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Name: Exam One Analysis Worksheet Use this worksheet to analyze the article provided to you for Exam One. You may type your answers directly into the boxes provided. (When you type your answers directly onto this worksheet the boxes will expand to fit your responses.) You will need to submit this worksheet along with your exam for credit. If you do not submit this worksheet, showing your work, you may receive a zero on the exam. Please submit this document directly to our “Week 6 – Exam 1 – Analysis Worksheet Submission Link” on TITANium. Good luck! 1.What is the issue? (Be sure you state the issue in the form of a question.) 2.What is the author’s conclusion? 3.List the reasons the author gives to support his/her conclusion. (Please put in a numbered or bullet-point format.) 4.Identify ambiguous and vague terms used in the author’s argument. 5.What are the value conflicts and the author’s value assumptions? 6.What are the descriptive assumptions?

Name:

Exam One Analysis Worksheet

Use this worksheet to analyze the article provided to you for Exam One. You may type your answers directly into the boxes provided. (When you type your answers directly onto this worksheet the boxes will expand to fit your responses.) You will need to submit this worksheet along with your exam for credit. If you do not submit this worksheet, showing your work, you may receive a zero on the exam. Please submit this document directly to our “Week 6 – Exam 1 – Analysis Worksheet Submission Link” on TITANium. Good luck!

  1. What is the issue? (Be sure you state the issue in the form of a question.)
 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What is the author’s conclusion?
 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. List the reasons the author gives to support his/her conclusion. (Please put in a numbered or bullet-point format.)
 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Identify ambiguous and vague terms used in the author’s argument.
 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What are the value conflicts and the author’s value assumptions?
 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What are the descriptive assumptions?
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a Job for Parents, Not the Government

Politicians say violent television creates violent kids.

I say regulation can’t take the place of Mom or Dad.

By John Romano

On an August day a few hundred TV makers like myself, from writer-producers to network chiefs, gathered in the grand ballroom of a Beverly Hills, Calif., hotel for the less-than-grand experience of being pelted with statistics. Led by the then Sen. Paul Simon, experts presented the yield of a dozen years of university studies, showing or seeming to show that watching violence on TV made kids violent. From Saturday-morning cartoons to prime-time dramas and the news, the number of violent incidents per week approached four digits. American kids reached high school having “witnessed” some 8,000 murders.

Naturally, we TV folk squirmed. We’d ask, “Can our programs actually make a nonviolent kid violent? Will you settle for “reinforce”?” They’d answer, “But why would you even want to reinforce violence in children?” Nice point. Or we’d say, “Where are the parents? Did they ever hear of flipping?” They’d shoot back, “What about latchkey kids, whose single parents have no choice but to use the TV as babysitter?”

But even on that day there were counter experts pointing out that the studies were at best controversial and at worst unscientific because they showed correlation instead of cause. Remember your philosophy professor with his old saw about how the rise of alcoholism between 1885 and 1900 correlated with the rise in the number of Baptist ministers? He’d let you founder for a while, then let you off the hook with the explanation: population rose between 1855 and 1900. But when the making of public policy is at stake, correlation masquerading as cause is not merely foolish; it’s dangerous. Suppose a correlation could be shown, for instance, between certain ethnic groups and violent or criminal behavior: should ethnicity be cited as cause, and targeted by Congress-or should deeper causes be looked for?

And as for the latchkey kid, some of the skeptics asked, aren’t there other circumstances in their lives that we should be worried about? Circumstances of neglect or poverty that might bring violence into their lives in ways other than TV? But on that August day, any questioning or criticism of the statistics went unanswered. The issue was our children’s safety and so even clear thinking seemed impious. By the time we collected our cars from valet parking, it was with a sense that we’d bought them with tainted money. Impressed by sessions such as this one, we in the industry imposed a rating system on ourselves in 1996, and the V-chip entered American life. Round One.

Enter 1999 and the 15 deaths at Littleton, Colorado, and an understandable sense of national urgency. The president summons to Washington, along with gun makers, the purveyors of violence on TV and in movies. He orders up a study on the effects of TV- only this one, many in the media fear, is attended by the real threat of government regulation when the foregone conclusion is reached: TV causes violent behavior in youth. It’s true that some social scientists continue to argue that the Littletons are not even the tip of the iceberg when measured against the vast majority of teenagers. But if such calm reasoning was uncomfortable before Littleton, it feels downright indecent now, when we can still remember seeing the bereaved friends and families on TV.

And yet public panic never comes without a cost. The more seriously we take the possible dangers of TV watching, and possible need for “tough” government intervention, the more important it is that we raise the IQ of the discussion. Of course there are pointlessly violent shows, not only available to children, but aimed at them. They are a regrettable pollution of our popular culture, even if they cause not a single act of violence.

But it is also true that counting up the number of undifferentiated “incidents” of violence on TV is misleading. It lumps together egregious uses of TV violence with its (dare I say it) positive uses – for instance, the disturbingly graphic moments of bloodshed that give force to the morally edifying dramas of “NYPD Blue” or “Homicide.”

The vigor of our nation’s creativity must be protected. No government can spare its citizens the job of being good parents. If you don’t want your kids watching, turn the darn thing off. Just as, if you don’t want them reading the Iliad because it’s violent or the Decameron because it’s gloriously, openly erotic, you would put the books on a high shelf they can’t reach. These days the public, goaded on by politicians, seems like it’s warming up for a book burning, and the idea of holding a book burning in the halls of Congress is truly violent and obscene. And it is the most un-American thing anybody has thought of in a long time.

 

Romano is co-executive producer of “Third Watch,” on NBC, and co-writer of the motion picture “The Third Miracle.”

 

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