Speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden, outlining the White House's gun violence initiatives, made a pitch for studies "on the impacts of young minds on witnessing repetitive violent acts in movies, on television and video games," but also indicated the industry was intent on helping and encouraged them to better advertise the parental control tools they have.
Conducting and funding such research was one of the initiatives the Vice President vowed to put all of his office's muscle behind.
Biden said that did not make him popular with the entertainment industry, but that neither was that an indictment of the industry, but instead was recognition there were no extensive modern studies.
Referring to meetings he held last week with National Cable & Telecommunications Association President Michael Powell, National Association of Broadcasters president Gordon Smith and others on the issue, Biden, he said. "It is worth pointing out from my conversation with these industries, they seem intent on doing what they can do to help."
He cited the ratings system and parental controls that "the vast majority of Americans don't know about."
Biden took brief aim at a familiar target of kids TV critics, Saturday morning cartoons. "If you have Infinity [Comcast's David Cohen was also at the media industry meeting with the VP], you can go on if your grandchild or child watches those early morning cartoons on Saturday that have excessive violence, you can actually program your television to take out extreme violence, moderate violence, or violence." He said he doesn't think that 90% of the parents have any idea of that.
Biden said one of his suggestions to them was to conduct a "major advertising campaign" to let people know about it.