That's it! That's the answer! We can end teen violence and drug use by turning Hollywood into the official propaganda wing of the US government. Why didn't I think of that? I guess that's why Bubba gets to sit in the oval office and make the big plays and I just draw dirty pictures.
Here's a small spoiler. The forwarded article contains the most intelligent sentence I remember encountering in a mainstream news context in the recent past. "But while connecting all characters' actions to ultimate consequences might create moral messages for teens, it's also likely to create tedious programming that would not be persuasive."
Hope the reporter who wrote that gets to keep his job.
[Let's congratulate the Times on opening their minds on this just a bit]
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times Editorial
Pubdate: May 3, 1999
Many Roots for Teen Problems
Last week Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, the federal drug czar, announced that
study he commissioned had found, among other things, that nearly all of the
most popular movies of 1996
and 1997 had characters who drank, smoked or used illegal drugs. This, the
$400,000 study concluded, has the "potential . . . to encourage use." The
finding could stoke further support for federal controls.
Support for government intervention in popular media has already
spurred by the Colorado high school massacre. Last week President Clinton
said he will convene a White House strategy session with entertainment industry executives as well as gun lobbyists and members of the clergy to
discuss how American culture influences youth violence. Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (DS.C.) introduced a bill to bar violent TV programming at hours
when children are likely to be watching.
Cracking down on movies and TV, however, is unlikely to solve
rooted teen problems like drug use and violence. McCaffrey recommends that
producers who depict teenagers smoking should also depict "the consequences
of their action." But while connecting all characters' actions to ultimate
consequences might create moral messages for teens, it's also likely to create tedious programming that would not be persuasive.
Even so, that doesn't mean the research should be dismissed. Entertainment industry executives should seriously consider the study's troubling finding that 15% of the movies depicting use of illegal drugs associate that use with wealth, luxury and success.
Washington officials, meanwhile, need to review governmental
for curtailing what is clearly a societal affliction. These officials include McCaffrey, who last month proposed spending nearly $12 billion on an untilnow frustrated effort to stop drug abuse through law enforcement and only $5 billion on drug prevention and treatment
programs that generally have proved effective.
Copyright 1999 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved
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