Campbell Brown: Obama Needs to Focus on Hollywood in Gun Violence Fight

Thursday, 04 Apr 2013 12:28 PM

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President Barack Obama should show real political bravery and take on Hollywood over the amount of violent fare it produces, says former NBC and CNN news anchor Campbell Brown.

Quoting Dr. Victor Strasberger, the leading researcher on media violence for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Brown writes in The Wall Street Journal, "'All our studies show portraying violence is extremely dangerous,’ Dr. Strasberger recently told me. "'Kids become desensitized, numb to suffering around them and aggressive.’ He also says that when you add in other factors like poverty, abuse or mental illness, ‘you have a perfect storm. This can and does lead to violence.’"

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The president has a clear opportunity in this area, Brown says.

“Mr. Obama is particularly well positioned to challenge Hollywood because of his special relationship with the media world's elites,” she maintains. “They might be more likely to heed criticism coming from Mr. Obama than from any other president or member of Congress.”

But he has done little in this area, instead concentrating on gun control as a means to reduce real-world violence, Brown says.

She offers several recommendations:

• Restrict violence on television that can be seen by young people;
• Unbundle cable and satellite TV packages so parents can reject stations with violent fare;
• Institute a real movie ratings system as many PG-13 movies are too violent.

Obama must prove that he won’t just side with his allies in the entertainment industry, Brown says.

“The president has been more than willing to challenge the National Rifle Association, but that is like a Republican president standing up to labor unions — not a move that risks anything with his core supporters,” she says. “Mr. Obama could show some real bravery by taking on Hollywood.”

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