. . . involved in the American social and political experiment, and what
damages our children and diminishes their future harms us all.
The mere announcement of this hearing led to cries of censorship. The issue before us, however, is not censorship. Censorship, according to the classic legal definition, is the review of publications for the purpose of prohibiting publication, distribution, or production of material deemed objectionable as obscene, indecent, or immoral. The key word in that definition is prohibition.
The issue before us is not prohibition, but rather the exercise of moral suasion, the labeling of offensive lyrics, and other efforts aimed at encouraging restraint regarding the time, place, and manner of certain speech in question. That does not constitute censorship.
The first amendment is not under attack here. The Constitution is many things to many people, but they do not serve it well, those who thoughtlessly invoke its words to defend their every word and action.
Mr. Chairman, I am a Senator, and I am also a father. Being a parent of two small children is the most important task I will ever have. If I were to serve in Congress for decades, and be acclaimed a great statesman, I will have failed in my life if I fail to serve my children's best interests, to protect them during their youth, and provide for their needs, to encourage their education.
These are all important, but I will be measured, indeed, we will all be measured by how we teach our children right from wrong, by whether we impart respect for self and for others, by whether we pass on to the future generations the sense of moral and ethical principle.
That is what this hearing is all about. I believe this may well be the most important hearing conducted by the Commerce Committee this year. I look forward to working with you and my colleages on this committee, the Parents Music Resource Center, the recording and broadcast industries, and responsible citizens everywhere to respond to this very real problem.
Thank you, Mr. Chariman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Senator Trible.
Senator GORE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would like to thank you and commend you for calling this hearing. Because my wife has been heavily involved in the evolution of this issue, I have gained quite a bit of familiarity with it, and I have really gained an education in what is involved.
The two most important things I have learned which have changed my initial attitude to this whole concern are, No. 1, the proposals made by those concerned about this problem do not involve a Government role of any kind whatsoever. They are not asking for any form of censorship or regulation of speech in any manner, shape, or form.
What they are asking for is whether or not the music industry can show some self-restraint and working together in a manner similar to that used by the movie industry, whether or not they . . .