Bush Condemns Violence, Drugs, Sex In Entertainment

President says he's committed to giving parents tools to control what children are exposed to.

President Bush was quiet on the issue of explicit music during the 2000 campaign, but a statement issued by the White House says he is "disturbed by the amount of violence, substance abuse and sexuality our children are exposed to in the entertainment industry."

The statement, released Friday (June 22), comes a day after Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut sent a letter to Bush asking the president to support his Media Marketing Accountability Act. The act would give the Federal Trade Commission the authority to issues fines of $11,000 per day for advertising stickered CDs, adult-rated movies and mature-rated video games to kids (see "Lieberman 'Marketing Accountability' Bill Picks Up Steam").

An identical bill was introduced in the House on Thursday.

The president stopped short of declaring support for Lieberman's bill, but the statement said Bush is "committed to providing parents with the tools they need to protect their children from violent and unhealthy images and to working with entertainment leaders, advertisers and others to encourage less violence, substance abuse and sexuality" in popular entertainment.

The statement also said entertainment leaders need to be reminded that there are "consequences that impact our children, society and culture" from the products they create.

A spokesperson for Lieberman said the senator agrees with everything in the White House's statement and that Lieberman would prefer that the entertainment industry regulate itself.

"The problem is, the music and movie industries have not attempted serious self-regulation of the marketing of adult material to kids," Lieberman's communications director, Dan Gerstein, said. "We assume that the president is serious about helping parents, and so we'd hope he would support this bill."