It's too bad John Kerry never had the courage in the last presidential campaign to take on
Would it surprise you that Hillary Clinton is not going to make that mistake?
Last week, in a Democratic debate of sorts on religion and values issues aired on CNN, Mrs. Clinton told a questioning pastor that she could support the idea of seeking a vast reduction in the number of women choosing abortion, and part of her answer turned to our cultural rot.
"We have so many young people who are tremendously influenced by the media culture and by the celebrity culture, and who have a very difficult time trying to sort out the right decisions to make," she said. "And I personally believe that the adult society has failed those people. I mean, I think that we have failed them in our churches, our schools, our government. And I certainly think the, you know, free market has failed. We have all failed. We have left too many children to sort of fend for themselves morally."
It can certainly be argued that the
I remember that two years ago, Senator Clinton lent her star power to the Kaiser Family Foundation as they issued a new study on the media habits of children. Sadly, the children surveyed said most parents don't set or enforce any rules on media usage. Seizing the stage as a keynote speaker, Mrs. Clinton noted she worked on a bipartisan basis with Republicans to get the federal government to research the media's effects on children. She expressed support for parents and even grandparents raising children and the need to support them by talking about media literacy and putting more emphasis on showing parents a program's rating after every commercial.
She effectively plucked out the most disturbing study finding from Kaiser: that 70 percent of teens between 15 and 17 said they've accidentally come across pornography on the Web, and 23 percent report that this happens often. “More disturbing is that close to one-third of teens admit to lying about their age to access a Web site,” she added.
She even highlighted her objections to the “Grand Theft Auto:
This stance gave Hillary great headlines, like this one in the
Hillary critics will be sorely tempted to dismiss all this as artful Clintonian political triangulation, with Mrs. Clinton very wisely and effectively positioning herself in the mainstream against the extremes on the question of unhealthy messages in the media. That is, I think, short-sighted. Of course there is political expediency in the exercise (and no one reads polls better than Mrs. Clinton, with the possible exception of Mr. Clinton). But this doesn't mean she doesn't possess a deep-rooted conviction on this issue. She does, and I suspect she has every intention of taking this issue to the Oval Office in 2009.
L. Brent Bozell III is President of the Media Research Center, the parent organization of the Culture and Media Institute.