Commentary: Tv Ratings: How Politics Undermined Parents

For politicians in search of a sure-fire campaign issue, curbing violence on television is hard to resist. That's why the so-called "v-chip" provision sailed through Congress with strong bipartisan backing as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The law forces television manufacturers to include a chip in new tvs as early as 1998 that gives parents the ability to block out programs they find too sexually explicit or violent.

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