Hollywood’s Hollow Lies

No one with a brain will be surprised by the confirmation that the movie, game and music industries deliberately peddle violence-filled entertainment to children (Mercury News), as a new Federal Trade Commission report makes clear. But the predictable responses from all sides are not especially helpful.

Government mutterings about regulating or even censoring offensive material are just as outrageous as the violent garbage itself. Parents know about the rating systems, the report notes, and they’re largely satisfied with the ratings.

Jack Valenti, the film industry’s mouthpiece, told the Washington Post that if violent entertainment led to crime, the crime rate should be going up. But it’s been heading down steadily during the past generation.

Valenti is correct, but he’s not right in several ways. First, he implictly assumes that other factors have nothing to do with the lower crime rate. That’s ridiculous.

Worse, he continues to defend what is plainly indefensible on moral grounds. There is no redeeming value of any kind in the toxic sludge that passes for entertainment in some cases. None.

It’s legal, and it should stay legal. Censorship is worse than what it would prevent.

But Hollywood’s powers-that-be, caught in their lies — reminiscent of the tobacco industry’s claims that it wasn’t aiming at teenagers — are showing again that shame is a foreign concept in their executive suites. They make me sick.

World Intellectual Piracy Organization

It’s a bit heavy-handed, but the “World Intellectual Piracy Organization” is making a real point about the increasingly dismaying policies of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The latter, known as WIPO, is routinely taking domain names away from people at the behest of big companies and powerful people. I noted this trend, disapprovingly, in a recent column.

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