communications to Federal Agencies Interim Report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, memorandum--302 Executive Orders Economy and Efficiency in Government Procurement Through Compliance With Certain Immigration and Naturalization Act Provisions--281 Interviews With the News Media Exchanges with reporters Oval Office--273 West Des Moines, IA--262 State Dining Room--277 Letters and Messages Chinese New Year, message--309 Vietnamese Lunar New Year, message--309 Statements by the President See also Bill Signings Centers for Disease Control report on tobacco and youth--301 Executive order on illegal immigration--283 Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, interim report--293 Supplementary Materials Acts approved by the President--311 Checklist of White House press releases--311 Digest of other White House announcements--309 Nominations submitted to the Senate--311 Editor's Note: The President was in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, PA, on February 16, the closing date of this issue. Releases and announcements issued by the Office of the Press Secretary but not received in time for inclusion in this issue will be printed next week. WEEKLY COMPILATION OF ------------------------------ PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408, the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and other Presidential materials released by the White House during the preceding week. The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is published pursuant to the authority contained in the Federal Register Act (49 Stat. 500, as amended; 44 U.S.C. Ch. 15), under regulations prescribed by the Administrative Committee of the Federal Register, approved by the President (37 FR 23607; 1 CFR Part 10). Distribution is made only by the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents will be furnished by mail to domestic subscribers for $80.00 per year ($137.00 for mailing first class) and to foreign subscribers for $93.75 per year, payable to the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The charge for a single copy is $3.00 ($3.75 for foreign mailing). There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents. [[Page 237]] <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 237-240] Monday, February 19, 1996 Volume 32--Number 7 Pages 237-311 Week Ending Friday, February 16, 1996 Remarks in a Roundtable Discussion on the V-Chip With Families in Alexandria, Virginia February 9, 1996 The President. First of all, I'd like to thank our hosts for welcoming us in and to all the members of the press and our guests here. As you know, yesterday I signed into law the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which was the first major overhaul of our telecommunications laws in six decades. That bill will do an enormous amount of good for our country. It will, for consumers, open up vast new opportunities for entertainment, vast new opportunities for information, vast new opportunities for different kinds of communication. It will create many, many thousands of high-wage jobs. But it will also bring a lot more images and messages into every home in America. One of the things that the Vice President, Mrs. Gore, and I like so much about this bill is that in addition to getting the benefits of the telecommunications revolution, it gives more power to the parents to control what their young children see on television by requiring all new television sets to have a V-chip in them. And so we wanted to come here today to discuss with these folks how they feel about it and to give them and to give you a chance to see how this will work. So, I'd like to turn it over to the Vice President and give him a chance to make a demonstration and some comments. [Vice President Gore said that the V-chip legislation gives parents the ability to make categorical choices about what their children can watch. He then demonstrated the V-chip concept by programming the host family's satellite television system to block movies exceeding a designated rating limit.] The President. Let me explain. This technology--you get this if you hook into a satellite where you may have access to large numbers of channels and a large number of movies. The difference in this and the Telecommunications Act is that it requires this V-chip which I want to show you. This is a V-chip. And it will be required to be put into all new television sets so that as every family in America buys a new set, they will have this. The V-chip basically is a power to the parent, a technology marvel. It enables everybody to have all the benefits of television. It will enable everyone to have the benefits of the new developments coming out of the telecommunications revolution, but it will give parents more control over the content of the programming to which their young children are exposed. Let me say I think it's quite important. Just this week we have seen another major study chronicling the destructive impact on young children of hours and hours and hours of mindless violence and the so numbing impact it has on our young children. So that's what the V-chip is designed to do. It will add about a dollar to the cost of every television set--a little less, actually. And we replace our TV sets at the rate of about 25 million a year, so as you can see, it will rapidly come to be a very important part of American family's arsenal of tools for raising children. And there's another benefit that this will bring as well. I have challenged the leaders of the entertainment industry to come and meet with me about this, to talk about how we can develop a rating system for television programs like we have a rating system for movies. And we believe as more and more families get this and exercise their options under it and as more and more information is available to parents, that it will change the programming so that even parents who can't afford to buy a new television this year or next year as the V-chip comes out will begin to benefit from it. [[Page 238]] So that's what the V-chip is. I guess I want to bring you back to Al, and he wants to say a few words before we turn it over to---- [Vice President Gore introduced Tipper Gore, who expressed her long- standing concern about children's exposure to graphic and violent television programming and thanked the President for enabling families to protect their children in their own homes. She then invited the participants to comment. The first participant said she was excited about the opportunity to decide what would come into her home through the airwaves. An elementary school principal and father said that television had more power to influence children than schools did in terms of time and the V-chip represented a giant step in saving the children. He also raised the issue of candy produced in the form of syringes.] The President. What you said about the candy, that makes a point about what I think is important about the television violence study. It seems to me--and what you said about the hours--it's not so much--and I know a lot of people in the media who produce these programs get very defensive. They think they're being unfairly attacked. They talk about there's always good content, often a good moral to the story of some of these things. But it's the cumulative impact of it. I don't think they see it from the parents--perspective of the parents. It's not that our kids couldn't handle this program, that program or the other program. It is a total impact of hour after hour after hour, day after day. And the candy thing you mentioned made the point to me that--what it means is that people began to think of things as normal that we should never accept as normal, so we began to accept a level of violence in our society, that it's normal. It's not true. And that's the thing that bothers me. We have to go back. Now, one of the things that we've really worked hard on in our administration is trying to help communities reduce the crime rate. And I think we ought to--we need to keep at it until we go back to a time when people think that violence is abnormal, not normal; when crime is the exception, not the rule. And I think that it's much harder if kids--like 5 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 15 years, they're dominated by this notion that it's a violent, brutal world, people do whatever they can get away with doing. [Vice President Gore mentioned the estimate that a child would witness 20,000 simulated murders on television by high school graduation, and then asked if anyone had ever had to comfort a child whose sleep was affected by what they saw on television. Several participants answered that they had, and the last one complained that even if the programming was acceptable, the commercials could be a problem.] The President. I must say, since I don't watch as much television as I used to, I was sort of unaware of that. But it's so interesting you said that, because my best friend from childhood called me yesterday, a guy I went to grade school with, and he has three wonderful children. They're various ages like your children. His oldest child is my daughter's age, and he has two younger ones. He said the same thing. He was talking about a show he was watching with his youngest child, a little girl, and he made the same point you did, that--no one had ever said this before, the disconnection between the programming content and the ads. [The participant said that she felt she had to be there the entire time her child was watching. Vice President Gore said that broadcasters should fix that, just as movie previews now are rated. Two participants agreed that television ads posed a daily problem. Another participant said that the V-chip ratings system would have a direct impact as a guide even for people without V-chip televisions.] The President. That's correct. [The participant asked about the prospect of a V-chip that would be an installable item at a low cost.] The President. That's a big problem. We're concerned about that. Do you want to talk about that? [Vice President Gore said that there would be devices to make an older TV compatible with the V-chip system. He added that with [[Page 239]] the introduction of the V-chip, the dynamics in the marketplace would change in favor of programming that would not be blocked by the V-chip.] The President. Keep in mind, though, the ratings, as we all know--
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