Yesterday, Bleeding Cool broke the story about a news report from a Washington DC Fox TV affiliate attacking comics. In the teaser for the report, a commentator called comics “fictionalized Playboy.” CBLDF took immediate action, releasing guidelines for how retailers can defend themselves from media attacks.
ICv2 followed up today with video of the full report and commentary. As expected, the reporter who made the news report, Sherri Ly, used the same faulty reasoning that has formed the basis of so many attacks against comics: The mistaken belief that comics are created primarily for children, and the specious argument that violent or sexual content in comic books promotes violent behavior in children. From ICv2:
The report also included interview snippets with Neil Bernstein, a psychologist and author of How to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble, who played along with the idea that the comics were directed at children and were bad for them.
The statement that “psychologists point out that overexposure to sex and violence for young children can encourage aggression” is also presented without attribution, and without distinguishing between real sex and violence and fantasy pictures in a publication (which most scientists would say have not been demonstrated to cause aggressive behavior).
Since it had been carefully explained to the reporter that the comics labeled as for older teens were not appropriate for younger kids, she immediately headed to a middle school to show comics with sexual and violent content to the students there to film their reactions, which varied. But the kids did not seem traumatized or display any aggression toward the reporter after looking at the comics.
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