Letter to CNN

Wow all of the above options for errors apply here. Last night Jack Thompson was on one of your programs. He was talking about the lastest Football game from Midway and stated that the NFL wouldn't even let their name be placed on it.

This statement has Jack's editorial slant, and has information left out. The game by Midway was marketed without the NFL name, not because of its content, but because the NFL has signed an exclusivity contract with EA games and Midway cannot get the rights to the NFL brand. EA then made a game which has several bugs and errors in it. In response Midway created its own game to show the community that other people besides EA could make a football game.

Jack was either ignorant of this fact, or more likely choose to ignore it in order to make a more sensationalist statement. This is what he normally does and sadly this is why you have him on your programs.

For someone that speaks so much about the gaming community Jack really has no clue about events, games, and dynamics in the gaming community and his thoughts about the various games are not based in reality.

I hope that CNN can make an effort to end Jack's 15 minutes of fame, for screaming and yelling about something that he doesn't understand or comprehend.

As a sidenote I would also like to mention that Jack recently offered to give $10,000 to charity if someone made a very violent and abusive game that HE designed. People did make that game and then Jack decided that he was instead making a satirical comment, a la Swift's Modest Proposal. He then blamed gamers for “Not getting it” when they ask him to go ahead and donate the money to charity and refused to donate any money. Instead the owners of http://www.penny-arcade.com donated the money in Jack's name. Since then he has sent them harrassing emails, harrassed them by phone and tried to have them arrested. The people at Penny Arcade and their readers have helped to raise over half a million dollars for children's hospitals, from gamers and Jack Thompson is trying to have them arrested. Now that is some information that was left out.

Thank you for your time and for correcting these errors on Jack's part.


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15 Responses to Letter to CNN

  1. noneofus says:

    Jeez, you’re going to have to learn better English grammar if you are going to write to CNN.

    “Wow all of the above options for errors apply here.”
    What “above options” are you referencing?

    “He was talking about the lastest Football game”
    That should have been “latest”.

    “or more likely choose to ignore it”
    That should have been “chose”.

    There are several other issues in your email.

    If you are going to try to correct people, then try to be correct yourself. The way that was written, it looks like just another ‘flame’ from a ‘gamer’!

  2. Brent says:

    The options part is because I copied it out of their form.

    When you submit a correction to them it has several options above the comment field for what kind of correction it is.

  3. Jeff says:

    It seems that the definitions of the words “news” and “sensationalism” are fast becoming the same. I need to research Jack Thompson. He sounds like a jerk.

  4. maxx says:

    CNN is a conservative cable channel. Anything that amplifies the “family values/god-is-good/america is going to put a boot up your islamic ass” is going to sell advertising time which appeals to their key demographic. In that vein, CNN is doing what they need to do to appeal to their viewers. Having a feminist author do a reading from Maya Angelou may make them more balanced, but won’t help sell Super Gold Bond Denture Cream.
    And to be fair to CNN (or specifically, their more moderate wing ‘CNN Money’) they did post an article about JT a few years ago – which is referenced on the Wikipedia – where they are less than complimentary.
    As a subscriber to CNN, you have the right to complain about this episode of the show which you find to be offensive, and even publicize it by whatever means available to you. In that sense, let me offer my congratulations, and suggest that you stop watching CNN in protest. That’ll really teach them a lesson.

  5. Brent says:

    Or would it be better to keep watching and everytime they screw up post about it on the web. 🙂

  6. maxx says:

    Then how are you any different from Jack Thompson? He waits for the video game companies to ‘screw up’ (even when his sources are extremely dubious), then posts it in the media outlets available to him.
    Yes, you can argue the nuts and bolts details of how you are dissimilar. But the fact remains that at the broad level, there is no difference between the two.
    Stop watching CNN. Hopefully other people will too, if they were as offended. Then CNN will change their stance as they lose advertising revenue.
    In America, we constantly forget that an excellent means of censorship exists to each and every one of us. It is called a Remote Control.

  7. Brent says:

    Heh. Actually, to be truthful, I don’t watch CNN. I turned it on, because of the PennyArcade v Thompson fight going on, and someone said that he would be on there.

    He was only on for about 15 secs really. It was kinda pathetic, but I wanted to give them grief for having him be their “Go to Crazy Comment” guy.

    It all really reminds me a lot of Bernard Shifman and his attitude toward people.

  8. maxx says:

    Thats actually pretty funny… if you tuned in to CNN because you saw the info on PA, that tells me that CNN’s strategy of having Jack Thompson on there makes perfect economic sense. You are a viewer they are not going to get by any other means; they put a kook on there, and bam! you tune the idiot box to them.
    If you really want to stick it to CNN, recollect what products were advertised during that segment, and suggest a boycott of the products themselves.

  9. Brent says:

    That isn’t really that funny. First Jack on CNN is not to entice anyone. It is to reafirm to the suits that watch CNN that gamers are evil. There isn’t any new info there, just “a don’t worry, your view of the world is the right one”.

    I also I would like to comment on something you said in comment #7, about how am I different from Jack. Jack doesn’t wait for a company to mess up then rail about it. Hot Coffee was just a horse to ride for a bit. Jack takes a topic and rants against the gods about how bad it is for people. Right now it is games, before it was music. Despite the fact that violent crimes are down in the last few years, while gaming is on the rise, Jack seems to think that games are “Murder Trainers”. To put it bluntly, Jack is a fucktard, who ignores facts to wave a strawman, in hopes that the Suits will get behind him and he can ride them to fame and fortune.

    The good part now is that he seems to be withering under the assault of knowledgable gamers who don’t care to combat him with intelligence, while all he can do is yell and scream at them.

  10. maxx says:

    At the end of the day, the ‘gamers’ are not an organized enough force to pass true social change in people’s attitudes. They are a group that may be unhappy about this situation and this guy, and as soon as he is marginalized, they will declare victory on a bunch of blogs and subside quietly back down. As a result, the general attitude of the public as a whole remains unchanged – leaving the situation open for another demagogue to come along and rehash. So in a year or two, you’ll have either another Jack Thompson (or the same man himself) back on the scene.
    And this is where -my- personal beef comes into it. Gamers may see themselves as a social subclass, but they do nothing until directly threatened. So laws get passed, stereotypes get formed, the media beats a huge drum about the inherent dangers of gaming… and the gamers do nothing to combat it. The only time they bestir themselves into action to make any kind of social or political statement is when someone comes out and threatens (gasp!) their tri-weekly webcomic! Most of them are too apathetic to vote, too busy playing games to research any of the issues at hand, too quick to believe that the system can’t be changed and therefore attempting to do so would be time better spent in Azeroth or Astronar or whatever world suits their fancy at a given point in time. And if they do vote, it is about a narrow subset of issues that pique their interest – usually because those same media buffoons have stirred up a maelstrom of crapola around said subject.
    Clearly this is not the profile of -all- gamers. I’m sure there are many who feel strongly about social/political/economic causes and voice their opinions in forum after forum and vote and practise good citizenship – but they are NOT the majority, and certainly not the majority that makes themselves heard. When prescription drug prices are going to be raised by a nickel, the AARP mobilizes an army and ad campaigns go up and mucho dinero is raised and their voices echo across the land for months after the issue is resolved. By comparison, gamers better deserve the sobriquet ‘lamers’ in this context – since they do so pathetically little to advance their own cause and ensure it won’t be threatened in the future.
    In a previous column before the elections, you lamented the fact that politicians do not target the young ‘net using, gaming subclass – and one of the points raised in the discussion was this exact one. Until gamers are willing to stand up with a clearly articulated agenda and convince the non-gaming public in a clear and rational manner that they are very much a viable subclass and that the stereotypes are incorrect, they bear equal responsibility for the Jack Thompsons of this country.

  11. Brent says:

    1. Childsplay, this is a perfect example of something that gamers do. It gets swept under the rug, because it has no political value and it bucks up against the accepted norm. Despite the fact that it has raised tons of money, no national news media has reported on it. Why? Because there is no headline.

    2. Why do people insist on classing people? You say that as a gamers, they should band together and do this or do that. Gamers are people. Not the automata that Democrates and republicans are. You can look at the 100 senators, read the R or D next to their name and be 95% right on all their votes or political views. Being a gamer holds no meaning in this arena, because gamers are diverse. It would be similiar to trying to get all people that way action movies to vote a certain way. It can’t be done.

    No when something comes up that threatens their lifestyle the to “rise up” and fight back. Does it have any value? Probably not, because the people they are yelling to, don’t agree with them and do what their “sponsors” tell them. The “decision makers” don’t care about them, not because they don’t try, but because there are enough other people that they don’t have to care about them.

  12. maxx says:

    Your point #2 is wrong – the AARP is literally ‘an association of old people’. These people may have been (D) or (R) in earlier years, they may be of varying skin colors, some of them may have been gamers, others may have enjoyed action movies… and yet, at the end of the day, all they have in common is membership to an organization whose primary requirement is a -minimum age limit-.
    So by your logic, it would be impossible for these people to get together and effect any kind of political change. And yet, incredibly enough, that is EXACTLY what they seem to accomplish, time and again.

  13. Brent says:

    There is an extreme difference between the membership of AARP and people who are “gamers”. Our country is as old as it has ever been and the people of that age have the shear numbers to make their opinions matter. Plus with that group you know for sure that they are all “of voting age”.

    Right now their are gamers that are not old enough to vote, not mature enough to vote as well as those that can. Looking at the group as a whole mean you take in an entirely different segment of the population.

    Looking at the maturity level of someone that is 65 or 70 doesn’t really give you much difference. Looking at the level of someone that is 21 versus 26 does. The people that are talking out against Jack Thompson and the other reactionaries are around our age, but you are expecting them to bring people that are more like us in college or even younger to the table to explain their points of view rationally. Look back at some of our email exchanges on the WKU-Linux list to see how well that works.

  14. maxx says:

    Hmm.. I posted a response, looks like it went by the wayside…

    Basically I said that I agree the problem is with -maturity-. The gamers are immature, and uneilling to see how anything can affect them past this one issue. Threaten the tri-weekly webcomic, and all hell will break loose! But get them to be a concerted voice past it to other issues that affect them even more? It’d be like pulling teeth.
    More people are ‘gamers’ nowadays that are ‘of voting age’. 18-32 was the largest segment, as I recollect. So that argument holds little water. It is no longer the bespectacled geeks living in the basement that play games; everyone and their mother seems to be on this bandwagon as gaming has targeted different market segments.

    Besides, if the gamers cant explain their point of view rationally, why would you expect the politicians to target them?

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