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The Complexities of Regulating TV Violence

A PFF Congressional Seminar
May 18, 2007
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Rayburn House Office Building, Room B354
Washington, DC 20515

Audio Now Available:


  • Adam Thierer (Moderator), Senior Fellow, The Progress & Freedom Foundation
  • Robin Bronk, Executive Director, The Creative Coalition
  • Robert Corn-Revere, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • Jonathan L. Freedman, Professor of Psychology, University of Toronto and Author, Media Violence and its Effect on Aggression
  • Henry Geller, Former General Counsel, Federal Communications Commission

On April 25th, the Federal Communications Commission released its long-awaited report on Violent Television Programming and Its Impact on Children. The agency recommended that government assume a greater role in regulating violent video content that comes into the home. The agency concluded that such regulation would "serve the government’s interests in protecting the well-being of children and facilitating parental supervision and would be reasonably likely to be upheld as constitutional."

Is such regulation necessary? Do parents have the tools at the disposal already to handle this responsibility on their own, or is additional government action needed? How would "excessively violent" content be defined by regulators? Would such rules withstand constitutional scrutiny? This PFF policy seminar explored the complexities of defining and regulating violent television programming.

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The Progress & Freedom Foundation