Jack Thompson Fox News Video Clip

April 18, 2007 -
Anti-game Miami attorney Jack Thompson managed to get onto several national news broadcasts while the Virginia Tech situation was unfolding on Monday.

Thompson, of course, predicted that the killer would be, as he wrote in an e-mail to GamePolitics, a "gamer, obviously."

This clip is from Fox News: 



Over at Kotaku, editor Brian Crecente analyzes the Thompson clip and finds it long on rhetoric, short on facts.

Comments

Sounded like Jack nearly laughed at his own bullcrap in that audio footage.

...Why is "Hack" Thompson still breathing?

[...] Other soap box crap I just can’t get my head around.  The bodies weren’t even cold and even the investigators knew nothing about the suspect (or rather if they knew anything they hadn’t told anyone yet) when JT pounced on the scene blaming video games for corrupting America’s youth, which makes zero sense considering the suspect isn’t even American. [...]

Ahh Fox News everyday you kill the concept of journalism just a little bit. For the record JT is hardly an expert on anything but base less lawsuits and misinformation that feed his political agenda. My fear is he'll run for something and win.

thats the first time ive heard counter strike mentioned by him. usually its doom or gta. either way the guy is a fucking idiot.

Cant see the clip cause of lousy school computer. Let me guess. It goes something like

"We have studies showing games make kids more violent. This kid ws a gamer. This is just like Columbine.
I predicted correctly that happened. I predict the kid played F.E.A.R. and used it to learn how to enhance his reflexes to the point that he was unstoppable. He was obviously a gamer."

Tell me if i'm right.

"Thompson, of course, predicted that the killer would be, as he wrote in an e-mail to GamePolitics, a 'gamer, obviously.'" Of course he was. He was a college kid in the U.S. That's like saying he tried beer at a party. It's a pretty safe bet.

I Would blame whoever went after him. You break the law just the same no matter your target and it would only prove Jack right.

As mentioned before his son is embarrassed by him. He never tells anyone who his father is. Jack himself has said this, and Jack believes it is somehow worth it.

From a recent BBC article on the shootings:

---
Speaking at a news briefing on Tuesday, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine said an independent panel would carry out a "thorough" review of the authorities' handling of the disaster ...
Gov Kaine warned against making snap judgements, saying he had "nothing but loathing" for those who took the tragedy and "make it their political hobby horse to ride".
---

I see interesting things looming.

Counterstrike, I was close.

This goes out to all the politicians with your fake words and fake issues. This goes out to that one half-assed ambulance chasing, attention whoring assclown who tries to pretend to be a lawyer. This goes to the chrome-dome halfwit "psychiatrist" Dr. Phil. This goes out to the news media who pretends to care. Read very carefully. It's time to get a few things very clear:

Video games do not cause people to go on murderous rampages! Our American society has constantly sought a scapegoat for the horrible things that happen in this world. Let's see a few examples, shall we?

# In the early 50's, TV was going to rot people's brains.
# In the late 50's, comic books were going to turn children gay.
# In the late 50's and early 60's, Elvis' gyrating hips were going to turn people into sexual deviants.
# From the late 60's to the early 80's it was rock and roll that was going to poison the children's minds.
# In the late 80's and early 90's it was primarily rap music that took the heat.

Today's most prolific scapegoat, however, is video games. Sure, rock & rap music and movies still face frequent criticism. However, that pales in comparison to the amount of false science, lies, rhetoric, political grandstanding, posturing and money wasting that revolves around the "damaging effects" of violent video games.

The reality is far far different. Millions of people play video games these days. The average age of someone who plays video games on a regular basis is 29. Nearly 60% of Americans play games on a semi-regular basis. Of that percentage, nearly half are women. No longer are video games the realm of the shy, socially inept kid who never leaves his parent's basement.

Today, video games are a part of mainstream society. The video game industry's annual income is nearly $10 billion, far eclipsing the declining market for music cds and movies at the theater. Video games compete neck and neck with tv and movies for the share of both people's ever shrinking "entertainment budget" and their free time.

Nowhere will you see me dispute that video games have become more violent. This is a natural progression of the media. Music has had content that was geared towards adults for decades. Comic books started growing up and becoming darker and more violent in the 80's and 90's. It's only logical that games would do so as well as their target audience grows older.

Remember, the average age of someone who plays games is 29. Is someone who is in their late 20's going to want to play some pastel colored kid's game? No, not primarily. They are going to want games that are similar in tone to their other forms of entertainment. Think of it this way; if you're in your late 20's and have an hour of time to watch TV by yourself: are you going to watch Blue's Clues or The Sopranos? Obviously, The Sopranos. Playing a violent video game instead of one geared towards children is just as obvious.

Remember also that millions of people play violent video games daily. Millions of people do not then go out and commit horrible violent acts as a result. These games are created for, geared towards, and marketed to adults. There are ratings on games that should be observed. For more info on that, please check out the ESRB's website (www.esrb.org) There is no scientific proof that these games cause any sort of long lasting violent behaviour in either children or adults. Sure, there are people out there who will exaggerate the truth and trot out as evidence. In truth, as of yet, these have done nothing to prove their point.

The only facts out there so far are that just like anything else that inspires competitiveness, there is a short term effect. Let me take a moment to illustrate some examples:

# You watch a Jet Li movie, you feel like you can kick someone's ass, dont you? The feeling wears off in a short while when reality sets in.

# You watch The Fast and the Furious, (or Nascar if it's more your speed) and you want to go 120 down the interstate. The feeling wears off in a short while, doesnt it?

# You watch or play football or another team sport. You want to kick the other team's ass dont you? Again, the feeling wears off.

Would you believe that since the introduction of the original Playstation game system, that the rate of youth and young adult violence have both dropped consistently year over year? Don't believe me? Look it up, you'll see it's true. Could it be that the most outspoken critics are actually wrong? Could it be that playing violent video games is actually cathartic for well-balanced, mentally stable, well-adjusted individuals? Could it be that these games are an outlet that actually prevent said people from going off the deep end? Possibly. That too has yet to be scientifically proven. Just an alternate theory, feel free to do your own research and form your own opinion.

We must stop shifting blame from those who are truly responsible to whatever the scapegoat of the decade may be. The fact remains that there are very ill people amongst us. If they play violent games, watch violent movies, or listen to violent music, something bad could happen. It's happened before and it will likely happen again. I'd like to hope that it wouldnt, but let's remain realistic, shall we? Tragedies like those that Columbine, Paducah, Red Lake, University of Texas, Dawson College, & Virginia Tech are not caused by the games, movies or music experienced by the perpetrators. They are caused by very sick individuals, sometimes with a little help society not seeing or not acting on obvious red flags.

Video games did not exist in 1966 when Charles Whitman climbed up the University of Texas clocktower and proceeded to embark on a shooting spree in excess of 2 hours. Seventeen year old Brenda Spencer shot into an elementary school across the street from her house in 1979 "because she didnt like Mondays". Twelve year old Nathan Ferris was tired of being picked on in 1987, so he brought a gun to school and killed the bully before taking his own life. Numerous other examples exist that took place before the current age of violent video games. Every single one is, without a doubt, an unimaginable tragedy. However, the fact remains that these things happened before violent games and they will, sadly, continue to happen in the age of violent games.

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Jeffrey Weise, Kimveer Gill, Michael Carneal and now Cho Seung-Hui; all of these people showed warning signs of impending dangerous behaviour long before they snapped. Nothing was done. Did they play violent video games? Sure, some of them did. Was this the genesis, their breaking point? Very doubtful. The real problems here are not music, movies and video games. Here are the real problems:

Number one is piss poor parenting. Either they choose to devote their lives to their career, they have to to make ends meet, or they simply dont care. These days a large number of parents simply dont pay the proper amount of attention to their children. It's always "my child would never do that" or "I cant believe this happened, he's such a nice kid." When I as growing up I was educated very clearly by my parents that if I did something bad at school, I would be punished for it. These days parents are more likely to believe their children and blame or sue the school than to punish their child when he or she does something wrong.

Secondly, lack of concern or ignorance by school officials. This is a direct result of number one really, and one cannot blame the officials too much. Anymore, teachers, counselors, principals and other school officials are too scared of a parent filing a lawsuit to mete out proper punishment for serious offenses. Because of this too often small incidental infractions are blown way way out of proportion while serious problems are overlooked.

Thirdly, at least in America, our reliance on a cornucopia of pharmacueticals. Children as young as 8 are now being diagnosed and prescribed anti-depressants. The problem with these drugs is that just like Ritalin is an upper for someone with regular brain chemistry and a downer for someone with ADHD, anti-depressants can cause massive paralyzing bouts of depression, suicidal thoughts and violent tendencies if your brain chemistry is actually normal.

Fourthly, an overbearing hypersensationalized ratings driven news media. Look at how much news coverage the Virginia Tech tragedy has already gotten? The same happens with any such event. Look how much time was spent discussing the private and realistically boring minutia of Anna Nicole Smith's personal life? The news media throws a sheen of glitz and glamour on tragedy, and they do it willingly in the name of "reporting the news" when what they are really doing is trying to win a ratings war that should not be being fought.

Lastly, the very act of placing blame on something other than those at fault completes the circle. n. By shifting blame from those who are responsible for such atrocities and pointing the finger at movies, video games, comic books and music, we are only causing yet another generation to grow up neglected, ignored, and bullied. When they finally go off the deep end and kill themselves and/or others, we simply react with shock and horror and then resume our normal course. If the perpetrator lives through their crime and they are put on trial, numerous "experts" and "lawyers" try to push the blame off on the media rather than on the real issues. This only inspires other sick people to see how much fame they can get and how easily they may be able to get away with it.

Stop shifting blame. As I've illustrated, these problems started before video games even existed, yet alone violent, so we must be realistic in placing blame on what has actually caused the problem. For everyone's sake, please if you have children, start paying more attention to them. If you buy them video games, remember they are age rated. Violent video games, just like R rated movies, are for adults. Your children have no business playing them irregardless of if they cause harm or not. If you are an involved in the education system, start paying more attention to ALL the children you interact with.

I'm a 29 year old male who's played video games almost all of my life. I have no interest in doing physical harm to anyone, the very thought repulses me. I am saddened by the tragic and pointless loss of life that we have born witness to this week. I have no interest in seeing anyone else's life is extinguished pointlessly. Seeing these tragedies happen sickens me to my core. Let's all do our best to spot the warning signs before something like this happens yet again.

If you're talking about Jack, then no, he can't be brought up on discrimination charges because he's above the law. If he was, he'd counter-sue them for violating his first amendment rights, since he thinks he's the only one allowed to have them.

You know why Jack will bring up games? Main reason is that cause the odds are in his favor. Look at how many kids and students plays games through out their lives. Games now are a form of entertainment that it is a billion dollar industry. He can make claim that violent movie caused this and twist it in ways that the user watch violent movies. Cho could say play Counter Strike for only amonth and Jack will say that is the blame. Yet say Cho never played any other type of shoote from then on out.

If any of you are in school, try to find a kid that has NOT played a video game in his life time.

Jack needs to be silent and what is going to happen is someone is going to snap and come after him and blame him. He should be worried about his kid, cause that kid is going to get the backlash of society growing up from other kids as they learn about daddy.

@Black Manta

Sadly, that's usually the case. The most thought-out, level-headed and sincere argument is often the one that isn't listened to.

I still think of him as a Denzel Crocker-esque figure, though.

Going back to one aspect, if you notice on the various interviews he's given, invariably it keeps going back to his son again and again. And I have to wonder if this is really what's at the heart of his crusade. Even Destructoid picked up on it in the interviews he had with him outside the courtroom. And I have to wonder if that's what this is really all about with him.

If that's true, then it might help to make his "crusade" a bit more understadable. JT then is really an overprotective dad blinded by his beliefs and using his legal muscle to "protect" his son from the percieved evils of the world. It also might help to understand why he thinks of us gamers the way he does, probably thinking we're out to "corrupt" him somehow. How many of us growing up had parents who told us, "I don't want you hanging out with 'those people"?

It still makes him terribly misguided, but at least it humanizes him a bit. The thing it, this will backfire on him even more terrbily. Jack, if you're reading this (and I know you must be), while it's laudable to try and protect your son, you can't hold onto him forever. He's already 14 and very soon he's going to want to forge an identity apart from you if he hasn't begun to already (despite an earlier assertion from you that he's "a little clone" of you). The best you can do is give him a good moral compass and hope he turns out ok. But you just won't know that until he gets out on his own. It's a fear every parent has, but you've got to let him make his own decisions. As much as you want to try, it's wrong to try to change the world just to protect your son. There's always going to be bad stuff out there. If it isn't rap or GTA, then it will be something else.

From what I understand, even your son is embarassed by your efforts. You may not regret what you've been doing, but if you keep this up then your son is going to end up resenting you, and you will ultimately lose him as well as your wife. Love does have limits, and I'm getting the impression that even she may be getting fed up, especially when it it looks like it's going to cost you your job.

One last thing, as much as you want to paint us as such, we're not monsters. We're not out to harm your son. And we all agree that no one wants children to have access to materials that they shouldn't, but there's a right and a wrong way to go about it. And forcing your morals down other people's throats is not the way to do it.

I know this is going to fall on deaf ears, but it needs to be said.

Actually, and I don't want to sound like an assumption tossing jackass like Jack Thompson, I wouldn't be surprised if his prayers were actually for his son to get hurt or shot in school just so he'd have more leverage and supporters who pitty him for what happened to his son.

I mean the guy is a lunatic, and I find it hard to believe that this guy can really care about another person on any level when he's able to exploit so many people's pain and misery on a nearly daily basis. I really think this guy would enjoy having something like that happen so he can play the victim for once and have people siding with him pretty much out of nothing but pity.

EXPERT IN SCHOOL SHOOTINGS?

I'd laugh, if it weren't so horribly INSANE it made me want to cry instead. How do these people get on TV?

Cant this guy get sued on discrimination charges ?

I've always said that John Bruce uses and abuses the tragedies of individuals and the community just to push his personal, religious, and/or political agendas through misleading and even false information, irregardless of the harm he does to those actually involved, directly or indirectly, in those tragedies.

But if I wanted to put it more eloquently, I think the Rebecca Walsh piece after the Utah mall shooting said it best.

nightwng2000
NW2K Software

excuse me while i go bash my skull in for even listening to this tard again.

pop culture is raw sewage? So lets go include comic books to that list, rock music, anything that JT possibly did when he was a kid.

Another thing I have noticed in that whole fox faux news, JT mentions that our culture glamorizes violence, will I disagree there, believe it or not no i wont, BUT pinning the glamorization solely on games is just dumb. Think about it for about 2 seconds, its one thing to report the incident of the shooting on the news, BUT THAT IS ALL THEY TALK ABOUT AND SHOW on the news giving no more than 5 or 10 minutes to other things. They even go as far as showing the bodies or those that where shot and survived with their bloody bodies.

Real blood, real bodies, real people. Real life is more influential than games will ever be.

Fow News is no more of an media outlet than The Onion!


If you don't know what The Onion is, you fail at the internet. Please go downtown and hand in your modem! :P

Err, did he just say Jeff Weise uploaded a Flash version of Vice City to the internets? For all the strange things that have come out of that man's mouth, that has to be the most bizarre.

That was laughable at best. I do, honestly, wonder if Foxnews does a backround check on their 'guests' prior to brining them on. Hell, they could have wiki'd his ass and seen that it would have been a faux pa to have him on. I guess one simply need say they are an expert without providing the credentials to back it up. One would think that a lawyer would want to tout a win-loss record in order to prove how 'professional' they are.Well, one more reason to skip foxnews next time I'm looking for information...that is, unless Jon Stewart goes onto the fox equivalent of crossfire and tears some hack a new one. That will never get old. And the bit about his son was BS. Second rate acting that a community theatre player could have outdone.

http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2007/images/04/17/warrant.pdf

whoops no games found. This guy was just a crack pot.

It makes me want to bang my head against the wall, but i'm too afraid of the pain. I know it's inappropriate to laugh, except for his inaccurate claims spelled out in kotaku, but his ending statement, "i'm here with my son (sniffle) (sniffle)... praying to Gog blah blah" It's funny that he's trying to be seen 'compassionate' and it's sooo thompson-propaganda. Appealing to audience's sympathy for his cause. shameful!

Another point to dispel his credibility, since when lawyers and attorneys are experts in school shootings? In law they are, but psychology and criminology... no way! since when do we trust lawyers and politicians more than teachers?

Well, how can anyone train on doom? You cannot shoot up?
Super Columbine massacre? You don't even shoot?

I really despise this man

Jack Thompson is a parasite that leeches off of tragedies like this to forward his own moronic agenda. There's a special place in Hell for him.

Who wants to bet that the gunman turns out to only own basketball video games or something, if anything at all?

Wow, it makes me so angry that they call him a school shooting expert and a specialist.

And Jack crying while talking about his prayer for his son, so people will think he has a soul.
I will say a prayer for my children that they don't grow up as ignorant as Jack Thompson, and accept the easy answer that things like this happen because of video games.

Did anyone notice how the guy said Jack was "so eloquent" about a minute and a half after he pronounced the word demonstratably as "der-monster-ably".

The only truely sad aspect of this is that Fox News is still taken seriously by some people despite their high profile propaganda tactics. Hell it's shameful they are even still broadcasting.

Oh well, if that's the company Jack wants to side himself with it only furthers to paint the picture of his character.

To be fair, I think Mr. Thompson should have at least waited for confirmation before appearing. However, from what I've seen of Fox, they are rather 'rapid-response'.

@ Majestic_12_x
Just to rephrase your statement there:

He does this [because of] the fact that billions of people absorb this kind of media without ill effect.

It's Jack Thompson. And according to Fox News he's now an "expert" on school shootings. It seems that so long as people can sensationalize events for the media facts are meaningless. There's no one that can discredit someone when there speaking live and Jack Thompson knows that so he gets away with false comments like that. Propaganda FTL!!

That brainsap link is hilarious.

WHO KEEPS LETTING HIM ON TV?!

This just in: Killer breathes air, Thompson suffocates to death as protest.



Sorry for the 3 ranting posts....

OBVIOUSLY a gamer?!


He's flat out saying "All school shootings/violence is caused by gamers"!

Jack seems to be throwing out these assumptions long before anything was known about Cho Seung-Hui. He doesn't go into one of his "crusades" during the clip, but he seems a little intent on diagnosing the cause of this shooting as a case of "raw sewage" media. He does this while completely ignoring the fact that billions of people absorb this kind of media without ill effect. I wonder if he's ever even heard of the Turner Diaries, a book which is still being sold (under First Amendment protection) after being linked to the Oklahoma City Bombing.

I would also like to know how Jack can single out Counterstrike considering the amount of people that play the game. That's kinda like blaming Coca-Cola for this whole incident simply because the suspect drank Coke products.

I have nothing to add, but this article sums things up nicely:
http://www.brainsnap.com/national/518/jack_thompson_a_person_of_interest...

I feel sorry for Jack Thompson

The fact that Fox calls him an expert is a sure sign that we can through his credibility out the window. He said exactly the same thing as he has said before. He showed no signs of a real profiler. All he did was rag about video games. The shooting in Germany that he points out is funny. He says that the kid had a lot of video games but only singles out one that is played by millions of kids with out ill effects.

fox news...

I don\'t understand it....

You know, this is never gonna go away. So long as people enjoy something, so long some institution tries to take it away. Started out w/ mainstream religion and their views on sex...moved on to games. Humans can never admit their shortcomings, so they need a scapegoat...basically whatever happens to be popular at the time. It's never gonna stop. Personally, I'd love to be de-sensitized to violence, that way, nothing provokes an emotional reaction that might cause weakness

Toby...

I think your mother would be proud....
 
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