AMA offers prescription to cure TV violence
September 10, 1996
Web posted at: 2:30 a.m. EDT
From Correspondent Jim Moret
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" have
a new nemesis - the American Medical Association.
The national doctor's association cited the fictional
characters Monday as an example of a "destructive influence"
on children, as they recommended parental guidelines for
children's viewing. (18 sec./ 770K QuickTime movie )
"Our kids spend more time today learning about life through
media than from any other source," said Dr. John Nelson, an
AMA trustee. "They spend twice as much time in front of the
television as they do in front of a school teacher."
Many doctors believe that what children see is harmful to
"Even in cartoon violence, we see victims that really don't
die," said clinical psychologist Evelyn Kohan. "But people do
die when they're shot with guns, and people really do die
when people hurt them in violent ways. Our children have to
To combat societal violence, the AMA offered a prescription
for parents to give their children, including:
- avoiding the use of TV, videos or video games as a
- limiting TV use to one to two quality hours per day,
- keeping TVs and VCRs out of children's bedrooms,
- turning off the TV during mealtimes,
- turning the TV on only when there is something
specific to watch, and
- limiting their own TV viewing.
Some producers and executives already recognize the
entertainment industry's responsibility.
"You have an official body really coming on board and
treating it as a national malady," said Beth Sullivan,
executive producer of CBS' "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,"
recently honored for its wholesome values.
Still, many in the industry believe the ultimate
responsibility remains at home.
"I wouldn't let my kids watch my show until they reach a
certain age," said David Milch, executive producer of ABC's
"N.Y.P.D. Blue," a show with a viewer disclaimer.
Kathy Baker, who won the Emmy for best actress in a drama
series Sunday in CBS' now-canceled "Picket Fences," also
advocates parental responsibility.
"There are so many shows I could name that are incredible and
worthy for children to sit and watch," Baker said. "There's
an on-off button on the television set and people (have) got
to use it."
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