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DAVIDSON: Violence, Alcohol, & Drugs — Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

When will American broadcasters limit themselves?

Jeff Davidson

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Violence on television is more pervasive than in real life. In their research project, years back, called “Watching America,” Stanley Rothmann, Robert Lichter, and Linda Lichter found that television characters had been murdered at a rate 1,000 times higher than real world victims.

Since 1975, a major character on prime-time TV is 17 times more likely to experience a personal confrontation with criminal violence than are the viewers who watch them every week. The broadcast networks’ prime-time schedules contain more than 1,000 scenes of violence per month. The “promos” for coming attractions depict even more violence than the shows themselves. The mayhem level even increased during a public outcry over TV violence.

Amazingly, businessmen and businesswomen are twice as likely to represent villains and three times as likely to commit crimes as are characters in other professions. Three out of four programs that show business dealings portray business as dishonest or corrupt.

Shaping Our Collective Consciousness

The authors concluded that television is an obviously artificial world that takes on a life of its own by shaping our collective consciousness. “For better or worse,” says Star Wars producer George Lucas, “films and television tell us the way we conduct our lives, what is right and wrong. It is important that the people who make films have ethics classes, philosophy classes, and history classes. Otherwise, we are witch doctors.”

The National Coalition on Television Violence, in the early 1980s, undertook studies which showed that immediately after watching programs which emphasize combat, there is a substantial, readily observable increases in playground violence among what are otherwise considered to be normal children.

“What we think of now as the excess of the Roman circuses, where in the end
hundreds of thousands of people died, didn’t start out that way,” PBS producer Bill Moyers once said. They started out legitimately as circuses, but the audience demand for more and more resulted in forms of entertainment becoming bloodier and increasingly grotesque.

Have a Drink on Me

A study of Hollywood films showed that in one given year, 90% of all films contained alcohol. The beverage consumption by characters within films often depicted “an alcoholic style of drinking.” Yet, largely, no harmful side effects were depicted.

Before the 2007 decision by the Motion Picture Association of America to ban smoking in films rated lower than R, the National Coalition on Television Violence found that 53% of films contained cigarette smoking and more than 85% of those films had a major character smoking throughout the film. This confirmed Michael Medved’s findings in his book, Hollywood Versus America, that the characters in movies were three times as likely to smoke as the people in the audience watching the movie.

Drugs Abound

In NCTV’s observations, 14% of films contained scenes depicting illegal drug use. The conclusion: Despite claims from Hollywood to the contrary, Substance abuse in Hollywood films has not decreased. “It has a serious, harmful effect on America’s youth,” says actor Edward James Olmos. “Nothing that we do can ever stop the damage we have done.”

Many countries around the globe seek limits to how much American television they will allow to be broadcasted in their countries. Some countries have levied an outright ban on American television programs. When will American broadcasters limit themselves?

Opinion

Pence v. Trump 2024? Former Veep Leaves the Door Open

WHOA!

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There has been an incredible amount of speculation as to whether or not Donald Trump will be again running for President in 2024, and there are a number of factors still at play that could create seismic shifts in the race to come.

For instance, if Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence were to decide to run against him in 2024’s primary…

Mike Pence is not ruling out the possibility of going head-to-head with his old boss Donald Trump in a 2024 Republican presidential primary, a new report suggested on Monday.

‘We’ll go where we’re called,’ Pence told the New York Times when asked about the possible head-to-head.

‘That’s the way Karen and I have always approached these things.’

Trump was not thrilled with the idea.

Meanwhile Trump, despite not formally declaring a 2024 bid yet, has eyes on the competition – including Pence.

In a statement to DailyMail.com, his spokesman slammed his old deputy as ‘desperate’ and mocked him for trying to ‘chase’ his ‘lost relevance’ amid the former running mates’ latest divide over backing separate candidates in the Peach State’s gubernatorial election.

Former President Trump is said to be waiting until after the 2022 midterms to make an official announcement regarding 2024, but there have been plenty of hints regarding his potential campaign – the latest of which came from former First Lady Melania Trump.

 

There has been an incredible amount of speculation as to whether or not Donald Trump will be again running for President in 2024, and there are a number of factors still at play that could create seismic shifts in the race to come. For instance, if Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence were to decide to run against him in 2024’s primary… Mike Pence is not ruling out the possibility of going head-to-head with his old boss Donald Trump in a 2024 Republican presidential primary, a new report suggested on Monday. ‘We’ll go where we’re called,’ Pence told the New York Times when asked about the possible head-to-head. ‘That’s the way Karen and I have always approached these things.’ Trump was not thrilled with the idea. Meanwhile Trump, despite not formally declaring a 2024 bid yet, has eyes on the competition – including Pence. In a statement to DailyMail.com, his spokesman slammed his old deputy as ‘desperate’ and mocked him for trying to ‘chase’ his ‘lost relevance’ amid the former running mates’ latest divide over backing separate candidates in the Peach State’s gubernatorial election. Former President Trump is said to be waiting until after the 2022 midterms to make an official announcement regarding 2024, but there have been plenty of hints regarding his potential campaign – the latest of which came from former First Lady Melania Trump.  

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Opinion

Verdict Reached in First Russian War Crimes Trial

This is just the first of many, certainly.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a brutal one, and increasingly so as the Kremlin’s soldiers find themselves in more and more trouble of their own making.

As the war grows ever more impossible for Russia to win, the troops sent into Ukraine have been committing a series of worsening atrocities.  It’s terrorism at the least, (and very likely a full-fledge genocide), and it belies just how poorly things are going for Russia.

Now, in the first war crimes trial of the conflict, a verdict has been reached.

In the first of what could be a multitude of war crimes trials held by Ukraine, Russian Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, was sentenced for the killing of a 62-year-old man who was shot in the head in a village in the northeastern Sumy region in the opening days of the war.

Shishimarin, a member of a tank unit, had claimed he was following orders, and he apologized to the man’s widow in court.

His Ukraine-appointed defense attorney, Victor Ovsyanikov, argued his client had been unprepared for the “violent military confrontation” and mass casualties that Russian troops encountered when they invaded. He said he would appeal.

There was no doubt about the court’s legitimacy, either.

Ukrainian civil liberties advocate Volodymyr Yavorskyy said it was “an extremely harsh sentence for one murder during the war.” But Aarif Abraham, a British-based human rights lawyer, said the trial was conducted “with what appears to be full and fair due process,” including access to an attorney.

Given the sheer amount of heinous deeds the world has witnessed in Ukraine, there is no doubt that more war crimes trials will be coming.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a brutal one, and increasingly so as the Kremlin’s soldiers find themselves in more and more trouble of their own making. As the war grows ever more impossible for Russia to win, the troops sent into Ukraine have been committing a series of worsening atrocities.  It’s terrorism at the least, (and very likely a full-fledge genocide), and it belies just how poorly things are going for Russia. Now, in the first war crimes trial of the conflict, a verdict has been reached. In the first of what could be a multitude of war crimes trials held by Ukraine, Russian Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, was sentenced for the killing of a 62-year-old man who was shot in the head in a village in the northeastern Sumy region in the opening days of the war. Shishimarin, a member of a tank unit, had claimed he was following orders, and he apologized to the man’s widow in court. His Ukraine-appointed defense attorney, Victor Ovsyanikov, argued his client had been unprepared for the “violent military confrontation” and mass casualties that Russian troops encountered when they invaded. He said he would appeal. There was no doubt about the court’s legitimacy, either. Ukrainian civil liberties advocate Volodymyr Yavorskyy said it was “an extremely harsh sentence for one murder during the war.” But Aarif Abraham, a British-based human rights lawyer, said the trial was conducted “with what appears to be full and fair due process,” including access to an attorney. Given the sheer amount of heinous deeds the world has witnessed in Ukraine, there is no doubt that more war crimes trials will be coming.

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