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Media responsibility for moral decline?

by Edward ODaniel / March 29, 2007 2:31 AM PDT

Most Americans think culture is becoming more immoral, and they view the media -- both entertainment and news -- as prime culprits, according to a new survey.

If the media continue to "singularly promote" secular values while undermining orthodox faith and values, it will be very difficult to reverse America's moral decline, said the National Cultural Values Survey, released yesterday by the Culture and Media Institute (CMI) of the Media Research Center.

"Americans who care about the nation's moral condition should insist that the media strive to more fairly represent all views, including those of the orthodox," the report stated.

Surprisingly, all three religious groups are likely to see the media as negative influences on America's moral culture.

Interesting and unlike many "studies" and "polls" this can easily be seen by EVERYBODY on a daily basis along with people's reactions to it.
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Whole concept ducks issue of personal resposibility.
by grimgraphix / March 29, 2007 2:46 AM PDT

Indeed, morality is not innate, a priori knowledge... it is learned from our formative years and on. Who teaches us? Who has the biggest opportunity to instruct us? Our family and especially our parents.

The media, just like any other product, is consumable. No one makes people over-eat and get fat. Just like the law suits against McDonald's by obese people, blaming a decline in morality on the media is simply saying "it's not my fault"... when it really is.

The media is just like any other free market product... they only sell us what we want to buy.


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by grimgraphix / March 29, 2007 3:39 AM PDT

The ending of the article where is sells the idea that US morality is why jihadist islam is targeting the US is simply pandering to the target readership. If it were that simple, then conducting all US culture and government by christian fundamentalist values should smooth all conflict between Islam and the western world. Does any here really believe declaring the US government as a "christian" government would really stop the conflicts between East and West?

The middle East and other Islamic parts of the world have been, and continue to be, rabid consumers of american pop culture. This is proof enough that the real reasons for conflict are hardly moral and religious issues. The realistic explanation is that this is a battle involving economics and resources. The middle east has simply grown tired of the way the Western world conducts its business in their lands. Yeah, the common man will stand in the street and tell you it is all about religion... but take that same man and keep him and his family housed, gainfully employed, well fed, and not subjugated by his own government... and see how angry and willing he is to go to jihad.

It's not about morality and religion... it's about the right to pursue happiness.

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Who has the biggest opportunity to instruct us?
by Edward ODaniel / March 29, 2007 3:50 AM PDT

As someone still in your "formative years" you ought to more easily recognize the answer to your questions as you remember the hours you spent in front of the TV and the "Mary has two mommies" books in the schools today.

The "personal responsibility" you conclude was not addressed should not be addressed here because the child in his "formative years" is not responsible for the instructions his young and highly absorbant brain sponges up.

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Uhh... what?
by grimgraphix / March 29, 2007 4:13 AM PDT

During my childhood... in the 60's... mom and dad got rid of the TV. Are you suggesting that Herculean feat is no longer possible?

When it came time for me to wrangle my own set of kids (step kids)... I put a limit on how much TV could be watched. Seemed to work. Never found the kids sneaking off for a "fix".

Blaming the media for how your neighbor lives his or her life shows little regard for their intelligence... and makes a statement as to your own.

When I worked with kids in the juvenile penal system... 8 out of 10 kids were there because of the way their parents raised them. Tell me that's the media's fault. I dare ya.

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Another strike... try again and this time address...
by Edward ODaniel / March 29, 2007 5:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Uhh... what?

the "personal responsibility" you previously initiated this with because all you have addressed so far is parental responsibility and parental responsibility often gets trumped when the child visits a friend and watches the TV or simply when the child goes to school and watches, listens to or reads what the "teacher" presents in accordance with the demands of the school board which are often counter to the desires of the parent.

Again, YOU brought up "personal responsibility" so address it, don't try to tap dance around it as you lack even the most meager semblance of even the most basic skills of Sammy Davis Jr. or "Bojangles" Robinson, or even Peg Leg Bates when they first tried hoofing.

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I'm glad you think you're making sense.
by grimgraphix / March 29, 2007 6:05 AM PDT
Whole concept ducks issue of personal resposibility.
by grimgraphix - 3/29/07 9:46 AM
In reply to: Media responsibility for moral decline? by Edward ODaniel
Indeed, morality is not innate, a priori knowledge... it is learned from our formative years and on. Who teaches us? Who has the biggest opportunity to instruct us? Our family and especially our parents.


Who teaches us? Who has the biggest opportunity to instruct us? Our family and especially our parents.

Keep pretending there is a point to be scored here. The article states that the media is responsible for what people think and how they act. This is simply not true. The media, nor our schools even, can take the responsibility for how our kids are raised and how they act in adulthood. The media is not there to feed our kids and intervene in times of crisis. The media is not the be all and end all of our children's education. If it is, then it is the parent who allows this to be.

To blame movies, and music, and video games avoids all personal responsibility in the very fact that we allow our kids to have access to these influences. I have not, nor will I, deny that the media can be an influence... just the same was drain cleaner can poison our children. But just the same way you lock up house hold poisons... you also lock up the TV if you feel the need to. If you don't control the TV access, and your kid recreates a murder scene they saw on TV, the responsibility falls squarely on the parents shoulders as to how the media influenced the child.

I once met the daughter of a fellow employee at a summer picnic some years ago when the TV show MASH was on afternoon rotations everyday. Why we talked about it, I can't say... but she remarked that she was fascinated how the show found so many wounded people for the "doctors" to operate on. The girl was 16 years old and she thought the show was real! Now... was her idiocy the media's fault or her parents for providing her with bad genes and even worse personal attention?

No Edward... the media is no more to blame for current morality than a gun manufacturer is to blame for killing someone.

If you want to play semantics with "personal responsibility" try this on. Is the media responsible for what you think and how you conduct your life or do you take credit... do you take personal responsibility... for what you think and do? Did you grow up watching Davie and Goliath? Is that why you have christian values in your life? Did you join the military (if you were in the military) because you watched Combat? Do you credit your personal hygiene to the instructional movies you saw in junior high gym class? If the media has as strong an influence as the article tries to suggest... then there is no such thing as personal responsibility or a parents influence.

Of course if all this is actually true... if the media is responsible for all morality... then who is responsible for the media?
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Good to see that you recognize that...
by Edward ODaniel / March 29, 2007 8:25 AM PDT

YOU brought up Personal Responsibility and but several post later despite it being pointed out YOU STILL HAVE NOT ADDRESSED IT!

That was strike three for you.

If YOU can't grasp the fact that media glamorizing homosexuals, illegal drugs and mayhem for mayhem's sake as a key factor (supported by many "peer reviewed studies" by academics and liberal think tanks) in desensitizing and acceptance of deviant behavior which directly affects morals and is aptly demonstrated in the rapid decline of morals within the last 50+ years there isn't much hope of your ever becoming familiar with reality.

Say hi to Alice and the Cheshire Cat - most of us haven't seen and talked with them and their friends in Wonderland since we put on long pants.

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Your just plain wrong, Edward.
by grimgraphix / March 29, 2007 9:01 AM PDT

Your trying to win a court case on a technicality... and a weak one at that... and just what does it prove? How ever you want to try and twist what I said the simple truth is you are trying to find a convenient reason to condemn other folks life styles that you dislike... maybe even hate. It's too convenient to blame the media. It's too ugly to admit that many folks are failures when raising their kids and that it's their own fault.

The truth is the reason for other people's behavior is a lot more complicated than growing up watching bad TV shows. Folks like you talk about needing to get back to "family values". The truth is that most people's "family values" are just plain warped. They preach their own scripture with an iron fist but refuse to admit they have feet of clay and follow the golden rule (how's that for a mixed metaphor?).

I am glad you think I made your day. Happy

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Since the media has been
by JP Bill / March 29, 2007 10:03 AM PDT
glamorizing homosexuals, illegal drugs and mayhem for mayhem's sake as a key factor (supported by many "peer reviewed studies" by academics and liberal think tanks) in desensitizing and acceptance of deviant behavior which directly affects morals and is aptly demonstrated in the rapid decline of morals within the last 50+ years there isn't much hope of your ever becoming familiar with reality.

Has everyone become immoral or everyone but you?

If everyone but you, What is your secret?

Are you the "decider"?
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My condolances...
by Edward ODaniel / March 30, 2007 9:51 AM PDT

it has come to my attention that your many postings are indicative of someone who was dropped on his head as a child.

Try to think and post coherently and with some bit of connection to posts you respond to.

No one claimed EVERYONE until you came along.

Rapid and accellerating moral decline has been a well documented fact of life over the past 50 plus years and the "studies" have managed to accomplish what is easily seen -- they have seen and established connections between the decline and what the media has fed the masses.

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JP, I wonder....
by Josh K / March 30, 2007 11:01 AM PDT
In reply to: My condolances...

....whether you're enjoying the irony in Ed's post as much as I am. Here he is decrying "moral decay" while making a career out of lobbing gratuitous insults at anyone who has the audacity to disagree with him.


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I have to agree....
by James Denison / April 7, 2007 12:22 PM PDT
In reply to: JP, I wonder....

...with you Josh. What's the purpose of putting forth an idea (media makes us immoral), then when that idea is questioned and alternate viewpoint presented, attack the person as if they have some mental deficiency, and not in the kindest manner either. If it's all about winning an argument, wouldn't it be better to persuade than to attack? Of course that would make it a discussion, and we can't have THAT, can we?

The media influences us, but it can't "make" us. It may have an effect on how we develop our viewpoints but even that's not certain which way the influence will go. Look at the reaction of us who were at the coming of age during the Viet Nam years. Just as many HATED the media as those who seemingly agreed with them. Many of us learned to see past the lies, the bias, and to become sharpened thereby, others chose to believe everything they heard, yet others tossed in with every sort of radical idea they came across. Besides those of us who watched the news, there was a huge number who only watched something considered entertaining or fun and eschewed the daily news, which admittedly was something of a "downer" and really hasn't changed.

What sort of influence does media, TV, have on us? Not just one sort, but all sorts of viewpoints. Does it have a particular bias? Yes, I believe so, but there is so much choice in what to watch and so much that goes ignored by this generation, I'd have to say those growing up now aren't as influenced by the media as they are influencing what constitutes the media.

Newspapers going down, the major networks fading from their former monopolistic glory days, the increase of internet related news formats, I'd have to say media only has the influence on us which we choose for the most part.

The only exception I'd make is for those children who in their early formative years have access to programming in their homes which should never be presented to them.

I've always used the evening news as a teaching aide myself if my children were watching at the same time, giving my thoughts on news that was being reported, taking exceptions to comments done by news anchors, explaining things from a different viewpoint. When done is such a manner, I think the views expressed by media, even though opposed to our own, can provide opportunity to help shape our children's manner of thinking and looking at life in ways we approve of.

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Oh, for Pete's sake
by Diana Forum moderator / March 30, 2007 10:36 PM PDT
In reply to: My condolances...

I remember reading that, when the waltz was introduced into Europe, it was considered a scandal because the couple were actually holding each other.

Every generation thinks the next one is going to hell in a handbasket, but most usually turn out as productive members of society.


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And Elvis is ruining our children with
by John Robie / March 30, 2007 10:49 PM PDT
In reply to: Oh, for Pete's sake

his leg & body gyrations. He should be banned from TV and especially future appearances on the Ed Sullivan show.

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by grimgraphix / March 31, 2007 1:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Oh, for Pete's sake

but evidently, productive is not the measurement to be concerned with!

The only thing I can say is, if it truly is the media's fault, and that the majority or folks are sooo idiotic and weak minded that they live their lives by TVs example... then humanity deserves to fall.

Hopefully, the next sentient species to evolve will do a better job.

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Some disagreement with your comment
by Steven Haninger / March 29, 2007 5:33 AM PDT

that morality is not innate. I believe we have a natural desire to do what is proper but suffer temptations along the way that cause us to err. Each of us has a different threshold as to when we will stray from our good behavior. You mentioned teachers. Who taught the teachers? The desire for morality didn't just happen. It's been there all along. Some will even say that man invented religion and the morality that goes with it in order to fulfill the internal need we have to be decent.
As for media responsibility for moral breakdown...I believe they are a big part of it. Over time what we are exposed to has slowly crept past the threshold of temptation for more and more of us in an effort to win more and more attention in their very competitive environment. We get immune to what once evoked outrage or lust and the media just cranks up the volume a notch. You'd need to be blind or deaf not to notice.

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When I was a kid....
by Angeline Booher / March 29, 2007 5:15 AM PDT

..... it was comic books that were ruining us in the 30's and 40's.

When I was a young woman it was the bomb in the 50's.

When my kids were young it was drugs in the 60's.

Most mothers I knew were working out of the home in the 70's.

The divorce rate began soaring in the 80's.

A lot more people were using the Internet in the 90's.

Drugs remain a problem in this century.

It seems to be popular to blame the media for our ills. We have choices. What we choose is our personal responsibility. What I choose might be different from yours, but that does not mean that I consider my "values" any better than yours.

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(NT) The media made my client do it..........The defense rests.
by JP Bill / March 29, 2007 5:19 AM PDT
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(NT) I find your defense offensive! ;-)
by grimgraphix / March 29, 2007 9:03 AM PDT
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I blame the automobile
by JP Bill / March 29, 2007 5:23 AM PDT

People can travel further afield and be more immoral with other immoral characters.

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by John Robie / March 30, 2007 12:08 PM PDT
In reply to: I blame the automobile

after riding with your girlfriend for a time on horses, she may have thoughts to dismount and after walking through the clover consider resting with you on a blanket...

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That's odd...
by Josh K / March 29, 2007 11:11 PM PDT

I thought "it's not his fault; it's society's fault" was an exclusive copyright held by "bleeding heart liberals."

I'll keep your thoughts in mind the next time a similar topic comes up.

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re: Media responsibility for moral decline?
by ILoveEmail / April 7, 2007 8:53 AM PDT

What is "morality?" For instance, a lot of people voted for Bush on moral issues (moral issues to the voters), such as gay marriage. What does this report mean by "moral decline?"

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