Wamp acts to reduce TV alcohol, violence, sex

From Staff Reports

   Every day, television viewers are bombarded by messages that drinking, drug use, violence and sexual promiscuity are perfectly acceptable lifestyle choices -- even for teen-agers. These messages are in direct conflict with the ideals parents spend so much energy trying to instill in their children.
   Congressman Zach Wamp, District 3, said a recent year-long study conducted by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, a bipartisan non-profit organization, concluded that in the last two years the amount of serious violence on television actually decreased.
   "While this parent has a hard time believing that media executives have actually changed their policy toward the marketing of sex and violence, it is encouraging to see data that indicates things are not getting worse," Wamp said. "Clearly further reductions in sexual content and violence on television are greatly needed."
   Wamp, along with several of his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives, recently wrote a letter to Randy Falco, president of NBC Television Network, asking him to reconsider his plan to begin advertising hard liquor on television in light of the social consequences alcohol advertisements might have on young people.
   "There are hard facts that link alcohol advertising to youth alcoholism, premarital sex, gang activities and even suicide," Wamp said. "Fortunately, NBC retreated and ultimately decided to stand by its original, self-imposed ban on all hard liquor advertisements. As a member of Congress and as a father, I am grateful that this network put the welfare of our nation's youth above their advertising bottom line."
   In addition to supporting a decrease in the images of alcohol, violence and sex on television, Wamp also is active in creating media programs that raise awareness and educate young people on their negative effects.
   "Last year, I teamed up with Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., to be an original co-sponsor of legislation that would invest in a study about the effectiveness of an anti-alcohol media plan," Wamp said.
   "The campaign will use television, radio, print and other media to educate young people and their parents about the serious risks associated with underage drinking. This is another step toward making sure that positive messages are reaching the eyes and ears of our teen-agers.
   "Raising children is a tough job even without the negative effects of our 'popular culture.' Parents need to stick together and be active in the public policy decisions that affect the character of our future leaders," Wamp said.