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Saturday, August 27, 2005 

Anger: Reader's Disgust

The August issue of Reader’s Digest has a story on Devin Moore, the 18-year-old that killed 3 police officers and claimed that Grand Theft Auto made him do it. (I commented on this before.) Author Robert F. Howe gets so much wrong, it seems unreasonable to think it was by mistake. This may be the most slanted article I have ever read from a publication that is not tied to some extremist group. This is the kind of naked political ploy that Reader’s Digest if famous for. They have a demographic that is easily moved in one direction or another based on what they read.

Let’s start with the title: “Deadly Games: Are kids so hooked on video violence that it becomes their reality?” That doesn’t foreshadow the conclusion now does it? Mr. Howe starts the piece with a description of Devin Moore’s crime, the first line after the theatrical description?

If those acts of grisly violence had been a video game, Moore would have lit up the scoreboard. He should know. He’s played the game before.
In 6 pages, Mr. Howe works in a quote from the lawyer that filed the suit against the a host of companies involved with the production of GTA, references to Paducah, KY, Columbine, an Oakland gang and Senator Schuuuuumer’s call to ban “25 to Life”. Mr. Howe seems to think that the only defense worthy of mention is the First Amendment defense.

Howe never mentions that the game was then rated “M” (now “AO”) and even the slimeball attorney that filed the suit admits that Devin bought the game as a minor and played it for hours and hours. Even if the dubious premise of the lawsuit could be proven, who allowed Devin to buy and play the game? It doesn’t take much critical thought to see just how frivolous this lawsuit is once all the facts get considered.

Mr. Howe and Reader’s Digest should be concerned for themselves for pushing the thought that content publishers could somehow be responsible for the actions of people that see their content. If that is the case, Reader’s Digest is vulnerable for glamorizing dangerous behavior in their constant stories about survivors, health problems from promoting dubious weight loss plans, the deaths of people that are afraid to go to doctors due to heavy coverage of quack doctors and sicknesses due to coverage of “food that heals”.

Hmmm... Maybe my health problems are due to the influence of Reader’s Digest... Now all I need is a slimeball lawyer.

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