“A study set for publication in the December issue of Pediatrics confirms what some of Hollywood’s sharpest critics have suspected,” nytimes.com reports. “The level of gun violence in the top-selling PG-13 movies has been rising, and it now exceeds that in the most popular R-rated films.” So G now stands for “gun-related gore-fest”? “Violent encounters with guns occur, on average, more than twice an hour in the best sellers in both ratings categories, according to researchers.” Here it comes . . . “In announcing the study, its authors called for changes to the ratings system, which, according to some of its critics, is tougher on sex than on violence.” As Ellen Foley sang STOP RIGHT THERE! Turns out the Times got this one completely wrong . . .
This appeared at the bottom of the NY times piece [forcing me to re-write this blog post]:
Correction: November 11, 2013
An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to the type of violence the researchers were looking for when they examined 945 films made from 1950 until 2012. It was for violence in general, not just gun violence.
WTH? How does a journalist get a study THAT wrong? Could it be something to do with a bias against guns? I dunno, but the study IS about gun violence in movies. It’s called “Gun Violence Trends in Movies.” And here’s a surprise (i.e. not): the study was co-authored by a gentleman employed by one of the most virulent anti-gun organizations: annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org.
It’s disturbing that PG-13 movies are filled with so much gun violence,” said Dan Romer, director of the Adolescent Communication Institute of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) and a co-author of the study. “We know that movies teach children how adults behave, and they make gun use appear exciting and attractive.”
I’m so confused! Why would the Times highlight the study as BIG NEWS then retract the bit about the methodology, which undermines the entire study, which makes the Times report on the study pretty much null and void? I mean talk about an agenda. [Click here for the full press release.] Annenberg again:
The dramatic growth of gun violence in movies aimed at younger viewers is especially troubling, the researchers said, because of the “weapons effect,” a finding that just the sight or depiction of a gun can make people behave more aggressively. “Because of the increasing popularity of PG-13 films, youth are exposed to considerable gun violence in movie scripts,” the researchers said in the study. “The mere presence of guns in these films may increase the aggressive behavior of youth.”
May? What “weapons effect”? Oh wait. I think I got it. The study sucks so the reporting sucks so I suck for not figuring that out before. Right. Carry on.