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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, February 19, 1996
Volume 32--Number 7
Pages 237-311

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

    Idaho, departure from Boise--293
        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--
    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 
        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--

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.


Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National 
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Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and
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[[Page 237]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[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 

    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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