Letter to the New York Times Re: Senator Clinton's Attack of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

by Mike Shea on 18 July 2005

I sent the following is a letter to the New York Times today.

Re: Senator Clinton Demands Review of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

Dear Editor,

In Northern Virginia the penalty for selling alcohol to a minor can be up to $1000. It is a state crime. Over seventeen thousand people died in alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 2003. Misuse of alcohol kills young kids every day.

On 13 July, Senator Hillary Clinton began the steps to push legislation of a $5000 fine and federal charges for selling a video game. She asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate a consensual sex scene in a game already known for its violence and already containing clear labeling that it is intended for those over 17 years old.

The "Hot Coffee" sex scene in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, while graphic, shows far less than the "XXX rating" the media has given it. Prime-time TV shows portray and describe scenes far more graphic than those found in this "XXX rated" content.

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas already has an M rating, a rating intended to keep the game out of the hands of children under 17 just as an R rating keeps children out of explicit movies. R rated movies often show material far more graphic than that found in the unlocked Grand Theft Auto "Hot Coffee" scene.

Beyond the debate of freedom of speech, Senator Clinton has shown her disregard for the real problems facing our children including education, alcohol, drugs, violence, and economics. She dilutes the real problems facing children with witch-hunts and book-burnings.

We have heard Senator Clinton's words throughout history. She uses faulty and biased statistics based on a pre-planned outcome to declare war against a new art form that as of yet has no champion such as the ALA or the ACLU to defend it. It is no different than attacks against the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Brave New World.

I ask that Senator Clinton and other senators refocus their attention on the issues of the day that matter and leave parental responsibility to parents.

Thank you,

Michael Shea

Update:

Here is a letter I sent to the Orlando Sentinel:

Dear Editor,

In regards to the editorial "Big Mama Hillary and Bad Boy John" by Kathleen Parker.

The punishment in many states for selling alcohol to a minor is $1000 and is treated as a state crime. Over seventeen thousand people died in alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 2003. Misuse of alcohol kills young kids every day.

Senator Hillary Clinton wishes to impose a $5000 federal punishment for the sale of a video game.

Senator Clinton's new "War on Video Games" takes millions of dollars away from the real problems facing our children. Senator Clinton wants congress to become responsible for the upbringing of children. Her 90 million dollar study has no chance of objectivity or true scientific discovery. It is a smear campaign against an art form that currently has no champion like the American Library Association or the American Civil Liberties Union.

Imagine for a moment what would happen if such fees were used to threaten libraries for books containing passages of consensual sex. The only reason Clinton chooses to attack video games is because they are an easy and unprotected target for censorship under the guise of "family values".

Kathleen Parker's editorial was both uninformed and juvenile. Witty prose such as "when boys will be boys, girls will take charge" insults our intelligence as well as our sex. If a male writer had made a statement like that about women, he would have been fired.

Thank you,

Michael Shea

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