(Extensions of Remarks - August 04, 1998)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1544]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                      IN MEMORY OF MS. SHARI LEWIS


                         HON. EDWARD J. MARKEY

                            of massachusetts

                    in the house of representatives

                        Tuesday, August 4, 1998

  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor the memory of Ms. Shari 
Lewis, America's Gentle Giant of Children's TV.
  This child of a magician who wove so much TV magic in the minds of 
America's young people died last Sunday after a tough battle with 
cancer. To everyone who knew Shari, to everyone she may have come in 
contact with however briefly, she was warm and generous and curious and 
spirited, leaving you with the feeling that someone special had just 
treated you as someone special.
  This talent for spreading kindness was so powerful that it translated 
perfectly through television to the enormous delight of America's 
children. She gave her voice, literally, to her famous companion Lamb 
Chop, a sock puppet with spunk and wisdom, and the two of them created 
a world of learning, thought and fun on public television.
  In 1993, I held an oversight hearing to examine broadcaster 
compliance with the Children's Television Act of 1990. Shari Lewis was 
kind enough to testify, and Lamb Chop provided a separate statement. In 
honor of this wonderful woman, the world she helped create for our 
children, and the angel-on-the-shoulder quality of her plea to the 
broadcasting community for a higher commitment to educational 
programming for children, I ask the concluding words of Shari's 
statement, in which she challenges the industry to step up to its 
educational programming obligations for children, as well as the entire 
statement of ``Miss Lamb Chop,'' be inserted in the Record, as follows:

                  Partial Statement of Ms. Shari Lewis

       But the commitment to accept the challenge, the very real 
     challenge, should be at the heart of the industry and the 
     basis for broadcast renewal. If all broadcasters were 
     regulated so they had to provide good stuff equally, perhaps 
     there would be a race for quality, just as there now is a 
     race for market share.
       If each broadcaster had to provide a minimum amount of 
     educational, information stuff, stations would boast of what 
     they were doing for the community's children as they now 
     boast of ratings. And advertisers would be very pleased to be 
     seen as servicing the community.
       It comes down to responsibility. I have deep convictions, 
     and I know that there is in the human spirit hate and 
     violence and other dark emotions. It is right that we should 
     acknowledge them on TV in responsible ways.
       We should also acknowledge that in every human spirit there 
     is the desire to learn and laugh and do good and help other 
       I wanted to end here. Unfortunately, Lamb Chop has insisted 
     on being heard today. This was not my idea. I do not approve 
     of it. My mother says it is not dignified. However, Lamb Chop 
     insisted. So if you will excuse me, I will get her.
       Lamb Chop, come on.

                         Statement of Lamb Chop

       Miss Lamb Chop. Mr. Chairman, I would like to know, am I on 
     my own time, or do I get only part of Shari's?
       Mr. Markey. You get your own time, Lamb Chop.
       Miss Lamb Chop. Thank you, sir.
       Mr. Chairman----
       Ms. Lewis. What do you have on your mind?
       Miss Lamb Chop. It is not what is on my mind, it is what is 
     in my heart.
       Ms. Lewis. All right.
       What do you have to say?
       Miss Lamb Chop. I want to say----
       Ms. Lewis. All right. Go ahead. Speak from your little lamb 
       Miss Lamb Chop. I can't do it with you sitting there. Go 
       Ms. Lewis. No, darling, I can't go away. If I am not here, 
     you can't talk at all. Talk.
       Miss Lamb Chop. All right, but if you want to interrupt, 
     lift your hand. Your left hand.
       Mr. Chairman, I have been entertaining children for 35 
     years, which is a long time in the life of a 6 year old.
       I would like to say that we really need your help and your 
     care and concern, and we need the best that you grown-ups 
     have to offer. And if you give it to us, we will give the 
     good stuff back. Not only to you, but to our own children as 
       Ms. Lewis. Lamb Chop, I couldn't have said that better 
       Miss Lamb Chop. I know.
       Ms. Lewis. Say good-bye, Lamb Chop.
       Miss Lamb Chop. Good-bye, Lamb Chop.
       Ms. Lewis. Good-bye, everybody.
       Thank you.