Evaluation of “Honey, I Warped the Kids”
By Hung V. Tran Carl M. Cannon reasons in “Honey, I Warped the Kids” in the Utne Reader that violence on television must be suppressed due to its effects on human behavior. This evaluation will show that though the author makes some good use of statistical findings, he leaves many holes in his argument by not thoroughly discussing opposing opinions. Cannon systematically lists the studies and opinions of others who agree with him and does not discuss opposing positions. In content, first Cannon discusses the sociological interest in the subject of televisionviolence and mentions that “the first congressional hearings took place in 1954” (95). He follows that with a list of studies that prove a…show more content… “For the past 22 years," says Cannon, "they found, adults and children have been entertained by about sixteen violent acts, including two murders, in each evening 's prime-time programming” (96). The statistics in the NBC study, which are touted by well-meaning critics, contradict themselves. The study claims on the one hand that violence desensitizes children; on the other, that it also incites more violence. In spite of this ambivalent evidence, Cannon 's research is deliberate and narrow-minded in intention, using only what he needs to support his own point of view and ignoring the NBC evidence. In point of fact, it is arguable that images do not spill blood, but rather rage, desperation, and revenge, especially when they are equipped with guns. According to Todd Gitlin, there were " 36,000 murders, accidents, and suicides committed by gunshots in the United States in 1992" alone (93). "Honey, I Warped the Kids” seems at first to be a reasonable article. While one reads this article one may be convinced, thinking that statistics alone can decide the fate of their children. However, if an opposing viewpoint had been better represented, the casual reader may not have come to the same conclusion as Cannon.
Someone who disagrees with the article “Honey, I Warped the Kids" may find Cannon 's position quite troubling. Gitlin says, "It’s dark out there in the