The Right Opinion

Tilting the Newtown 'Conversation'

By L. Brent Bozell · Dec. 21, 2012

It’s too hard to try and make sense of a senseless event. Adam Lanza’s merciless slaughter in Connecticut has forced everyone with a microphone to insist we have a “national conversation” about why this happens.

But this urgent need to talk is not an excuse for a reckless discussion. Sadly, that is where we’re headed, with pundits hysterical, naive or both.

Predictably most in the media went straight to the Left’s Alpha and Omega: blaming excessive “access” to guns. It was also an excuse to open fire on the National Rifle Association. For example, author Joyce Carol Oates spewed on Twitter, “If sizable numbers of NRA members become gun-victims themselves, maybe hope for legislation of firearms?” Actress Marg Helgenberger, semi-famous for playing a cop on “CSI,” concurred, “One can only hope, but sadly I don’t think anything would change.”

One professor at the University of Rhode Island found violence as the answer to violence. Erik Loomis tweeted “I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want [NRA VP] Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.” After an uproar, Loomis claimed, “I don’t want to see Wayne LaPierre dead. I want to see him in prison for the rest of his life” for “NRA terrorism.”

Let us agree that every liberal - such as Loomis, Helgenberger, and Oates – has cause for outrage. So too does every conservative. No one enjoys a monopoly and the jockeying must stop.

By the same token, let’s be serious. Lanza did not get violent because of guns. He used guns because he was violent. The proper place for guns in a violent society is something we should discuss.

But if you want to solve the problem, you discuss the culture of violence in a nation enamored of death. Ours is a society imploding under an avalanche of violent video games, music, TV and movies. Surely, a serious “national conversation' should go there.

But so far, ABC and CBS and NBC aren’t doing stories about the violent content on their TV shows. Nor are they discussing violent movies on ABC (Disney) and NBC (Universal), or viciously violent dramas on the pay cable channel Showtime (owned by CBS). Fox News isn’t talking about Seth MacFarlane’s shoot-em-up Sunday night cartoons on Fox, and Rupert Murdoch pushed Obama on Twitter for "bold leadership action” on guns, but hasn’t tweeted a word about his own violent Hollywood sleaze.

In short, our news media can’t really be trusted to evaluate all 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.



Kurt.S in Missouri said:

It would seem a simple matter to shut down any Hollywood studios creating graphic violent content. Should be easy to close down all of the cinemas showing the offending violence. There could be a nationwide door to door confiscation of all violent computer games.
At least these options would address the problem and not attack a symptom.

Friday, December 21, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Perhaps Gregory in Perhaps Yakima said:

Der cummin fore owr guns Der cummin fore owr guns!! Kwik Mac! Drop thoze cheetos, grab yer teath frum the jar, and your gun, heer cums the gubermint!!

Friday, December 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM

David Thompson in Bellville, TX replied:

I don't think this government will come to my house to confiscate my guns, PG. More like them to have a Cash for Carbines program that would cost several hundred billion dollars.

Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

The whole thing hinges on the government being able to control every part of our lives. The left sees nothing wrong with doing anything you feel like even if it offends others, women having babies they can't take care of, abortions to include late term ones, illegal aliens, no nativity scenes, patting down grandma, checking babies diapers, but doesn't profile the very people who want to kill us. Their willing to take away our right to defend ourselves to satisfy some stupid psycho-babble reasoning that it will stop mass killings. Deluded and unrational idiots living in a dream world that doesn't exist.

Friday, December 21, 2012 at 1:28 PM

George Rogers Clark in Franklin replied:

Hey, Sarge. Me and Mac and Orf are looking for you for help on Murray's idea::::::
A New Declaration of Independence

PATRIOTS who have taken Murray T. Bass' challenge, here is a link (below) to a page on one of my blogs. It is just for a few charter patriot's who want to help get this idea off the ground.

Friday, December 21, 2012 at 2:33 PM

wherewolf in WV said:

There is probably a reason that you don't see a number of NRA members being victims to mass shooters. For starters I suspect may would shoot back. Or they know better than to patronize those "gun free" zones unless forced as to a crazy with a gun it is a "target rich environment".
The NRA asks for armed officers in the schools - I would add the teachers and staff willing to pass concealed carry requirements. But I doubt the politicals will agree since all these killings are such a good "crisis" to have to pass things and it is not their childern's bodies that they are standing on to bray their politcal platform. (Joe Manchen - you know what it meant there)

Friday, December 21, 2012 at 1:47 PM

David Thompson in Bellville, TX replied:

JJ, I would want teachers to pass a lot more stringent requirements than simply concealed carry. Serious training, I'm talking about. And they even object to taking a competence (read: literacy) test, so I don't want them armed around my children or any children.

Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 11:21 AM

pete in CA said:

"Best Funeral Ever"

Really? Who thinks up this kind of slop? THESE are the people who should be on Psych sofas being analyzed!

Friday, December 21, 2012 at 6:57 PM

David Thompson in Bellville, TX said:

"But this urgent need to talk is not an excuse for a reckless discussion."
Oh, but IT IS. That's the business - the whole business - of (what we call) the media. Gets them viewers, which gets them advertisers, which is all they care about. Well, promoting leftist politics, too. Which is best done with reckless discussion.

Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

There was no Father in that Lanza home. The couple had divorced in 2001. Adam wanted nothin' to do with Peter, since 2010.His doting Mother spolied him rotten, so Adam would stay with her. The Marines may not have taken the b@st@rd, because he simply wasn't Marine material. Now he can play checkers, in hell, with Hitler & Stalin.

Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Ed in Hudsonville,MI said:

Well said Mr.Bozell:
I deplore self righteous individuals who can forgive the gamemakers and Hollywood libs that peddle every form of violence and gore.Like 9/11 they soo forget who the perpetrators of violence are and go back to their lucrative business while blaming guns for the violence in our country.When will people begin to wake up and see that it is people and not things that produce violence in our youth today. The words,"sinfull nature" are scoffed at and we focus our focus on the object of violence and not the protractor.
We are fast becoming a nation of barbarians with a government not "of and by the people" but controlled by contentious judges of character.We,as Americans,have allowed this to take place by allowing organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, big unions, etc. to formulate how America should exist as a nation.What has been the result? Corrupt courts and judges that legislate changes to our constitution,unions that emphasize the contol of the workplace rather then emphasizing quality work habits. Planned parenthood that has supported the killing of babies yet remains silent about violence in our movies,television programs,and video gaming.
Hopefully,after the Newtown massacre their can be sanity in the evaluation of this serious situation.It is amazing that a motive has taken so long when it is obvious what the mother of Lanza did in assisting his violent nature.Even when a terrorist at a military installation can not be labeled for what he was and has taken so long to bring to trial and justice it is evident that we, as a nation, are in trouble.God help us!


Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 8:40 AM