Thursday, December 20, 2012

Media Companies and Their Code of Honor

Since the tragic school shooting we've seen many companies react.  Cheaper Than Dirt announced it was going to stop selling firearms.  Dick's Sporting Goods have pulled self-loading rifles from shelves.  Cerberus Capital has announced it's intent to sell off the Freedom Group.  All of these are reasonable reactions to the possibility of bad press.  Whether or not I agree with the decisions, I can certainly understand the perspective from which they were made.

The Discovery Channel is dropping shows like Gun Country, American Guns and Sons of GunsCBS is dropping 3 Gun Nation, stating they are imposing:
indefinite moratorium on the broadcasting of any gun-related outdoor programming

Now, I've never seen any of those shows, mostly because I think reality TV is stupid.  Honestly, some of the crap that airs on Discovery anymore makes me glad I don't have access to it.  But as mentioned before, I'm not a fan of reality TV in general.  I can't say I'll mourn the loss of any reality gun show.

It was more CBS's announcement that caught my eye.  They are putting a hiatus on "gun-related outdoor programming", while continuing to run shows that show illegal gun use and brutal murder.  Is showing safe gun competitions really the evil thing here?  Look at the top rated shows on CBS, three of them deal with murder.

And look at the top movies of this year.  They are either cartoons or feature heavy violence and/or violent and illegal gun use.  If broadcast companies, or Hollywood in general don't want to glorify the use of firearms, I think they are missing the point by postponing the release of brutally violent movies and cutting redneck reality shows with guns. 

Heck, people are so influenced by Hollywood when it comes to firearms, that there are not one, but two different articles on Cracked about how people believe false things about guns because they've seen it in movies.  If Hollywood really wants to positively impact this countries culture of violence, then maybe they should actually evaluate their product, not just play to the cameras when people act like movie characters and slaughter dozens.  But, that would impact profits, which is their real goal.  The best way to affect the content of what media companies produce is by being choosy about what you watch.  I gave up broadcast news programs a few years ago, and I rarely go to a movie anymore.  You know what's better than some gory TV show or movie?  A local band.  An art show.  An independently published book.  If more people followed that path, perhaps we'd see less garbage in our entertainment.

I'm not blaming media companies for slaughter, not at all.  I'm simply suggesting their attempt to show they have clean hands here is disingenuous. 

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