Disturbing Video Double Standard?
Special thanks to Nathan Brauer for this link, which depicts The Today Show singing the praises of a new, extremely graphic PSA (Public Service Announcement) from the Gwent Police (UK). In the dramatization, the texting of a teenage driver leads to a gruesome auto accident in which her three friends are all killed. The point of the video? To convince teens to not text while driving. During the course of The Today Show feature, the following statements are made about this "powerful new video":
If your teenager hasn't seen [this video], you might want to show it to them.
It is a graphic video, but it does make an impression.
Texting while driving is a global problem, crossing every age-group.
I think it was very graphic and I think it was very frightening, but unfortunately, we see that with 40,000 fatalities every year (40,000 being the total number of people who die on American roadways each year – an estimated 10,000 fatalities each year are the result of distracted driving).
American parents are now turning to a British Public Service Announcement to make an impression on American teens.
It is a phenomenal piece of tape. Let me tell you, if anyone has a kid out there, have them watch this tape because... [if] you watch this tape, you will never [text while driving] again. I think this is a great road map for how to really scare kids whether it's drinking and driving or anything. When you show it this graphic, it stays in people's head.
At one point in the segment, the Today host asks, "Is there real evidence that people watching this kind of a thing will change their behavior?" Donny Deutsch, the expert ad exec they've brought in responds this way:
We hear the numbers, we hear the fatalities, but you never actually see it this graphic... it's one thing to say it, it's one thing to intellectually get it in people's brains, but when you do it this graphically... I will show it to every kid I know. This is to me, the way to stop this thing. I salute this police department... and I really implore [TV stations], run this stuff, put this on the air.
The host concludes, "even if it doesn't make it on television, thank god for the internet (where it's been viewed more than a million times)."
Surely you see where I'm going with this. Abortion videos function in exactly the same way as this texting PSA. They bring remarkable clarity to an otherwise abstract reality. They communicate things that words and numbers alone cannot. And yet, abortion videos like the one on the Abort73 website are roundly criticized (or simply ignored) by the media establishment. This texting video is no less graphic and no less "one-sided" than our abortion video and yet it is heralded as a great teaching tool. What's the difference? Texting while driving may kill as many as 10,000 Americans a year. Abortion kills well over a million. In the vast majority of cases, texting while driving does not result in the death of a human being. In all but the rarest of cases, abortion always results in the death of a human being. Of course, the real difference is that there is nothing controversial about criticizing the practice of texting while driving. The same cannot be said about abortion. Ironically, if more people saw graphic abortion videos, there would be a whole lot less controversy about the merits of abortion – just as graphic images helped eliminate the controversy surrounding child labor and segregation. Though there's little hope that any ad execs will go to bat for our video like they're doing for the texting PSA, I'll join The Today Show in saying, "Thank God for the internet!"
Michael Spielman is the founder and director of Abort73.com. His book, Love the Least (A Lot), is available as a free download. You can also find him on Facebook and Google+. Abort73 is part of Loxafamosity Ministries, a 501c3, Christian education corporation. If you have been helped by the information available at Abort73.com, please consider making a donation.