Couric’s Mea Culpa: Biased video game violence coverage


Recently, Katie Couric tackled the subject of video game violence in one of her Follow Up Friday segments. It was a fairly one-sided report adamant on perpetuating video games as a major factor in violent tragedies like school shootings. Games were subtly scapegoated through the usage of people like Daniel Petric in its ad hominem, and ultimately the report set its sights on public sympathy as a means of conveying its message. Whether you play video games or not, Katie’s attempt to impart to you that video games even indirectly cause school shootings is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. It’s a censorship bar over art and a challenge to our free speech.

Doesn’t it sound familiar? Our government’s battle with obscenity and its definition has been chronicled through cases like the infamous Roth v. United States and later United States of America v. Extreme Associates, both cases that have attempted to employ a national standard for determining things that are unprotected by our freedom of speech (more specifically pornography). But how far does this battle go? Video game hate has almost become a ritual over the last few years. Every so often a depressed, socially outcast kid gets it in his head to take revenge on his bullies or alleviate his anger with a gun and the video game industry becomes a punching bag. When do we stop turning our attention to entertainment and start putting ourselves under the microscope?

The root of the argument is a statement we’ve all heard in one form or another: Video games are causing the American youth to carry out violent acts against the public. Even Psychology Today reported that video games increase aggression significantly after observing 136 articles that reported 381 effects with 130,000 people from around the world. But for every Dylan Klebold or Seung-Hui Cho out there, how many more “gamers” from a multi-billion dollar industry are out and about satisfying their aggression through gun violence? What about’s finding that 12 out of 15 school shooters in the 90’s were the byproduct of bullying? What about British psychiatrist Dr. David Healy’s finding that 90% of school shootings have been linked to some form of psychiatric medication? The beginning of Katie Couric’s segment could’ve just as easily name dropped TJ Solomon, Jason Hoffman, Elizabeth Bush, and yes – even Dylan Klebold’s friend Eric Harris as teens under the influence of psych medication.

video game violence ratingAfter the Newtown tragedy, President Obama announced that he was formally requesting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) look into the effects of video game violence in February. When April came, Senator Dianne Feinstein warned that Congress might begin voting on video game regulation. The CDC funded three previous research studies in the past: All of them were pertinent to media violence as a whole rather than specifically focusing on video games, which included music and television. Furthermore, one of the studies funded by the CDC (conducted by Dr. Michele Ybarra) concluded that the reduction of youth exposure to media violence was a key factor in preventing it — a parental responsibility that’s further enforced by things like ESRB ratings, which seem to have so far been ignored.

Once again, the fate of our freedom of speech is caught in the crossfire between conflicting ideologies and an indecisive government. If we allow the regulation of video game content, how many other forms of similar media will get the same treatment? Should parenting failures really dictate the treatment of our inalienable rights? For every senator’s pen stroke on this matter, the interest of our American freedom suffers the consequences. Video games have just as much of a right to depict violence as a history book or any other written text. A parent’s failure to control their child and properly raise them shouldn’t be the reason that our entertainment industry falls under heavy government censorship. Only through persistence and individual input can we hope to overcome these constant threats to our freedom.


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  • grassroot

    More Fascism by and from our homegrown Liberal Fascists. We, are your

    betters, so We will dictate terms for you. As we now see in our present administration.

  • blair152

    WELL, DUH!

  • ronpaynter

    Anybody that pays any attention to what Katie Couric says need to look back at the honor accorded her by a majority of other journalists. The wonderful honor was as selected by these journalists was that Couric is the WORSTreporter/journalist OF ALL TIME !!!!!! What a well deserved platitude.

  • irish7_1sg

    When I was a young boy, we ran around outside and played army, shooting the Chinese, the VC or even Apache or Sioux Indians. It did not make me grow up to be a serial killer. In fact, when I grew up I joined the United States Army and served for more than 30 years. I don’t believe that video games are the cause of violence in America. I can see how these anti-anxiety drugs can have side effects after years of consumption. You don’t need a medical or pharmacy degree to make this observation. Even the commercials list the potential for suicide, unusual dreams, sleep walking, and on and on. (Not including headache, nausea, stomach pain, reduced ability to fight infection, etc.) I see a LIBERAL root to many of society’s problems. We took God out of our schools and guess who stepped in? We paint a gloom and doom picture of the future with global warming, nuclear freeze, acid rain and a whole host of environmental issues that are destroying the planet. We forced women into the workplace as though is was unfair and degrading for them to stay at home and raise children. When the kids react to these stress points, we put them on drugs. When they flip out, steal guns and start shooting people, we blame all the wrong things like the firearm, video games…….

  • Hey DiFi, you know how stupid you sound to anyone with more than 1/10th of a brain? Seriously you really need to shut up and go away! It the “BILL OF RIGHTS!” not the bill of “how we can screw over the citizens because I’m an arrogant troll!”. MOLON LABE!

  • CajunPatriot

    The first lie of the government schools back decades ago was that girls do not receive as much education as boys, thus the emphasis since that time was the education of girls. Though at the time females were better educated than males, and the gap has grown wider since that time. Look in graduate schools across America and see the huge disparity of number of women to men. But it did not stop there. Young boys began to be expected to be like young girls and when they weren’t something was wrong. Young boys did not want to sit still, they wanted to move, now they were hyper-active with a new malady.

    When boys act like boys, Ritalin or other such pharmaceuticals that mimic the effects of cocaine are prescribed and given to the young boys. A decade or more of these medications may often result in psychoses for these now young men. If we examine the prescription medications given to the young men who have taken weapons (guns and knives as with Texas College), we will find a commonality of their types of medications and number of years, even more than a decade, of taking these drugs far more common than violent video games or viewing of violent movies, or attending Tea Parties, or Patriot meetings or similar such leftist propaganda.

  • edgineer

    Mental illness caused by drugs, pop culture and congenital defect is this nations biggest problem.

    • scgator2001

      the TRAITORS working to destroy this country realize this legal drug culture has to be one of the foundations they use.
      Global warming: Destroy our energy production

      Community Reinvestment Act: Destroy the financial system

      Afghanistan: Destroy our military

      No oil drilling: Destroy our country by shipping our money overseas to pay for Hussein Obama’s re-election and support of terrorists destroying our country. Idiot liberals like Hillary Clinton and Katie Commie fall right in. Hussein Obama is working directly for the Muslims as a traitor.

  • John Merrick

    Thanks for article! I work in the healthcare field and I can tell you it is truly alarming the amount of people I see everyday on some type of psychotropic drug. When in this country did we stop trying to solve our problems with some hard work and a little humiliation and just decide to pop a pill in our mouth? That by the way has more warnings on the label then any weapon on the market.

    • Sue

      The day they said “don’t eat that it will make you fat and it’s your parents fault.” Before that children sat and talked to their parents when something was wrong. Mom’s would bring special things to the table just for them and all was right with the world. These little wonderful things in the family have been all but outlawed. Much better to have our girls look and act like hookers and our boys gay or “in touch” with their feminine sides. Defend your family with your life.