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If It Bleeds It Leads

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If It Bleeds, It Leads to Paranoia

In 2002, director Michael Moore released a documentary, Bowling for Columbine. The film explores what Moore believes are the causes for the Columbine High School massacre and other acts of violence. One of the films' views shares the belief that fear driven into society is a major cause causes behind many Americans bearing arms. Once armed, many of these fear-driven Americans take the law into their own hands. Some people would debate media is the primary creator of this fear, causing mass paranoia amongst the American people.

Everyday folks turn on the television and they experience awful images burned into their minds. Whether it is from pharmaceutical ads leading them to believe they have some sort of illness, the Discovery & History Channels filled with animal attacks or images of the world ending and children murdering their families. Billboards, radio, and news stations only seem to report the dreadful bloody stories, the more sensational the better. Some Americans believe the media promotes such horrendous acts; living by the motto if it bleeds, it leads. Despite the fact, "murders in America went down 20 percent, television murder coverage still went up by 600 percent" (Bowling).

Furthermore, the media has done a fantastic job of painting a gruesome picture of violence in America. While doing so, the media is quick to blame the violence in video games, movies and music. At some point, the media needs to stop and take the blame; promoting the violence in the media is just as harmful. There is evidence that indicates the media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed. It has been said that prolonged exposure to such media results in increased acceptance of violence as an appropriate means of solving problems and achieving one's goals.

For many, paranoia is the only thing gained by all of the bloody news coverage. The...

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