(5th in a Series about Media Violence)
Last week, we warned you about the return of NBC’s Hannibal – a prime-time TV series, airing on the publicly-owned airwaves at 10:00 p.m. ET (only 9:00 p.m. in the Central/Mountain time zones), in which a cannibalistic serial killer is the show’s hero!
Hannibal is only one of the new breed of ultra-graphic, ultra-gory TV series which revels in explicit violence and glorifies murderers. Each and every one of those violent programs, which air during the primetime viewing hours on broadcast television – not on cable – has been deemed by the TV networks to be appropriate for children as young as 14.
Rather than just telling a powerfully entertaining story, the broadcast networks today seem obsessed with violence simply for the sake of shock-value.
Here are more examples of the kind of violence the broadcast networks – who use the airwaves that YOU own! – beamed into every living room in America last year:
The Blacklist (NBC), TV-14 VL
Elizabeth returns home and discovers her husband Tom tied to a chair. Tom has been severely beaten and is covered with blood from head to chest. His mouth is covered by duct tape. A terrorist holds a gun on Elizabeth as he stabs Tom in the upper thigh and leaves the knife in the wound. As Elizabeth screams, the terrorist yanks the knife out of Tom’s leg and stabs Tom in the stomach. (first aired September 23, 2013)
Revolution (NBC), TV-14 V
Charlie is assaulted by five men. One grabs her and she breaks his arm. Another man punches her in the back. She grabs a pool cue and smashes him in the stomach with the cue. Another man punches her in the face, and a third strangles her. Monroe bursts in, wielding a sword and a dagger. He slashes open one man’s chest and another’s stomach, then uses his sword to stab the man in the chest. Blood sprays onto Monroe’s face as he pulls the sword from the dead man’s chest. (first aired October 16, 2013)
Sleepy Hollow (Fox), TV-14 LV
During a Revolutionary War battle, Crane aims his pistol at an axe-wielding Hessian soldier charging him on horseback. Crane fires a shot that knocks the soldier to the ground, but the soldier jumps up and swings his axe at Crane, slashing him across the chest. Crane stumbles to the ground as the Hessian is about deliver a fatal axe swing. Crane grabs a sword and beheads the soldier. The head is shown flying off his neck as blood sprays everywhere. (first aired September 16, 2013)
Supernatural (CW), TV-14 VL
Castiel follows a trail of blood leading to the bodies of two priests impaled on the wrought metal fence of a cemetery. The fencing sticks out of both men’s chests. Both priests have had their eyes gouged out and we see blood dripping from the mutilated sockets down their faces. (first aired October 22, 2013)
Criminal Minds (CBS), TV-14 LV
A woman is held captive, tied to medical chair, screaming. It is revealed that her torturer has implanted a miniature camera planted inside her eye, which is broadcasting the ongoing torture to the internet. FBI Agents watch remotely as her torture is broadcast. The woman’s abductor picks up a hammer and an ice pick weapon. FBI Agents watch as the hammer is driven into the victim’s head. (first aired October 16, 2013)
Law & Order: SVU (NBC), TV-14 DLSV
Detective Benson is held captive by a serial rapist. She is handcuffed to a metal bed frame, cut and bruised from the rapist’s previous assault. The rapist holds her jaw open and places a gun inside her mouth, then tells Benson to beg for her life. (first aired September 25, 2013).
UP NEXT (in Media Violence E-Series #6)
In their meeting with Vice-President Biden in the wake of the Newtown massacre, the broadcast networks stated they had a “longstanding commitment to helping parents protect their children.” How well they are keeping their “commitment” can be seen by the examples above – particularly their ratings.
The ratings given to broadcast shows is yet another piece of the problem…as we will see in our next report.