Conservative Media Watchdog Group Urges Utah Guv to Oppose Video Game Bill

Terming it a "give away to trial lawyers," a conservative media watchdog group has called upon Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R, at left) to oppose HB 353, which is currently under consideration by the State Senate.

The measure would make retailers who advertise that they abide by age restrictions for video games and movies potentially liable under Utah’s truth in advertising law. As reported on GamePolitics, HB 353 passed the State House by a 70-2 margin last week.

Derek Hunter, executive director of the Media Freedom Project, wrote to Huntsman yesterday:

In a state famous for hosting the Sundance Film Festival, amending the [law] to include transactions would have a chilling effect on the film industry, as well as other retail businesses, and further damage an already ailing economy.


Specifically, the Media Freedom Project strongly opposes opening up businesses to lawsuits for underage video game or movie sales. This give away to trial lawyers won’t make kids safer, but will build in dramatically higher costs for small businesses who are already working on strategies to keep kids safe…


No crisis exists. Parents are not clamoring for government intervention into the lives of their children…

Should the Utah State Senate pass HB 353 (and they have until Thursday midnight to do so), it would be up to Gov. Huntsman to sign the measure into law or veto it.

Sourcewatch reports that the Media Freedom Project is an offshoot of Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform.

GP: Especially fascinating about the Media Freedom Project’s involvement is that they are a conservative group lobbying against a bill that was proposed by a conservative legislator, Rep. Mike Morley, in the most conservative of states, Utah. Moreover, the bill enjoys the backing of the ultra-conservative Utah Eagle Forum and was originally drafted by another conservative, disbarred Miami attorney Jack Thompson.

DOCUMENT DUMP: Grab a copy of the MFP’s letter to Gov. Huntsman here.

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  1. Margarita H says:

    Transactions on games and movies therefore would have a chilling effect on the film industry, as well as other retail businesses, and further damage an already ailing economy. As the economy goes down, many employed people are going to be affected. Worst thing is that, the lives of each one of them will experience some unwanted consequences and it may be a burden to the economy level in terms of health. No funds for emergency and the consuming level of food are trimmed down. The national unemployment rate has increased dramatically.  Many people are hoping for an end sooner rather than later to unemployment and some debt relief.

  2. Michael Chandra says:


    Just… Wow.

    Adding regulation on to a business that is effectively policing itself is not a wise use of scarce recourses and brings the government into areas where it has no business; namely acting as arbiter of what constitutes someone’s justified exercise of their First Amendment rights.  Parents are quite capable of monitoring what their children purchase and play, especially since the purchase of adult oriented games is restricted by the ESRB ratings system. 

    Ah, sweet sanity, how I missed you!

  3. Father Time says:

    Conservatives vs. Conservatives.


    In all seriousness though my bet is if that if the utah eagle forum holds more sway than this man’s organization then the gov will probably support the bill.

    Don’t you just love lobbying groups.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  4. code1390 says:

     If it passes in the senate anywhere near the rate it did in the house (70-2), the veto probably be overridden anyway.

  5. mdo7 says:



    This is one conservative that believe video game should not be legistated, you go man.  Just to let you all know, not all conservatives are not all like video game haters.  I think everybody are familiar with Tom Clancy, right?  He’s a conservatives and he does support video game hence Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, HAWX, and Endwar.


    Jack Thompson calling this guy a traitor and a video game lapdog in 3…2…1… 

  6. The Hangd Man says:

    Truly, this is what a traditional conservative should be doing. A traditional conservative should be against unneccesary laws that require a bigger government watching and enforcing rules. Rules that I might add which are being voluntarily followed and enforced by the industry that created them in the first place. Its those modern day so-called conservatives who support this kind of nanny state bullcrap. It’s so saddening that I actually have to vote libertarian to vote for real conservatives.


    I hate broccoli/ and think it totally sucks/ Why isn’t it meat?

  7. Toltendo says:

    Now this is a good example of what a conservative is. The conservative you might see today in congress or in most of the mainstream media are the skewered conservatives, the pre-Reagan ones.

  8. DrugMixer says:

    You are so right, I am so glad that now the government is not going to spy on us… that is unless you have a prolife sticker on your car or go to rallies to call for lower taxes or you are coming back from over seas and in the military because you might be recruited. I’m so glad that we are moving away from spying on our own citizens.

  9. BrandonL337 says:

    Yes it was although to be fair most of the people in congress didn’t even read it Democrats and Rupublicans alike though with few exeptions the Democrats were the only one speaking out against it afterwards.  

    There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can’t do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

  10. DraginHikari says:

    Because people are mostly easily moved by fear and circumstance then they are by reason or right.

  11. chadachada321 says:

    "Why do so many liberals want to disassemble the Constitution in order to bring conservative radio down with the Fairness Doctrine and prevent people from keeping the money they earn by unfairly distributing it to the undeserving?"

    I’m neither conservative nor liberal, I’m a Libertarian (So leaning conservative in theory). I just hate when people insert conservative or liberal into places where it doesn’t freaking matter…Most "real" conservatives hate the patriot act as much as anyone else.

    Also, I felt that the last paragraph in the article above was slightly…pathetic, to be honest. There are many "liberal" groups that want to ban violent video games/put restrictions on civil liberties (see: Hillary Clinton) and many other cases where people from a wide stereotype disagree with other people in the same stereotype.


    Oh, and sorry if any of this doesn’t make sense, I’ve just gone over 24 hours without sleep and can’t keep a straight thought. lol

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  12. DrugMixer says:

    "Like all those fools that call themselves "social conservatives", which is an oxymoron."


    I’ve always taken this to mean whilethe person may be liberal on some issues is conservative on social issues. If you are saying that once cant be a socialist and be conservative you are absolutely correct.

  13. farlander28 says:

    First of all, you need a spellchecker.

    Second, your idea of conservatism being the evil "hold things in stasis" line of thought that stagnates society, whereas liberalism is about "changing and growing to move things forward" is total fucking nonsense.

    My guess is that you’re one of those brain-dead college students who thinks they know everything about the world, and how Obama is going to save us all?

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  14. Neeneko says:

    That would just be an earlier snapshot.  At it’s core.. concervativism is ‘keep things the same or return to version of the past’ while liberalism is ‘change’.  The specific usage is really dependent on when you use the word.

  15. Dark Sovereign says:

    Kind of. People do know the meanings behind the words on some level. But even if they don’t, I am not going gently into that good night.

  16. Geoff says:

    Yeah but the way they’ve been used, especially by the media and politics, most people have forgotten the meaning or will never learn the original intents of either one.

    Like all those fools that call themselves "social conservatives", which is an oxymoron.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  17. gamadaya says:

    I hate trolls and paladins. I’m just pointing out that one is a lot worse than the other.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  18. gamadaya says:

    Hey, fuck you too. Next time you want somebody to explain something, don’t start by calling them a troll.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  19. hellfire7885 says:

    Again, I say that movie, video game, and movie production companies begin refusing to ship to Utah out of protest.

    I guess the hadron won’t cause the planet to collapse in on itself, it’ll be Utah.

  20. Erik says:

    Why do so many conservatives want to disassemble the Constitution in order to give the government sweeping powers in spying on its own citizens and then holding them without trial?  Isn’t the Patriot Act mostly supported by conservatives?

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  21. DraginHikari says:

    That’s pretty much what it used to mean

    Conversative = Small government influnce in theory

    Liberal = Large government influnce in theory

    Though too much other hot crap is stirred into them now for the original meaning to hold any ground really.

  22. Dark Sovereign says:

    "Conservative" is a belief system and set of actions, not a party line. If your proposing an action that would increase the intrusion of government into private lives and industries, YOU’RE NOT BEING CONSERVATIVE.

  23. Geoff says:

    Well, wasn’t quite expecting this.  Best case scenario they’re actually listened to.  Worse case scenario, they’ll be called "RINOs".

    That’s what you get called these days if you’ve got fiscal conservative views but don’t agree with the social "conservative" culture war BS.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  24. T5 says:

    Normally I do not feed the trolls but I cannot resist so here it goes: What are you basing your claim on?

  25. gamadaya says:

    These days, so many politicians are showing their true colors. They don’t actually believe in their "principles". All that matters is the money. You can bet that if the economy were in good shape, these people would be backing the bill.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  26. JDKJ says:

    I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again in light of Mr. Hunter’s "give away [sic] to trial lawyers" assertion: at an upper limit of $2,000 in actual damages collectable under Utah’s TIA, it’s highly unlikely that there’ll be lines around the courthouse of plaintiffs and their attorneys looking to cash in on violations of Morley’s law because there ain’t much cash to be had. There are a lot of good reasons to oppose passage of HB353, but the "opening the floodgates to greedy trial lawyers" argument is hardly one of them.

  27. Zerodash says:

    I take it that some Conservatives are more upset about enabling frivilous lawsuits than censoring offensive media?  

    However, I doubt that this bill was meant to provide $$ for trial lawyers (that’s for the East & West coast).

  28. Stealthguy says:

    It’d be great if someone could be there to videotape the howl of outrage Thompson might let out if the bill got passed over…again and again and again

  29. Dexee says:

    I’d really hate to say it, but there are no set-in-stone age restrictions on games. Unless said people that are writing this bill (and other maggots) are calling our VOLUNTARY, NON-GOVERNMENT rating system something that should be GOVERNMENT ENFORCED (and prosecuted apparently).

  30. Vake Xeacons says:

    OMG!!! Utah actually has some sense! From conservatives, no less! THIS IS SENSIBILITY, PEOPLE!

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