Media-Effects Researchers Back Out of FTC Hearings

Fang-Face writes "A commentary by Marjorie Heins at the Free Expression Policy Project examines an incident fairly typical of moral crusaders. Two media-violence-as-violent-influence proponents, Craig Anderson and L. Rowell Huesmann, have canceled out of a conference wherein they were to debate opponents to the movement to control violence in entertainment. The attempt to discredit the opponents, Dr. Joanne Savage, criminologist at American University, and Jonathan Freedman, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, is based on the specious argument that they are not "legitimate experts" on media violence. Actually, there is something to that; Doctor Freedman is not an expert on media violence so much as he is an expert on studies of media violence. All of which, he claims, are invalid. You can see my own opinion on the issue of media violence studies at my web site."

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mpa

Would this be the same Jonathon Freedman who derives his research funding from those "well-heeled, whining, profit loving lobbyists" from the Motion Picture Association?Welcome to capitalism!

Re:mpa

This is the Jonathon Freedman who had the MPA jump onto his bandwagon and start throwing money at him well after he started his studies.

Re:mpa

It doesn't matter who propositioned who first.


What does matter is that biases against profiteering free marketers are usually relative to whose ox is getting gored.

This moral crusader says spend well and enjoy Jonathan! Although I, and most of the scientific community, think your research (or research of research) is junk.

If interested....

Kids made aggressive by TV violence
Hamilton Spectator (Ontario, Canada)
March 10, 2003 Monday Final Edition

....Freedman acknowledged he has not done research into media violence himself. He also confirmed that his book on media violence, published last year, was supported financially by the Motion Picture Association of America.

ADOLESCENTS' TV-WATCHING LINKED TO LATER VIOLENCE
The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
March 29, 2002 Friday Final Edition

....Six major medical groups - including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Medical Association - have stated that they believe TV violence is a significant problem.

Peace Magazine
September, 2003

....Upon arriving at the University of Toronto, he began, with his students, an approach that did
not include doing any research of his own, but rather criticizing what others had already done.

....Where evidence of harmful effects was found, Freedman criticizes both the quality of the methods and
the findings. In cases where no harmful effects were found the methods often pass without comment.

....Although his analysis of advertising techniques includes the acknowledgment that media can be ''powerful,'' he excuses ads because they have ''a clear, unmistakable message.''

....Although he teaches in Toronto, he ignores major studies done in Canada,
the most notable being the multidisciplinary Royal Commission on Violence

....Jacques Deguise and his colleagues at Laval University were also ignored,
along with George Gerbner and his associates who have studied media
violence for over 30 years. Educational theory and practice appear
irrelevant to him.

...The book (Media violence and its effect on aggression ) has some marginal value as a review of the limitations of research methodology. But Freedman has hitched his star to a dated academic
approach...

Ottawa Citizen
May 20, 2002 Monday Final Edition
News Pg. A1

.....Mr. Freedman's critics think of him as more than a crank. They also say he shouldn't be trusted because of his connection with the movie industry.

The Motion Picture Association of America, in fact, paid for him to conduct the review of the published research on media violence that forms the basis of the book -- an arrangement he discloses upfront, two pages into his preface, though he declined in an interview to reveal precisely how much he was paid.

"I'm not going to tell you how much, not because it's anything spectacular, but we agreed we wouldn't talk about the amount," says Mr. Freedman, who sits on the board of the Association in Defense of the Wrongfully Convicted....

....Mr. Freedman says it's not implausible that if someone watches a lot of violence they become violent. "It's very hard to prove that something doesn't have an effect, but I'm pretty convinced that it doesn't.

Re:mpa

It doesn't matter who propositioned who first.

It doesn't matter only if you'd rather judge according to your a priori assumptions instead of looking at the facts. And one of those facts is: a human psyche and human social interactions are too exceedingly complex and too little understood to be able to say that only one influence can be responsible for violence.

There's a school of thought that all wars derive from population pressure. The case can easily be made that social violence is merely a matter of a society at war with itself, and that overpopulatation would cause violence irrespective of whether it was banned from films or the airwaves. However, the simple minded cannot deal with such complex ideas.

Plus, by your own a priori nonsense, none of the so called violence media researchers can possibly generate any valid results because they know nothing about sociology.

Re:mpa

Just as I predicted, "Back to Latin when your facts are lackin'".>>The case can easily be made that social violence is merely a matter of a society at war with itself, and that overpopulatation would cause violence irrespective of whether it was banned from films or the airwavesCare to provide a reference to this as I do with my posts? I'd love to read this in context.>>There's a school of thought that all wars derive from population pressure.There is also a school of thought that all wars derive from oil thirsty ex-Halliburton bigshots. Does this mean kiddie violence is a manifestation of little Joey having to watch mom pump her own gas because full-service is too pricy?Your reaching here. Big time. Wars are fought for a myriad of reasons; ideologies, religions, commodities, ethnicities, beautiful women, boredom, take your pick.I'd love to hear how population pressure factored into the Falklands War for example.Two words, Julian Simon.Enjoy the money Dr. Freedman.

Re:mpa

>>The case can easily be made that social violence is merely a matter of a society at war with itself, and that overpopulatation would cause violence irrespective of whether it was banned from films or the airwaves

Care to provide a reference to this as I do with my posts? I'd love to read this in context.

No literature, just all of human history. For the most superficial examination of violence predating violent content on television I suggest you look at the crusades, the Vandal invasions, the Mongol invasions, all warfare right up to and including the Second World War, and even the history of crime. The term "breaking and entering" that we use today stems from incidents of home invasions in medieval times. It derives from home invaders literally breaking through the thatch walls of houses by throwing a heavy object through the wall. But I'm sure that you'll tell me that came from watching too much Punch and Judy.

As for the so called "reasons" you listed for engaging in warfare, those are simply specious excuses employed by the ignorant. People like George Bush, for instance, who know nothing about sociological interactions. At bottom, the illegal invasion of Iraq was to secure American access to middle east oil reserves to support the American population. But I'm sure you won't understand that, either.

Re:mpa

>>At bottom, the illegal invasion of Iraq was to secure American access to middle east oil reserves to support the American population. But I'm sure you won't understand that, either.

You're right because it makes absolutely zero sense. I believe this would be "economic" or as I stated "commodities". No flooding of American civilians rushing in to set up little Baghdadville's with 24 hour Super Wal Mart's re population pressure.

Again, your words.
>>There's a school of thought that all wars derive from population pressure. ...and that overpopulatation would cause violence...

Again, your words revised.
>>At bottom, the illegal invasion of Iraq was to secure American access to middle east oil reserves to support the American population. (what about the root of all of this warfare, overpopulation????)

What is this, six degrees from the word "population"???

It's interesting you have now conditioned your statement to "all warfare right up to and including the Second World War" which happens to coincide with the advent of TV. Funny.

At least it's comforting to know that we can from expect a peaceful century with Europe's dwindling populations.

So how do we connect "population" with the Falklands?

Re:mpa

You're right because it makes absolutely zero sense.

Relax, Tomeboy. Nobody expected you to get it.

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