skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 160249 Find in a Library
Title: Censorship of Media Violence Threatens Freedom of Speech (From Violence in the Media, P 70-72, 1995, Carol Wekesser, ed. - - See NCJ-160238)
Author(s): V I Postrel
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: Greenhaven Press
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
Sale Source: Greenhaven Press
P.O. Box 9187
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Many people who assume that television violence causes violence in society favor censoring television, but censorship would be an ineffective and harmful measure that would threaten Americans' right to free speech.
Abstract: Back in the 1950's, Senator Estes Kefauver led a crusade against comic books. He held hearings to bully the comic book industry into "doing something" about the problem of crime comics and comics-inspired juvenile delinquency. Comics, it was argued, were uniquely pervasive and uncontrollable by parents. In response, the industry created the Comics Code, which wiped out all adult comics. An entire genre, the serious graphic novel, was destroyed, the good with the bad. In the name of children, and a small minority of violent children at that, the freedom of nonviolent adults to read, write, draw, and publish was terminated. The critics of television violence have adopted the same strategy. Some, like the National Coalition on Television Violence, are ideological pacifists. Some, like Pat Buchanan or Michael Medved, are conservatives at war with popular culture. Some, like Terry Rakolta of Michigan, are "meddlesome moms." The motives and ideologies of those who advocate censorship are varied, but all seek to use the "official violence" of government power to wipe out ideas and images they do not like. They argue that those ideas and images inspire violence and crimes. So do love and hate, religion and politics, and even national sports championships. We should not sacrifice the artistic and commercial freedom of the many to the violent acts or political posturing of the few.
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Censorship; Media violence; Violence causes; Violence on television; Violence prevention
Note: From "TV Violence Rouses the Old Itch to Censor," Los Angeles Times, July 8, 1993.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.