Is Hollywood to Blame for Newtown?

Many in the media say yes, but not all agree

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 18, 2012 11:34 AM CST

(Newser) – Everyone's talking about the need for gun control and mental health treatment in the wake of the Newtown school shooting, and Peggy Noonan is on board with reform in both areas. But there's a third area she thinks sorely needs to be addressed: "our national culture ... of death." Violent movies, TV shows, and video games have "a bad impact on the young and unstable who aren’t sturdy enough to withstand and resist sick messages and imagery," Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal. Republicans can't get anything changed, because Hollywood doesn't respect them—but if President Obama "tells Hollywood it has made America sicker, Hollywood will be forced to listen." (Full column here.) But while Noonan isn't the only one blaming Hollywood, others aren't buying it:

  • On Mediaite, Noah Rothman rounds up the "lamentable parade of falsehoods and half-truths" currently winding through the media. "To indict entertainment, and video games in particular, is a self-serving instinct and irresponsible broadcasting," he writes. In fact, violent crime—particularly gun crime—has gone down as video game playing has gone up. "No movie or video game drove Lanza to murder 20 first graders in cold blood," Rothman writes, and to blame the entertainment industry is "baseless scapegoating." (Full column here.)
  • Quentin Tarantino feels similarly. He's apparently tired of having to defend his violent films: At a press conference for Django Unchained Saturday, he said, “I just think you know there's violence in the world, tragedies happen, blame the playmakers. It's a western. Give me a break." He added that only the perpetrators should be blamed, the Independent reports. Django saw its premiere tonight canceled in light of the shooting.

This undated publicity image released by The Weinstein Company shows Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin Candle in Django Unchained, directed by Quentin Tarantino.
This undated publicity image released by The Weinstein Company shows Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin Candle in "Django Unchained," directed by Quentin Tarantino.   (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Andrew Cooper, SMPSP)
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