Jaffe Responds to Sensationalist CNN Anchor
By Joseph Christ on February 1st, 2013 (20 comments)
Earlier today the story of CNN anchor Erin Burnett breathlessly trying to get Psychologist William Pollack to pin some of the blame on recent shootings to video games -and Pollack simply not taking the bait leaving a dejected Burnett to end the segment- made its way into the Arena Of The Internet. And as these things go, the crowd of the Arena, namely us, now have our opportunity to boo, hiss and throw all sorts of rotten vegetable-like substances at the clown-show before us.
And not without good reason. As the gun debate continues in America -as it should- people are inevatibly turning to the long defunct argument that surely it must be the video games playing a part in all of this violence. You can tell how stale the argument is as soon as Burnett starts talking about Grand Theft Auto and they start showing footage of GTA III in a feeble attempt to make their point.
This is not about having a debate, and certainly not about elevating the discussion. This is about sensationalism and fear-mongering. And I write about video games...I know sensationalism when I see it.
But the crowd did boo, and we did hiss. And yes, multitudes of rotten, slimey vegatables have been thrown. But one might stand out from the rest. God of War/Twisted Metal icon and creator David Jaffe also took to twitter to rebuke the accusations flying our way and they are, for lack of a better word, glorious. Jaffe is a bit known for throwing his public indignation toward game writers who tend to bend stories to fit their CPM margin, so it's nice to see some of that fire turned toward something we can all agree could use a little firing.
His rebuke was done via twitter and is presented below followed by the interview in question:
Dear @ErinBurnett : you, ma'am, are at best an idiot that @cnn should be ashamed to have as an anchor. At worst, you are the worst kind of American: one who has allowed the healthy desire for success to morph into a capitalistic cancer that makes it ok to ignore the facts in order to make your product more appealing, regardless of the consequences. To make matters worse, your own views about video games- which you seem to have no problem sharing with your hundreds of thousands of viewers- clearly have not been formed by any actual research or real life experience with the medium.
I am sure you will think yourself quick and insightful when you tell me- a video game director/designer accusing someone from another industry of making products for profit regardless of consequence- that I am the pot and you are the black kettle. However, if you actually listened to your guests and read the studies (aka if you actually did some....some....hmmm, what's that word you journalists have for it? Oh right: RESEARCH!) you would see you are wrong; you would see there remains- after years of studies- zero evidence of video games with violent subject matter causing real life violence.
On the flip side- you know: YOUR side- there is very real evidence that our society suffers greatly when our news media fails to properly inform the public.
The fact that you think a guy who 'trains'* on a shooting video game would be granted the skill to horrifically, tragically kill those CHILDREN in Norway only serves to show how little research you do before you open your mouth in front of your world wide audience under the guise of delivering news. I'm not sure what makes your argument look more ignorant: the fact that you don't back up your idiotic statement by showing a correlation to the current health of America's agriculture sector with the popularity of Farmville OR the fact that the sick, deranged evil loser who killed those poor kids in Norway had picked such a poor 'training' tool that after 700 hours of play, he was only capable of hitting little kids with his bullets versus the well armed pretend terrorists and highly skilled virtual soldiers that he was battling in the game.
Shame on you. But more importantly: shame on your profession. It deserves so much better.**
*'Train' is such a stupid, irresponsible verb that you- without a shred of guilt- chew into with relish and repeat over and over because you know it helps sell your false story.
** I know journalism deserves better than you because I really love Sorkin's The Newsroom plus I saw Broadcast News back in high school at least 5 times (I had a crush on Holly Hunter- so sue me!) which means- in your world- I must have the equivalent of a journalism degree from Columbia plus a few years experience working for The Washington Post (back in the 70's, I mean, when it was really something special). So because of that, I know you will trust me when I tell you that you are not right for your current job and that you should quit and go try to be on something like The View or try to act in a movie or some such.
Joseph Christ is the Reviews Editor and a Podcast Personality at 4Player. Specializing in reviews, editorials, drinking, and saying inappropriate things about gaming franchises that are beloved by millions, his satirical and sometimes edgy style offsets a more serious and penetrating substance lurking below the surface. He is also the host of the Cocktail Time Podcast. You'll follow his Twitter if you know what's good for you.
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