Instant editorial

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Well, for us, it's instant. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes, on the other hand, has clearly put many hours of research and careful thought into his article "The Media Violence Myth." You can read it in its entirety by going to, scrolling down to Elsewhere on the Web and clicking on "Challenging the Media Violence Myth." Or you can go directly to the site of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression at

For those of you still working without a Net, what you would have found is a thorough and well researched debunking of the "general cultural consensus"-fueled by wishful thinkers and Congressional fulminators-that media violence begets societal violence. As such, the article should also be required reading for those, like us, who are suspicious of highly touted studies that finger media violence, but perhaps more important for Sen. Lieberman and all other culture cops who use them as ammunition against the media.

Rhodes skewers the Eron/Huesmann study on violent behavior, a study used to help push the V-chip through Congress, pointing out that it was based on a sample size of three. Yes, that's not a misprint. The co-author of the study admits as much (sounds like a case of publish and
perish to us), although he refuses to take the next step and concede that the study is statistically meaningless. He has promised to respond to, as have other academics and interested parties. In fact, by the time you log on, a vigorous and healthy debate of the reigning politically correct wisdom on media violence may already be in progress. We hope so.