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Florida Today Story on War Coverage Quotes Prof. Kevin Howley

April 14, 2003

April 14, 2003, Greencastle, Ind. - "Whenever an especially heinous eruption of teenage violence draws national headlines -- the Columbine High School massacre, for instance -- you can count on hearing the same old, tired debates about cause and effect, says Kevin Howley, assistant professor of communication arts and sciences at DePauw University," writes Billy Cox in Florida Today. "And the usual suspects -- violent video games, music, movies, etc. -- always produce a hung jury. But Howley says the paucity of graphic images from Operation Iraqi Freedom is contributing more to desensitization today than anything generated by the white noise of popular culture."

"'If you follow accounts of this war on foreign Web sites, it's pretty clear that the rest of the world is getting a starkly different picture of what's happening than we are,' Howley says by phone from Greencastle, Indiana. "Typically, violence in the name of America, God, democracy and freedom is justified, but American viewers aren't getting an accurate sense of that from Iraq.' Howley says moral and ethical inhibitions for government and media self-censorship don't hold water when measured against the violent programming long supported by commercial sponsors on television. Politics is a better explanation. 'The numbers supporting the war are big, but I think they're tenuous,' Howley says. 'The longer the violence remains largely an abstraction, the longer those numbers stay high.'"

You can access the article in its entirety by clicking here.

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