The Parents Television Council did a check and found that almost half of the television shows it watched during a survey contained some form of violence, and that nearly a third of them had gun violence. And about a third of the scenes with violence had a gun in them.
PTC said it monitored 392 programs; 193 had violence, and 121 had gun violence. Of the 193 programs with violence, there were 394 scenes with violence, 305 of which involved guns.
“We decided to put the industry’s claims to an empirical test,” said PTC’s Tim Winter. “The Parents Television Council recorded and analyzed every program on primetime broadcast television for a one-month period following the meeting with the Vice President, from January 11th through February 11th, in order to monitor just how ‘responsibly’ the industry was behaving, and to assess how effective a parent’s ‘tools’ really are. The results of our research demonstrate that Hollywood continues to be deaf to the cries for ending a media culture awash in blood. Within hours of walking out of the White House meeting, the broadcast television networks had turned on a fire hose of graphic violence, saturating living rooms across the nation with guns and gore.”
CBS was the worst offender, said Winter. “Every network aired programs that contained violence and gun violence, but CBS, CW and Fox had the highest percentage of programs with gun violence at 54%, 48% and 29%, respectively. Those three networks also aired the highest number of scenes containing violence and gun violence.”
RBR-TVBR observation: From what we have read, there has been no study that definitively ties program content to events such as took place in Newtown CT.
Yes, a tragedy happened, and after that, television programming continued on pretty much as usual. But it is very difficult to pin the blame on television for the very reason that the program content can be called normal – obviously, most of the time – despite this type of programming, such events do not occur.
Can we conclude this week, for example, that exposure to violent content makes people less likely to engage in violence in real life? Why not? It makes as much sense as does PTC’s conclusion.