Nanny Pattison makes her debut

We are a bit slow to latch on to the new director of MediaWatch-UK’s first foray into the tabloids, but it be honest it was so underwhelming that it seemed hardly worthy of mention. Anyone hoping that the appointment of Vivienne Pattison would inject new life into the moribund anti-smut group will be disappointed with her soundbite offered up by the Daily Express.

To put it in context, she was voicing her support for MP Julian Brazier, who is urging local councils to ban the film Saw VI. He thinks it is too violent for adults to watch, and Pattison agrees:

Studies link exposure to film violence with violent behaviour.

If there is the slightest chance that media violence can cause harm is it worth the risk?

Ho-hum. Vague mutterings about flawed “studies” and an illogical rhetorical question. Apart from the fact that the two sentences are grammatically flawless, they could have been spoken by the Massah himself.

Why try to validate your opinions with “studies” when you have so little respect for “academics”? Look at this from the Mediawatch-UK website:

Academics, on the other hand, tend to deny any causal link suggesting that those who act violently are predisposed to it and are, or have been, influenced by other environmental factors.

Academics – people who devote their professional lives to finding out the truth about such questions – do not support MediaWatch’s opinions. MediaWatch’s opinions are based on what they call “common sense observation.” Yet they are still keen to cite “studies” (in reality one, flawed study from the 70s) if it gains them a bit of credibility. Indeed, in the paragraph following immediately after their denigration of “academics,” they talk about a “Dr Susan Bailey, a forensic psychologist, interviewed by Panorama in 1994” who said something they might agree with.

So academics are unreliable unless they agree with MediaWatch’s “common sense” conclusions? The self-belief of these would-be arbiters of taste and decency is as breathtaking as it is unjustified.

And as for her rhetorical question, it works both ways: if there’s the slightest chance that exposure to media violence could have a cathartic effect and prevent an act of violence, isn’t it worth the risk? The logic is identical, and the point equally worthless without the supporting evidence..

A spokesperson for the British Board of Film Classification is quoted in the Express:

We believe adults should be free to choose their own entertainment.

Not if Nanny Pattison has anything to do with it. Because Nanny knows best.

6 Responses to “Nanny Pattison makes her debut”

  1. Stonyground says:

    Seeing as the majority of these busybodies seem to be Christians they are on very thin ice since the Mel Gibson Jesus gorefest was released. Where were their howls of protest then? Not being a fan of violent movies I’m not qualified to comment about whether the saw movies are more violent than the Passion but I would think that there wasn’t much in it.

    • Angela_K says:

      I agree and well said. I’m not a fan of violent films and have no problem with sex in films, which unfortunately gets lumped together with violence.
      The bible and koran should have an 18 certificate because of the violent content; I wouldn’t want a child reading disgusting books such as those.

  2. barriejohn says:

    She may have a point here, actually. It’s a matter of record that one of Adolf Hitler’s favourite films was “Snow White”, which is EXTREMELY violent in places!

  3. barriejohn says:

    The funniest comment appeared on Melon Farmers:

    “Studies link exposure to religion with violent behaviour. If there is the slightest chance that religion can cause harm, is it worth the risk?”

    No one’s going to improve on that!!

  4. ZombieHunter says:

    So the BBFC thinks that adults should be able to choose their own entertainment??

    This is the same BBFC that took away my choice to play the totally uncut version of manhunt 2 which only got released in this country after it got more edits than the american version.

  5. I’ve just read a long book on the Crusades, and there’s some pretty disgusting stuff in there committed in the name of Christianity and Islam (both in the name of the same god, of course) – a sight for Saw eyes. And another contributors here has pointed out just how violent the “holy books” are.

    It is true that MW are on shaky ground since The Passion of the Christ, and what makes that worse is that it doesn’t even pretend that the violence was committed out of depravity, as most slasher movies do: it was committed out of total sincerity, for political and religous reasons, just as the stonings in the Bible are carried out for religious reasons and the beatings and maimings recommended in the Koran are for religious reasons, giving the violence a legitimacy, and possibly encouraging people to believe that they can do nasty things to fellow human beings if there’s a religious ideology behind it. I hope I’ve just made a case (if a bit muddled) that violence depicted in religious movies is, if anything, more dangerous and more likely to beget more violence than that depicted in slasher movies.