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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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April 4, 2013 - 10:20 am

Campbell Brown writes that during his push for gun control, President Obama has left Hollywood and its graphic portrayals of violence out of the discussion.

The president’s campaign against gun violence has produced a stale debate marked by lots of speeches with little achieved. A more creative chief executive would have used this moment to widen the discussion by drawing attention to the increasingly graphic violence so pervasive in television shows, movies and videogames. Mr. Obama is particularly well positioned to challenge Hollywood because of his special relationship with the media world’s elites. They might be more likely to heed criticism coming from Mr. Obama than from any other president or member of Congress.

Or, Obama is particularly poorly positioned to challenge the entertainment industry because he is so dependent on them funding him and saying nice things about him. “Who owns who?” is an important question to ask.

Dr. Victor Strasberger, the leading researcher on media violence for the American Academy of Pediatrics, could tell the CDC and the president what to expect: “All our studies show portraying violence is extremely dangerous,” Dr. Strasberger recently told me. “Kids become desensitized, numb to suffering around them and aggressive.” He also says that when you add in other factors like poverty, abuse or mental illness, “you have a perfect storm. This can and does lead to violence.”

Dr. Strasberger says he was stunned that the White House seems to have little interest in the available evidence. On the subject of media violence, Mr. Biden met only with representatives of the entertainment and videogame industry and researchers who support the industry. Not a single doctor or researcher critical of media violence met with the vice president.

That’s a shame, since there is a consensus among doctors and mental-health professionals about the danger to children from exposure to the violence depicted by movies, television and videogames.

Brown goes on to detail studies that show links between media and videogame portrayals of violence and violent behavior, and wonders why Obama has not made pressuring media to ratchet down those portrayals a priority.

He could pick up the phone and call up former Democrat Sen. Chris Dodd, who now heads the MPAA, and ask him to lobby the movie industry to tone things down.

He hasn’t, he won’t. Brown’s mistake is to assume that the current gun control push is sincerely about reducing violence. If that were the case, though, wouldn’t those pushing for new laws at least push something that could really reduce violence, and wouldn’t they try working with Second Amendment advocates, rather than demonizing us?

The current gun debate is fed by the left’s political profiteering on tragedy, and is aimed at least in part at cracking the power of the NRA. It’s not really about guns or reducing violence.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (6)
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It should be "who owns whom".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Brown goes on to detail studies that show links between media and videogame portrayals of violence and violent behavior..."

No mention of the studies that show no link?

"That’s a shame, since there is a consensus among doctors and mental-health professionals about the danger to children from exposure to the violence depicted by movies, television and videogames."

There's that word: "consensus". That's not science; it's bigotry.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thre must be something about the years of schooling and exposure to patients' experiences that turns doctors as an aggregate into a bunch of control-freak ninny-nannies. As a group (there are many dissenters in the ranks) they believe in the universal "You."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's the "god complex" that develops in some doctors as they go through their careers. They are told (in school) they are following "a calling", then they go and treat sick & injured people who in turn express gratitude. Sometimes it goes to their heads and they believe they can judge what is best for everyone.

Has a few docs in the extended family - some are ok, but some do have a strange entitlement attitude: somehow entitled to better treatment and more important because they are "healers".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Mr. Obama is particularly well positioned to challenge Hollywood because of his special relationship with the media world’s elites. They might be more likely to heed criticism coming from Mr. Obama than from any other president or member of Congress."

Is Campbell Brown that naive? Why are so many journalists ignorant about how politics work? This could just be her way of broaching the subject so Obama could actually come out and defend Hollywood by shifting blame to "criminal" or people with mental health issues who somehow wouldn't get guns if we only did more background checks.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Nor, evidently, is it about the Librul penchant for political correctness. We are told not to use words and phrases that someone -- just about anyone on the left -- might find or twist to find offensive. One must wonder why rampant media displays of violence have not become politically incorrect. Are they inoffensive? Bryan identifies what are probably some of the reasons. Might there be others?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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