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Last Updated: Friday, 15 April, 2005, 16:44 GMT 17:44 UK
Bush backs tough TV decency laws
President George W Bush
President Bush was speaking at a newspaper editors convention
President George Bush has expressed support for decency standards being applied to US cable and satellite TV.

Speaking at a newspaper convention, Mr Bush backed the idea, aimed at helping parents to decide what their children should watch.

A White House spokesman said Mr Bush was only backing a proposed law which failed to clear Congress last year.

The failed law, which called for increased fines for broadcasters, would have only applied to network TV.

Network TV and radio stations are already barred from airing indecent material before a 10pm watershed.

Parental control

Republican Senate commerce committee chairman Ted Stevens has called for new limits for cable and satellite channels.

Mr Bush was asked at a newspaper editors' convention if he supported such a move.

"Yes, I'm for that," he said.

"I think there ought to be a standard. On the other hand, I fully understand that ... the final decision is a parent turning off the TV.

"I have no problems with standards being set to help parents make good decisions."

Violators of the broadcast limits can be fined up to $32,500 (17,100) per violation.

Rising complaints

Congress is considering new laws to boost fines to as much as $500,000 (264,000) per incident.

A White House spokesman said Mr Bush was recalling his support for last year's failed legislation for increasing fines.

"The President was reflecting back on the legislation endorsed by the administration and passed by the House (of Representatives)," he said.

After a rise in complaints, the Federal Communications Commission has cracked down on broadcasters that air indecent material.

Fines and settlements totalled almost $8 m (4.2m) last year.

The most famous incident was Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" at the Superbowl in February, when her right breast became exposed during a dance routine.

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