Clinton Sends Investigators on Entertainment Probe

By Ben Anderson | July 7, 2008 | 8:02 PM EDT

(CNS) – President Bill Clinton and the First Lady lead a Rose Garden ceremony Tuesday to call for one million dollars to be used in a federal investigation into a study of the entertainment industry and determine whether it targets children to buy "fantasy violence."

Stopping short of prosecuting those responsible for the series of violent tragedies which have captured the nation's attention in recent years, the President suggested that Americans must share joint responsibility rather than "assign blame."

On Tuesday Clinton commissioned a joint Federal Trade Commission-Justice Department investigation into whether the entertainment industry specifically targets young people in its advertising campaigns of violent movies.

But while the President contends that no one should point fingers of blame for a seemingly increase in youth violence, he and Mrs. Clinton were quick to call on many sectors of society, particularly the media, to "reverse the culture of violence that is engulfing American children every day."

Still riding the shock-waves of the Littleton, Colorado high school shooting, the President and Mrs. Clinton spoke of the most recent events of youth violence and recited federal studies early as 1972 suggesting that television violence has a negative effect on children.

"One study has found, for example, that if an actor is rewarded for violent behavior, children are more likely to imitate it," Mrs. Clinton said in the Rose Garden. "Another tells us that media violence has a particularly negative effect on children who already have a tendency toward aggressive or antisocial behavior."

Recognizing that "responsibility begins at home," Clinton said public service officials, schools and community churches must reinforce that responsibility.

Mrs. Clinton, however, suggested that the government should be a resource to give parents more power with which to control their children. "One of the ways we can do that is to give parents the tools they need to control what their own children are exposed to."

"What kind of values are we promoting when a child can walk into a store and find video games where you win based on how many people you can kill or how many places you can blow up?" Mrs. Clinton asked.

The announcement took place while reports increased that Mrs. Clinton would most likely seek the New York Senate seat of retiring Democrat Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.