The Columbine High School massacre of April 19 comes on the heels of
the announcement on April 16 of a $130 million lawsuit by the parents of
three girls killed, December 1, 1997, by 14-year-old Michael Carneal at
Heath High School, in Paducah, Ky. The girls were kneeling in prayer
just before school opened when they were gunned down. Their anguished
parents contend the boy killer (not a “shooter” as defined by the
neutral press) was inspired, aided and abetted by glamorized images of
murder and mayhem he saw in mainstream media, as well as by the widely
available pornographic images the boy consumed from the Internet.
Kentucky’s only remaining daily newspaper, Gannett’s Courier Journal
carried the lawsuit story on April 16, saying that both the titans and
the smaller fry of the media/entertainment industry will defend
themselves on what “constitutional protections — if any — should be
afforded to producers of violent games, pornography and movies.” Among
the defendants listed in the lawsuit are Time Warner and Polygram Filmed
Entertainment Distribution Inc., Nintendo, Sega, Sony Computer
Entertainment and several Internet pornography sites.
The parents’ lawsuit charges that the “video game industry,” “sex
porn sites” of women posed as young girls offering “teen” sex, and
“Basketball Diaries,” a 1995 Polygram film starring teen icon, Leonardo
DiCaprio, of “Titanic” fame, inspired Carneal’s massacre. The Kentucky
lawyer representing the families said that the suit is about “product
liability, not free speech.”
How do normal American boys commit such barbaric crimes as the eight
teen killings, massacres, since 1997? Media and Entertainment defenders
blame guns for the brutality and insist only mentally disturbed youths
would commit such acts. But the media industry knows that boys have
carried guns for centuries without committing murder, much less mass
murder. The entertainment industry also knows that their toxic media has
been deliberately poured into Main Street America, 24 hours a day, seven
days a week, for roughly three decades.
Come on, look around you. Are these children whose appearance,
language and conduct reflects Benny Goodman, “Leave it to Beaver,”
“National Velvet,” or “The Yearling”? Or does the appearance, language
and conduct of our youth reflect Marilyn Manson, “Southpark,” “Natural
Born Killers,” “Basketball Diaries” etc.? Is it any wonder that in 1989
the Institute of Medicine (IoM) claimed that 12 to 22 percent of our
roughly 80 million youths, have a “diagnosable mental illness”? Golly!
The IoM report would mean that between eight and 28 million
youngsters are now sufficiently unstable as to be vulnerable to copying
and acting out toxic media — including copying the clothing, hair
styles, language and displays of sexual brutality and massacre modeled
by mass media teen heroes.
Not everyone kills or detonates bombs because they watch violent
videos, play violent video games. And, not everyone who smokes dies of
cancer. But cigarette companies are now finally paying for the damage
cigarettes do to some people. And, just as tobacco industry leaders hid
research for decades showing that theirs was a toxic product, so too
have media leaders known for decades that theirs is a toxic product.
The profits are huge for the industry mainlining images of sex and
violence to American men, women and children. But as the link between
killers and the deadly images they consume becomes increasingly clear,
the day of reckoning nears for toxic media traffickers. So, will this
Kentucky lawyer prevail against the multinational entertainment
industrialists? Think about this. On April 17 the once illegal
pornography industry claimed it alone put $175 billion from its toxic
media into California’s economy.
Big business media lobbyists have long prowled judicial and
legislative corridors, tapping lackeys for special interest legislative,
judiciary, broadcast and press decisions. For decades toxic media has
been breeding sexually brutal, heterophobic, killer-youths who rape,
stab and shoot at will. Look behind you folks, for wherever you and your
children are, we are just now beginning to reap the bitter harvest.