Media Wars

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who is to Blame for Societies Fall The First Amendment of the Constitution of The United States of America asserts in part, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" (Ask Geeves). This amendment while written on paper, has survived the test of almost 213 years of legal wrangling from lawmakers attempting to alter the beliefs of the founding fathers, beliefs that have defined us as a nation. Recently, this liberty has come under attack from concerned citizens in regards to the medias so-called attempt to hide behind its impenetrable walls. Members of the media such as producers, directors, news outlets, and book-writers are being taken to court under pretentious lawsuits claiming that they've committed intentional torts. That is, that they, "the media," are displaying activities that when mimicked by a third party, cause irreparable harm to the contending party.

This form of tort is embodied in the court case Byers v. Edmondson, a case where the family of a woman shot and paralyzed by a deranged couple claims that the movie Natural Born Killers, directed by Oliver Stone, influenced the copycat killings. This assertion places the blame on the individual holding the mirror instead of on the reflection in the mirror and neglects all the tangibles that can cause violence in society.

Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers' (released in 1994) plot involves a mass-murdering couple named Mickey and Mallory and the media's glamorization of them. Mickey is a fugitive who meets up with Mallory, a woman who shares his love of violence, and they embark on a cross-country murdering spree. Wayne Gale, a talk show host for American Maniacs, who follows and glamorizes Mickey and...