Saturday, December 15, 2012

"But you're wrong," I said. "Hello? Is This Thing On?"

At Boing-boing is a story in which the Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert describes an interview he gave to NBC News on the day after the Columbine slayings. The reporter was looking for sound bites to support the theory that violent movies cause violence in society.

In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of "explaining" them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.