Violence on Television Essay

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"There was murderers going around killing lots of people and stealing

jewelry." This quote comes from the mouth of an eight year old girl after

watching the evening news on television. The eight year old girl claims

that she is afraid "when there is a murder near because you never know if

he could be in town" (Cullingford, 61). A recent report from the National

Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) pools evidence from over 2,500 studies

within the last decade on over 100,000 subjects from several nations to

show that the compiled evidence of television's influence on behavior is so

"overwhelming" that there is a consensus in the research community that

"violence on television does lead to aggressive
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The media argument that high ratings

correspond with the public's best interest is simply not valid. Even the

American Medical Association agrees that the "link between televised

violence and later aggressive behavior warrants a major organized cry of

protest from the medical profession" (Palmer, 122). The issue of the

public's infatuation with television can be paralleled with that of a young

child and his desire for candy and "junk foods." The child enjoys eating

such foods, though they produce the harmful effects of rotting away at his

teeth. With a parent to limit his intake of such harmful sweets, however,

the child is protected from their damage. Similarly, the American public

desires to view violent programs at the risk of adapting induced aggressive

behaviors. Because the networks refuse to act as a "mother," and to limit

the amount of violence shown on television, there are no restrictions to

prevent television's violent candy from rotting away at the teeth of


Harry Skornia claims that "it is naive and romantic to expect a

corporation to have either a heart of a soul in the struggle for profits

and survival" (34). But who, then, is to take responsibility for the

media's actions if not the industry itself? Because there has not been any

sufficient answers to this question so far,

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