Television became a political issue again Wednesday when President Bush said a "troubling" new study on viewing habits helped explain why American children do poorly in school.

The president, speaking to a private Christian school in an Atlanta suburb, said the government study to be released Thursday would show that most American children watch too much television, while those who watch less have much better reading scores.

"This report being issued tomorrow will say that American students spend a little time reading for pleasure or as part of their school work, rarely visit the library, and watch television an average of three hours a day," Mr. Bush said.

"It will also state that those who watch it (television) two hours a day or less do better ... and that's a lot of television," Bush added.

This speech comes in the wake of Vice President Dan Quayle's criticism last week of the TV show "Murphy Brown."

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