- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 14, 2005

So, Hillary Clinton wants to join the culture war. Lord knows we need all the soldiers and generals we can muster. But I’d take a Bible thumper any day over Mrs. Clinton, who set her high threshold for tolerance years ago by accepting her own husband’s lies and untruths as gospel.

In a letter sent yesterday to the Federal Trade Commission, New York’s junior senator said she wants the government to investigate the video-game industry following reports that sexually graphic material is embedded in the Grand Theft Auto game. Now, granted, the Grand Theft Auto series is extremely popular with boys big and little. But the games are rated M — as in mature, as in 17 years of age or older, as in mom and dad should be paying attention.

Mrs. Clinton is up to her old bag of tricks, the one carpetbaggers pull out when they’re searching for suckers. In this instance, Mrs. Clinton is in search of conservative suckers who subscribe to good-old-fashioned family values, the kind of family values that W and Laura talk about but that Bill and Hill don’t discuss — at least not in public.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that there should be no discourse on insidious video games, rap videos and other forms of “entertainment” that parents have come to depend on as babysitters.

Mrs. Clinton closed her eyes to Bill and Monica, Bill and Gennifer, even Bill and Paula, but she wants us to believe she’s concerned about a video game. If she’s serious, she needs to meet Ron Moten, a young man in Southeast D.C. who could teach Mrs. Clinton a thing or two about harmful influences.

Ron and his partners with Peaceoholics Inc. have been trying to tell all who’ll listen that the makers of Grand Theft Auto are set this fall to release Bully. Rockstar Games promotes Bully as taking Rockstar’s tradition “to an entirely new setting: the schoolyard.” But Peaceoholics tells you what Rockstar Games doesn’t. “Bully is a game in which students can do horrendous things to teachers and classmates. Rival gangs can be created in a virtual reality where they can maliciously beat and harm each other, while turning schools into cauldrons and chaos.”

Is this an imitation of life or life imitating art? Carjackers. Gangbangers. Bullies. Teen thugs. Which came first? Columbine or the video game Doom? These aren’t merely realities in America. These problems visit upon every state in this blessed union. Sexual themes and violence are part and parcel of today’s “entertainment.” Parents seem to be too busy to even care.

The makers of those games are not responsible. There’s no product-liability check box. We don’t need the government snooping inside family rooms across America. We don’t need the V-chip retrofitted for PlayStation or XBox, either.

We need parents to pay close attention to what their children are “entertaining” themselves with, and we need to continue the culture war by recruiting and supporting young soldiers who spread the word.

Peaceoholics and another organization, Industry Ears, a media watchdog based in D.C., are the types of young soldiers we need to cut to the chase. Their generation understands what’s going on in America. They speak truth to power and articulate to our generation what they see and hear. They are perfectly positioned to freely speak face-to-face with their own and the younger generation.

These messengers and their messages deserve our undivided attention.

Like Ron, Lisa Fager is on a mission. A tireless foot soldier (industryears.org), Lisa is a self-proclaimed member of the hip-hop generation who is simply fed up. She is not only taking on the misogynistic and violent ways of hip-hop, but successfully challenging the power behind the hip-hop thrones that push rules and laws dangerously close to the edge.

When WQHT/Hot 97 in New York began its now infamous smackfest, Lisa said that’s enough. The slapfest was a disgusting contest in which two young women slapped each other — even bloodied one another — until one was declared a “winner.” The prize: $500. The smackfest actually violated state laws that bar unlawful fighting. Lisa spread the word. Thanks to her and others who lent their voices, state prosecutors launched a probe.

Mrs. Clinton doesn’t seem like the kind of woman who’d play with controllers or a joystick. If I were a betting woman, I’d bet that right hand of hers has redded the left cheek of you-know-who on more than one occasion. Mrs. Clinton is a thinking-man’s woman, which is why she’s playing political games with the Big Boys here in Washington. I’m not so sure, though, we want her to hijack our issues for her own sake.

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