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That's Not Entertainment

Much of America's entertainment media have shown apt restraint, responsibility, and sensitivity in their responses to the Sept. 11 attacks. Decisions to delay certain shows, pull offensive songs from radio programs, and hold or change the release of violent or terrorism-themed films and video games reflect a healthy discretion.

Earlier this week, the president of ABC News ordered an end to the video showing the attacks on the World Trade Center, unless "critical to the integrity" of a story.

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The tragedy also compelled the usually competitive TV networks to agree on holding a telethon tonight to aid those affected by the attack.

Suddenly, the violence in American entertainment doesn't seem so entertaining. Consumers should make sure that they sustain this new distaste for such products.

Television continues to be a touchstone for how the world sees events. Abroad, much of the anger and hatred toward the US revolves around this American export. Even US fashion trends can seem to others to encourage sinister behaviors. All this, sadly, sometimes outweighs America's most important export: democratic ideals.

As media executives gently help ease the country back into something more like routine, the numbing effect of violent depictions, appeals to voyeurism, and sardonic or dark humor ought to be permanently reduced.


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