(Article changed on January 17, 2013 at 22:05)
(Article changed on January 17, 2013 at 21:54)
Vice President Biden and President Obama have given Big
Media corporations that profit by glamorizing gun violence and inciting gun
massacres a free pass. There is next to
nothing about violent media content in the president's 23 executive actions on
gun violence announced on Wednesday, January 16.
Obama's directive to the Centers for Disease Control to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence does include, "investigating the relationship between video games, media images and violence," according to an article in AdWeek.com. That few Big Media outlets noted the media violence element of the President's directive to the CDC is evidence of Big Media gatekeepers' efforts to marginalize or exclude media violence as a topic in the larger debate about gun violence. None of the Big Media news outlets reporting on the President's executive actions on gun violence have noted that the existing research on media violence is persuasive beyond any reasonable doubt. Rather, the AdWeek report notes that, "The Entertainment Software Association, representing the video game industry, issued a positive, though skeptical statement. 'Scientific research and international and domestic crime data all point toward the same conclusion: entertainment does not cause violent behavior in the world.'" In any case, the Congress, which has previously blocked such funding, would first have to appropriate funds for any new CDC research on gun violence. The takeaway: Political campaigns take place largely in Big Media venues, and no American politician or party has the shown both the courage and the ability to effectively confront the Big Media mob. The Obama administration seems to have taken its marching orders from the entertainment industry. So, the carnage will continue.
President Obama Announces Executive Orders to Limit Gun Violence
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"The United States has the highest rates of firearm-related deaths among industrialized countries, including homicide, suicide and unintentional deaths; young people are often the victims. Gun violence accounts for over 3,000 deaths and over 15,000 injuries each year among children and adolescents. The rate of firearm-related homicides for U.S. children younger than 15 years of age is nearly 16 times greater than the rates in 25 other industrialized countries combined," says the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
One of the most popular television series in recent history, the Fox Television Network series 24, persistently attempted to legitimize, normalize, and popularize torture as public policy in the public consciousness of Americans. Hollywood signaled its enthusiastic approval of that effort by showering 24 with dozens of major industry awards and award nominations, including the industry's most prestigious award, the Emmy. The series and its creators won the Emmy for outstanding writing, outstanding casting, outstanding drama, outstanding lead actor, outstanding directing, and outstanding supporting actress. The series also won many Emmy technical awards.
The program routinely included scenes
of torture, both physical and
psychological, and some characters were
only seen on-screen when they were torturing someone. The protagonist
Jack Bauer also tortured suspects both physically and emotionally. In
the first five of its eight seasons there were 67 scenes of torture - more
than any other show on television. Melissa Caldwell, Senior Director of
Programs for the Parents Television Council, called 24, "the worst offender on television: the most frequent,
most graphic, and the leader in the trend of showing the protagonists
Recently, Hollywood launched a major motion picture effort aimed at legitimizing torture in the public consciousness. Zero Dark Thirty is a spy drama/action thriller directed and co-produced by Kathryn Bigelow. Mark Boal wrote the screenplay for the movie publicized as "the story of history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man." The film had its premiere in Los Angeles, California on December 18, 2012 and wider release on January 11.
It must be noted that 24 was lauded by conservatives. During George W. Bush's second term, the politically conservative US think tank The Heritage Foundation held an unusual panel event to discuss "24 and America's Image in Fighting Terrorism". The event, conceived by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's wife, Ginni, was moderated by talk radio host Rush Limbaugh. In addition to 24 executive producers Robert Cochrane, Joel Surnow, and Howard Gordon, and several 24 cast members, the panel included Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and leading security experts James Jay Carafano and David Heyman. During the event, Limbaugh, a big fan of the show, commented that, "Everybody I've met in the government that I tell I watch this show, they are huge fans." He specifically identified former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Republican political strategist Mary Matalin as enthusiastic fans. The event audience also included Justice Thomas and radio talk show host Laura Ingraham.
Electronic Arts, the world's third largest video game corporation by revenue after Nintendo and Activision Blizzard, promoted Zero Dark Thirty in its violent video game Medal of Honor: Warfighter, by offering downloadable maps of locations depicted in the film. Such tie-ins and connections are common practice across product lines in the entertainment industry, which effectively prohibits any substantive public discussion of the horrific effects of media violence in Big Media venues.
The Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre victims are not honored by either the cowardice of our political class or the rapacity of the entertainment industry, which, to the extent that it systematically glamorizes and incites violence for profit, is a criminal conspiracy, a serious threat to public health and safety, and perhaps the gravest of threats challenging our most important and most cherished institution, the home and family, man's greatest human achievement.
Heaven help us.