Watchdog group Common Sense Media held its third annual awards program last night at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Among those honored was Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) for what Common Sense Media termed "outstanding public leadership on issues relating to kids and media."
Lieberman, of course, is a long-time critic of video game violence as well as co-sponsor of video-game oriented legislation including the Children and Media Research Advancement Act (CAMRA) and Family Entertainment Protection Act (FEPA). The video game industry's rating system was largely created in response to political pressure applied by Lieberman in the mid-1990's. In fact, Lieberman has joked that ESA president Doug Lowenstein owes his job to the Senator.
Common Sense Media, headed by CEO Jim Steyer, has also been highly critical of the video game industry over the years. The group was active in support of California's contested video game law and filed a friend of the court brief with Federal Judge Ronald Whyte, who has yet to render a final decision.
The evening's main honoree was Newton Minow, who chaired the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) during the Kennedy Administration. Minow is best known for a speech in which he referred to television programming of the era as a "vast wasteland."
Also making an appearance was Elmo, of Sesame Steet fame.