roblem Media Argumentative Persuasive EssaysMedia Violence is No Problem
Violent movies and television shows have been popular since the mediums were invented. Westerns and Police shows have kept us inundated with gun play and car chases.
However many feel that entertainment companies have gone too far. Politicians, like Al Gore and Bill Clinton, have officially asked the producers and television stations to tone down the violence in their products and try to have more family orientated messages. Why the sudden change in heart? The recent rash of schoolshooting and teen violence has made many Americans look for a reason; the reason they have found is the media.
The entertainment industry is not a willing scapegoat.
They have given some ground but refuse to give anymore. At the forefront of the battle are directors like Wes Craven who’s violent scary movies, the Scream trilogy and Vampire, are squarely blamed for the rise in violent teens. On television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and especially professional wrestling are being forced to calm down the violence they show and have been pushed back to later hours so that younger children can’t watch (Clinton 3). While the Media industry have bent, the body count in Scream 3 was lowered and wrestling has promised to depict women more appropriately and tone down their violent bouts, they refuse to break which is what many parents are calling for.
According to some According to the American Psychological Association, the average American child views 8,000 murders and 100,000 other acts of violence before finishing elementary school (Anonymous 1). That is a lot of violence for a young adult, but the question is not whether they see it but whether it drives them to be violent also. There are, however, no conclusive studies on the effects of violence in the media on children. Still the shear number of violent acts is bothersome and should be controlled.
“There is still too much violence on our nation’s screens, large and small,” Said Bill Clinton at a benefit in California after one of the shootings (Clinton 1). He also urged for the rating system to be reevaluated and parents to watch programs along with their children.
While many have clamored for a change nothing has been done. No effective bills have been passed and no groups have stepped forward to take on the media.
There are many possible reasons for this. One of the major reasons is that the entertainment industry is large and very influential. Many politicians fear taking on such a large foe for fear of ending their career. Another reason is that it would be unconstitutional.
Lynne Cheney remarked, “They know you can’t enact legislation,” she said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “This is wallpaper, a spin …
to make people think they are on the side of parents.” (Cheney 1). Any legislation against the industry would be in violation of free speech and would never stand in the Supreme Court.
Another possible reason for the lack of litigation is that it probably wouldn’t work.
There may be an abundance of numbers documenting the amount of violence children see but no one can tell whether it effects them or not. While cases of children imitating wresting moves have been documented, this doesn’t show that they intended to hurt the other person. They are also the minority rather than the majority. Most people simply watch the shows and take them for entertainment.
Another flaw in the argument to ban media violence is that none of the school shootings have been blamed on the media. None of them has claimed it influenced them or that they had done it because they saw it on television. In fact there has never been a case where the defense that a movie or television show caused the crime. While many try to over look these facts the fact remains that until a connection is definitely made between media violence and real life violence many including myself will remain against the censorship of entertainment.
“Clinton to Hollywood Tone Down the Onscreen Slaughter” March 13,
June 6, 2001.
“Lynn Cheney blasts Gore comments on Media