Violence in the Media ViolenceintheMedia 2/25/04 3: 50 pm page 1

The Problem of Media Violence Is Exaggerated

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The Problem of Media Violence Is Exaggerated
The Problem of Media Violence Does Not Justify Censorship
by Joan E. Bertin
Violence in popular entertainment maybe objectionable, but the Supreme
Court has consistently ruled that it is nevertheless protected by the First
Amendment right to free speech. Carving out an exception in the First
Amendment for violent media would subject many valuable works that contain violent imagery—including the Bible and much of classic literature to censorship. From a constitutional perspective, infringing on the right to bear arms would be a much more logical way to reduce violence than infringing on the First Amendment would be. Guns Area More Serious Problem than Media Violence
by Barry Glassner
Since blaming violence on lack of gun control is politically unpopular in
America, the news media have instead targeted violence in popular entertainment. However, the idea that media violence can make someone commit a crime contradicts commonsense as well as research showing that people in other countries, who enjoy the same movies and TV shows as
Americans, have much lower rates of violence. The step these other countries have taken that America has not is to strictly regulate the availability of guns.
Violence in the Media Reflects the Violence in Society by Katha Pollitt
There is no arguing with the claim that violence in the media is pervasive,
objectionable, and may even inspire some people to commit actual violence. However, a fact that is often overlooked is that Americans in general enjoy violent entertainment—it has not been foisted upon them by the entertainment industry. Since violent movies and TV shows mirror the violence that is rampant in their society, it is no surprise that Americans are attracted to them.

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