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America needs to stop its obsession with murder

Murder Painting by Jakub_Schikaneder_-_Murder_in_the_HouseWhen travel blogger Gabby Petito went missing in 2021 then was found murdered in a national park, the news media and social media went wild. For weeks, the headlines blared.

Now the same media blitz is occurring over the deaths of four University of Idaho students in Moscow, Idaho.

In America, there’s just too much interest in murders.

Recently, I’ve stopped watching TV programs about murder. Since I don’t like comedies such as “Modern Family” and “The Big Bang Theory,” I found myself watching programs such as “NCIS.” Since I have English ancestors, I liked listening to English accents on PBS programs such as “Father Brown,” “Inspector Morse,” “Midsomer Murders,” “Grantchester,” “Death in Paradise,” “Foyle’s War,” and “DCI Banks.”

For several years now, I’ve run to the television to turn off programs such as “Nightline” and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” before they get started. Occasionally when the programs were beginning, I’d get interested in who was murdered or whether a person actually was found guilty of the murder.

I’ve never watched true crime. It’s concerning to me that so many programs are now featuring true crime programing. For example, Dr. Phil is advertising his “Mystery and Murder: Analysis by Dr. Phil” podcast.

I never watched “Game of Thrones.” I stopped reading the books because there was so much killing. I didn’t want to see it on the TV screen.

Obviously, I watch mostly cable TV. Although I have access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Peacock, I usually listen to cable TV programs while I write articles and do research on the computer in my office. I do sign up for Hulu and other streaming services when I’m researching Academy Award nominated movies. I often comment on the weaknesses of these movies including their overly violent themes.

I do like “Greys Anatomy,” “Station 19,” “Chicago Fire,” and Chicago Med.” I also enjoyed “This Is Us.”

For years, I’ve written about the harmful effects of TV and movie violence on children.

Now, I think that the American emphasis on violence in the media and in video games isn’t healthy for adults either.

In today’s world, more than 60 percent of TV shows contain some violence and 40 percent of these programs are considered heavily violent.

A growing amount of research shows a strong association between committing a crime or a violent or harmful act and exposure to violence in media, digital media, and entertainment, according to “Violence in the Media and Entertainment (Position Paper)” by the American Academy of Family Practitioners.

Adults, like children, need to cut back on the amount of violent TV programs, newspaper articles, movies, and social media content they watch and read.

They also can join in efforts to reduce violent content in the media. Some suggestions from the American Academy of Pediatrics for the entertainment industry include:

  • Avoid the glamorization of weapon carrying and the normalization of violence as an acceptable means of resolving conflict.
  • Eliminate the use of violence in a comic or sexual context or in any other situation in which violence is amusing, titillating, or trivialized.
  • Eliminate gratuitous portrayals of interpersonal violence and hateful, racist, misogynistic, or homophobic language or situations unless explicitly portraying how destructive such words and actions can be.
  • If violence is used, it should be used thoughtfully as serious drama, always showing the pain and loss suffered by the victims and perpetrators.
  • Video games shouldn’t use human or other living targets or award points for killing.
  • The news and information media should acknowledge the proven scientific connection between virtual violence and real-world aggression and the current consensus of experts in this field.

Another concern, I just learned that people on TikTok were trying to solve the Moscow, Idaho, murders and some even accused people of the murders. This is beyond unreal and needs to be stopped. Hopefully, lawsuits against the accusers will stop this crazy behavior.


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