Networks Remember Newtown Anniversary with 39 Gun Deaths in 14 Hours of Prime Time

Matt Philbin
By Matt Philbin | December 12, 2013 | 11:12 PM EST

Remember "Demand a Plan?" In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre a bunch of prominent actors and actresses made a video for Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Back then, the Media Research Center's Culture and Media Institute used movies then in the theatre to highlight the hypocrisy of stars demanding gun control for the rest of America when their products were steeped in violence - particularly gun violence.

If they renew their calls around the anniversary on Saturday, Dec. 14, their hypocrisy will be even worse. This time, the proof is on the small screen.

CMI analyzed 14 of the top Neilson-rated prime time dramas on the broadcast and basic cable networks between Dec. 1 and Dec. 14. There were at least 145 acts of violence in just 14 of the dramas airing that week. Of those, at least 104 involved guns, resulting in at least 39 gun deaths. "At least" is a necessary qualification because three of the shows, "The Walking Dead," "NCIS Los Angeles" and "Sons of Anarchy," featured long, multi-participant gun battles.

Of course, guns were only part of the violence. There were scenes of torture ("Scandal"), Beheadings ("The Walking Dead," "Sleepy Hollow"), beatings, etc. Violence is a big part of what Hollywood does. And though Hollywood loves to congratulate itself for changing social attitudes in ways it likes (see gay rights), it rejects responsibility for impacting the culture for the worse. Certainly that's the case with gun violence.

Stars like Quentin Tarrantino, Jamie Foxx, Jeremy Renner, Bette Midler and Jim Carrey can deny their culpability all they want, but when just 14 hours of prime time TV can rack up a body count of 39 gun deaths, their protests sound awfully thin.