. . . can come up with a voluntary guide system for parents who wish
to exercise what they believe to be their responsibilities to their
children, to try to prevent their children from being exposed to material
that is not appropriate for them.
The second thing I have learned over the past several months is that the kind of material in question is really very different from the kind of material which has caused similar controversies in past generations. It really is very different, and I think those who have not become familiar with this material will realize that fact when they see some of the examples that involve extremely popular groups that get an awful lot of play, some of the most popular groups around now.
I was interested when the hearing was first announced to have the opportunity to ask the heads of the record companies whether or not they felt some responsibility. I am told by staff that every single one of the chief executive officers invited to participate chose to decline that invitation.
I fully understand that, but I wanted to note that fact for the record, and I think that they should take a look at what their companies are doing and just ask themselves as human beings whether or not this is the way they want to spend their lives, if this is the way they want to earn a living, if this is the kind of contribution they want to make to the society in which we live.
No one is proposing or contemplating the government answering that question for them, but as citizens of this country it seems to me we have the right to ask them whether or not they wish to answer the question, and I hope that they will. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Gore, thank you very much.
I want to point out that I have received a letter from Mr. Robert McConnell, vice president of CBS, stating that CBS received the invitation to appear here too late to prepare his testimony, that he is very interested in the hearings, and would be willing to appear at some later time.
Senator ROCKEFELLER. No statement, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Gorton.
Senator GORTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am here to hear the witnesses, and I do not need to hold us off any further by any opening statement.
The CHAIRMAN. The first witness is Senator Paula Hawkins, who has joined us here at the committee dais. Senator Hawkins, we are delighted to have you here.
STATEMENT OF HON. PAULA HAWKINS, U.S. SENATOR FROM FLORIDASenator HAWKINS. I commend you, Mr. Chairman and the committee, for holding this all important hearing. As chairman of the Children, Family, Drugs, and Alcoholism Subcommittee, this is a subject that I am very familiar with.
The wealth of a nation is measured by its children. We decided as a committee in the last 18 months to hold hearings discussing the role of the media in drug abuse and prevention and education. . . .