In short, our news media can't really be trusted to evaluate (SET ITAL) all (END ITAL) the cultural forces that the American people might blame. They refuse to acknowledge the effect of violent content on impressionable young viewers. They're likely to cheer Big Gulp bans and the removal of soda machines from schools on behalf of the children, but they won't tolerate any restriction on children gulping down their company products.
That's not to say that the entertainment conglomerates didn't react to the Newtown shooting. Fox quickly announced it would pull new episodes of its Sunday night cartoons "Family Guy" and "American Dad," as well as a rerun of a "Die Hard" parody episode of "The Cleveland Show" that was scheduled. There were no plot specifics disclosed, but the canceled new shows that were suddenly now too violent for the times were "holiday-themed episodes."
Anyone who follows the sicko MacFarlane cartoons knows that bloody shooting deaths are part of their formula to deliver shocked laughs. That is, when they don't have a "funny" plot twist like a crazed horse stomping through an entire grandstand at the racetrack, killing a class of deaf second graders. Does that episode sound hilarious now, Fox Entertainment?
Other shows were pulled for sensitivity. The SyFy network show "Haven" was pulled because it contained violence in a high school setting. TLC pushed back the premiere of its show "Best Funeral Ever" into January.
Showtime decided to put disclaimers on the season finales of their violent shows -- "Dexter," the heroic serial-killer show, and "Homeland," about terrorism. They announced, "in light of the tragedy that has occurred in Connecticut, the following program contains images that may be disturbing."
Harvey Weinstein's company canceled the Los Angeles premiere for Quentin Tarantino's ultraviolent western "Django Unchained," scheduled for the Monday, after the massacre. Paramount toned down the gunplay in ads for their new Tom Cruise action movie, "Jack Reacher," which opens with a sniper shooting down five people. They also delayed a high-profile Pittsburgh premiere (where the movie was filmed) on Saturday and planned a quiet screening later.
Stop it, Hollywood. After every massacre, you do the same. Some show is edited, another one postponed, all with great fanfare, while the denizens of Tinseltown loudly voice their outrage at all this senseless violence.
And as soon as the massacre is off Page One, they get back to business, polluting the culture and spoon-feeding the next Adam Lanza.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. To find out more about Brent Bozell III, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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