Today In The News

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Clear content with supporting details Period 1 2/12/97

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it: “Murder, rape, and arson.” The truth is, that this is what the media has been producing for the world to see, and unfortunately, what gets the ratings. In a country where abundance of the necessities has been the cause of the search for sensationalism, the public looks to the media. What happened to the “good old days” when the family could sit down to watch television or read the paper together without having to worry about whether what they are about to see is too grotesque or too vulgar? In the past few decades the media, especially the news, has been plagued by violence and immorality of modern crime. Although undoubtedly necessary, these elements need to be toned down and censored for the sake of this country and the generations to come.

For the past years the viewers’ attention has been focused on violent, even grotesque crimes. The infamous, such as O.J. Simpson, Loraina Bobbit, and the Menendez brothers, have, through their popularity or lack there of, become celebrities. Their trials are watched with anticipation almost like game shows. Their actions are transported into comedy routines and songs. Their lives are retold in the melodramatic H.B.O. movies. The fact of the matter is that although these spectacles seem like great forms of entertainment, they have a negative effect on everyone involved. First of all, the youth of America, following the great rule of “monkey see, monkey do”, tends to idolize these criminals and perhaps commit crimes themselves. Apart from raising the crime rate, the media also causes prejudice. Every citizen of the United States is guaranteed the right to a fair trial and the right to be presumed innocent. This cannot occur when the first day after the arrest, every television viewer has taken a side. In fact, this can even cause mass hysteria, as in the case of Rodney King and the Las Angeles Riots.

Furthermore, the public is losing whatever morals it had. There used to be a time when certain things were inappropriate for public mention, let alone to be said or written in front of millions of people. Nowadays, Amy Fisher can freely discuss her liaisons with the widely caricatured Joey B. and Mr. Bobbit’s private parts got more air time than the Olympics (well, maybe not including the famous clubbing incident). Each generation that grows up with this, has less and less of an idea of the difference between right and wrong, and something has to be done. In most cases all that is needed, is a little censorship on the behalf of the newspapers and the television networks.

For some years now there has been no discrimination on the part of the media regarding what to show and what should stay out of the headlines. Fact or opinion or just speculation, the public sits in front of their t.v. sets, with their faces glued to the screens, watching to see what else will be dished out about the bloody gloves or the dumpster baby. This seems to be the only form of exitement left in the life of the average American. The truth should not be cut out. It should somply be censored enough to be regarded as a crime, not as a form of entertainment.