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make a conscious decision about how to respond to the concerns about "porn rock" as they go about serving their audiences.

I appreciate the consideration of the Subcommittee in permitting me to let you know of the action NAB has taken.

Thank you very much.


Washington, DC, May 13, 1985.

DEAR   : The lyrics of some recent rock records and the tone of the related music videos are fast becoming a matter of public debate. The subject has drawn national attention through articles in publications like Newsweek and USA Today and feature reports on TV programs like "Good Morning, America."

Many state that they are extremely troubled by the sexually explicit and violent language of some of today's songs. An example that has been cited is the song with words which say in part:

"I knew a girl named Nikki
I guess you could say she was a sex fiend
I met her in a hotel lobby
masturbating with a magazine."

The pre-teen and teen audiences are heavy listeners, viewers and buyers of rock music. In some communities, like Washington. D.C., parents and other interested citizens are organizing to see what they can do about the music in question, which at least one writer has dubbed "porn rock."

I wanted you, as one of the leaders in the broadcasting industry, to be aware of this situation. For your information, I am enclosing the recent Newsweek column as well as a letter I received from a group of influential Washington area residents.

It is, of course, up to each broadcast licensee to make its own decisions as to the manner in which it carries out its programming responsibilities under the Communications Act.



Washington, DC, May 31, 1985.

DEAR   : I am writing you, as a leader in the recording industry, to ask your assistance in a matter of concern to many of us in broadcasting.

The sexually explicit and violent nature of some of today's songs raises difficult issues of selectivity for those broadcasters who program rock and other contemporary music. The sheer volume of new records (and videos) made available to broadcasters, as well as the recording techniques sometimes used, make it extremely difficult for broadcast owners, managers, and program directors to be fully aware of the lyrics of all of the music their stations are being asked to air.

NAB has neither the ability nor the desire to place itself in any way in the role of censor of the music that broadcasters are presenting to the public. We do believe, however, that with your help we can play a constructive role by assisting broadcasters in making reasoned programming choices.

At its May meeting, NAB's Executive Committee asked that I write you to request that all recordings made available to broadcasters in the future be accompanied by copies of the songs' lyrics. It appears that providing this material to broadcasters would place very little burden on the recording industry, while greatly assisting the decisionmaking [sic] of broadcast management and programming staffs.

I look forward to hearing from you on this proposal and learning your thoughts on the problem of selectivity that the broadcasting and recording industries confront.


The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Fritts.

Mr. Steding.

Mr. STEDING. First of all, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Senate Commerce Committee for bringing together a panel of witnesses today for the purpose of analyzing carefully the . . .

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