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(July 25, 2001) -- Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., today urged the entertainment media to make changes in its ratings system for movies, video games and music, accusing the industry of sending messages "that too often reject the basic values parents are trying to instill."

At his first hearing on the content issue since he became chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Sen. Lieberman heard concerns about violent media from some researchers and parents, and he urged industry representatives to make changes in the ratings system.

Others, including fellow committee members and actor William Baldwin, however, debated the constitutionality of Congress acting on the matter.

Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., a former actor, questioned whether even the use of the bully pulpit to push the industry was right.

"The only question is who will be the next group who we disagree with that we will bring up," he said.

The recording industry was especially strong in opposition to change. "I don't want to tell a parent whether Chuck Berry singing about his dingaling is about sex or something else," said Hilary Rosen, president-CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America. -- Ira Teinowitz

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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