Censorship on TV

Programming is what attracts audiences to television but advertising is the primary means of revenue generation for most networks and stations.  In a situation when 1) specific broadcast programming is attacked for containing too much “skin and sin” by traditional family values groups, 2) advertisers are inundated with thousands of email, letters and telephone calls to stop buying commercial time by concerned family group followers and 3) some advertisers withdraw, is this a triumph for the television audience, a chilling effect on broadcast TV creativity, or a step towards censorship and bland programming?   Assume each of these perspectives and cite evidence from previous program histories to explicate how these electronic media issues evolved, were resolved and continue to coexist.

 

Mackenzie

Liz

Adrienne

Monica  

I. History/Background

 

A) Concerns started early in broadcasting– government reluctant to censor outright, First Amendment concerns – different audiences have different tastes

  • What tends to happen is self-censorship – occurs to varying degrees depending on the decade, political climate
  • Always tension between family values groups, advertisers and content creators
  • All have to coexist within the framework of television production business model

 

B) Early TV – sponsors basically created the shows, would edit content as they saw fit

  • Form of self-censorship: writers of programs would stop writing controversial material, or material that could be seen as defiling advertiser’s products
    • Thunder on Sycamore St. – change black neighbor to criminal (seen as less controversial)
  • Television code: 1952 – NAB sets internal standards to follow
  • Red Channels/Red Scare: blacklisting becomes common practice within the industry – advertisers don’t want suspected Communists in shows they sponsor, so producers start blacklisting actors 
    • Jean Muir fired from The Aldrich Family  – General Foods backs out until she’s gone
  • Having a chilling effect on content, some members of audience see it as triumph (McCarthy). It is a form of censorship, and lead to blander programming

 

C) 1960s through today – advent of shared sponsorship in late 60s – no one sponsor has as much control anymore, but similar issues of appropriate content persist, technology evolves as ways to mitigate, changing audience due to popularity of cable and importance of demographics continues to change climate

l  Minow’s “vast wasteland” speech attacks TV content as too violent and full of ads – leads to dozens of bland programs – Beverly Hillbillies, Gomer Pyle

l  National Federation for Decency organized fundamentalist churches and others to protest  “unwholesome shows” like ABC’s Soap – politically sensitive, controversial material not welcome on TV – several sponsors pull out

l  Parents Television Council founded in 1995 to protect children from sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. The group advises actions such as letters to sponsors and FCC complaints.

l  V-chip – mandated in all new sets after ’96 – way for parents to be censors for their children rather than government setting standards for what’s appropriate

  TV ratings system – to guide concerned groups about content appropriate for age groups – parents can become censors rather than the network

l  Growth of cable leads to bolder programming and sometimes to stricter measures of decency.

  “Keeping advertisers happy despite scheduling three of the most boundary-crossing shows on TV — “The Shield,” “Nip/Tuck” and “Rescue Me” — has become something of an art for FX. Cabler pulls in robust ad dollars — $271 million in 2006, according to Kagan Research.” (Variety, 2006)

l  Awards shows – 3 second delay now in place, not entirely “live” broadcast for fears of indecent content

 

II. Fact or Fiction?

 

A) Creativity

”The biggest problem with how much sex there is on TV now isn’t whether it’s offensive,” says Norman Lear, one of the people who broke television’s sexual taboos in the 1970’s to raise social consciousness. ”It’s that most of the sex on TV today just isn’t funny. It’s stupid and boring.”

               IN FACT = the Kaiser-Children Now study concedes that out of 451 depictions of ”sexual behavior” in the family hour, only 15 involved sexual intercourse.

 

ABC’s steamy intro Monday Night Football in November of 2004, featuring a naked Nicollette Sheridan jumping into the arms of Eagles receiver Terrell Owens, drew complaints from viewers and the NFL.

               IN FACT = ABC’s switchboards were not swamped by shocked viewers on Monday night. A spokesman for ABC Sports told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he hadn’t received a single phone call or e-mail in the immediate aftermath of the broadcast.

B) Exaggerating Numbers

There’s another, more insidious game being played as well. The F.C.C. and the family values crusaders alike are cooking their numbers.

 

               The first empirical evidence was provided this month by Jeff Jarvis, a former TV Guide critic turned blogger. He had the ingenious idea of filing a Freedom of Information Act request to see the actual viewer complaints that drove the F.C.C. to threaten Fox and its affiliates with the largest indecency fine to date – $1.2 million for the sins of a now-defunct reality program called “Married by America.” Though the F.C.C. had cited 159 public complaints in its legal case against Fox, the documents obtained by Mr. Jarvis showed that there were actually only 90 complaints, written by 23 individuals. Of those 23, all but 2 were identical repetitions of a form letter posted by the Parents Television Council. In other words, the total of actual, discrete complaints about “Married by America” was 3.

C) Exaggerating “Pull”

Such letter-writing factories as the American Family Association’s OneMillionMoms.com also exaggerate their clout in intimidating advertisers.

 

               They brag, for instance, that the retail chain Lowe’s dropped its commercials on “Desperate Housewives” in response to their protests. But Lowe’s was not an advertiser on the show; the advertiser who actually bought the commercial was Whirlpool, which plugged Lowe’s as a retail outlet for its products under a co-branding arrangement.

               Another advertiser that the family-values mafia takes credit for chasing away, Tyson Foods, had only bought in for one episode of “Desperate Housewives” in the first place. It had long since been replaced by such Fortune 500 advertisers as Ford and McDonald’s, each clamoring to pay three times as much for a 30-second spot ($450,000) as those early advertisers who bought time before the show had its debut and became an instant smash.

 

III. Specific Show Examples

 

l  NBC’s Saturday Night Live – March 1989 – Advertisers pull out after pressure from Christian group

1.      Ralston Purina Co. confirmed that it had dropped plans to run about $$1 million in ads on the program starting in April because it felt one of the shows “crossed over the line of good taste.”

2.      General Mills Inc. said it had canceled an undisclosed number of ads on the show after reviewing the other episode.

l  Fox’s Married…with Children – March 1989 – one woman, Terry Rakolta, from Michigan writes numerous letters to have show pulled.

1.      Several advertisers, including Procter & Gamble Inc., McDonald’s Corp. and Coca-Cola USA, cancelled or curbed their advertisements on the show.

l  ABC’s thirtysomething – In November 1989, when ABC’s “thirtysomething” broadcast an episode showing two gay men in bed talking, advertiser defections cost the network $1 million. Fearing additional financial loss, the network did not repeat the installment during summer reruns.

l  NYPD Blue – September 1993 – show’s premiere episode was not aired in 50 markets due to conservative groups targeting it for its language, violence and nudity. At ABC’s request, Steven Bochco trimmed 15 seconds from a love scene. Parents’ groups – declared the show indecent by community standards.

 

l  ABC’s Roseanne – episode where she kisses a woman in a gay bar (aired on March 1, 1994)

1.      “We have some advertisers who won’t go near it, but plenty who will say there is a price that it is worth,” said Grey Advertising senior VP Jon Mandel.

2.      Rev. Donald Wildmon, head of the American Family Assn., which has waged an ongoing campaign against “NYPD Blue,” said, “Lesbians kissing will cost them in ad revenue.”

3.      The show ran with an advisory. (In response to the network’s plan to include an advisory, “Roseanne” exec producer Tom Arnold said in a statement that the show will be delivered to the network as shot. “No editing will be done,” Arnold said.)

 

l  CBS’s The Ellen Show – Ellen’s “coming out episode” April 30, 1997 – three major sponsors pull ads. Only one affiliate in Birmingham, AL decided not to air the episode at all.

1.      Wendy’s – spokesperson Denny Lench says: “The story content no longer fits our advertising guidelines, which are primarily to avoid controversial subjects,” Lynch says. “Story lines that could be controversial or cutting-edge, we would definitely avoid.”

2.      J.C. Penney

3.      Chrysler

4.      Companies that ignored the pressure from some conservative groups not to advertise included Warner Brothers and Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, consumer product companies like Bayer and Warner-Lambert, and apparel retailers like the Gap and the Burlington Coat Factory.

 

l  CBS’s Family Law – August 13, 2001 – episode thought to have been pulled because of gun violence.

2.      Writers Guild of America president John Wells said the decision to pull episodes from the “Family Law” rerun schedule “because one advertiser [Procter & Gamble] objected to the content (was) a serious threat to the creative rights of all artists in our industry.”

3.      CBS subsequently issued a statement denying that the programming decision was forced by the sponsor, Procter & Gamble.

“If you only plan to repeat a few episodes of a series,” said the network, “it is common business sense to rebroadcast the episodes that have the most sales potential. CBS does not program its network based on directives from advertisers, and in fact neither Procter & Gamble nor its agency asked for or suggested these changes.”

Eventually CBS gave Wells what he wanted. It issued a statement in response to Wells: “We are as mindful of the rights of artists as is the Writers Guild. The episode of ‘Family Law’ in question will air on Monday, September 10.”

l  Janet Jackson’s 2004 “wardrobe malfunction” on the Super Bowl Halftime Show: “That exposed nipple shield emboldened the parents groups and religious orgs to ramp up the pressure, galvanizing the FCC to start cracking down on TV shows denounced by self-styled guardians of moral decency.” (Variety)

1.      The incident from Super Bowl XXXVIII led to severe fines. FCC fines levied on CBS: $550,000, Cost to NFL (in sponsor refunds): $10 million
more than 500,000 American complaints

l  Survivor: Cook Island – August 2006 – GM was the show’s top advertiser for 12 seasons but it severed ties with the reality show, claiming the show no longer fit into GM’s business objectives. (This was the season that the contestants were separated by race.)

1.      The show quickly merged tribes into multicultural groups early in the season, but lost out on the potential $12.8 million GM would’ve spent on advertising, as well as Home Depot, Campbell Soup and Coca-Cola North America.

l  Showtime’s Californication – September 2007

1.      Religious groups called for a boycott of the program by sponsors as it depicts explicit sex scenes, language, drug use and lewd behavior by its star David Duchovny.

l  BET’s Hot Ghetto Mess – July 2007 – critics claim the show puts black stereotypes on display.

1.      State Farm Insurance Cos. and Home Depot asked BET to drop their ads from the series debuting July 25.

 

III. Today – and beyond

 

               Screening of episodes for ad executives to calm jitters.

o   For instance, CBS screened the first episode of Kid Nation for advertising executives after growing concern about its content.

               NBC’s recent promise – returning the 8pm-9pm slot to “family hour” starting in fall of 2008. Will other networks follow suit?

               The bottom line is that if a show is hot—in ratings, critical acclaim and stars—then it can get away with more.

               Issues over sponsor’s concerns, content creators’ concerns and special interest/traditional family groups still persist and will continue to persist.

 

 

Further Reading/Article Examples:

 

1) Type in ‘Advocacy Groups and Television Advertisers’ into Search Bar in the proQuest search:

 

Advocacy Groups and Television Advertisers

Hill, Ronald Paul; Beaver, Andrea L.

Journal of Advertising; 1991; 20, 1; ABI/INFORM Global

pg. 18

 

2) Type in ‘Terry Rakolta’ into Search Bar in proQuest and numerous articles regarding “Married… With Children,” “Temptation Island,” etc., will come up—all containing information on what happened and the situation of “sexy and sin” on TV.

 

3)http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE3D61F3AF933A05755C0A96F958260

TV NOTES; ‘Family Guy’ Loses Sponsors

 

4) http://www.mediacoalition.org/reports/wildmon.html

The Rev. Donald E. Wildmon’s Crusade for Censorship, 1977-1992


By Christopher M. Finan and Anne F. Castro

 

5) Complaints over America’s Next Top Model: http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/publications/release/2008/0408.asp

 

6) Parents’ Television Council’s Advertiser Accountability Campaign: http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/advertisers/campaign.asp

 

7) Advertisers pull from BET series: http://www.backstage.com/bso/news_reviews/multimedia/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003609482

 

8) Advertisers pull out of Californication: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10475815

 

9) Ellen comes out on show: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CE3DD1031F933A05757C0A961958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all

 

10) MSNBC pulls Imus in the Morning: http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/04/11/imus.rutgers/index.html

 

11) Controversial content boosts ratings on ABC: http://media.www.dailytrojan.com/media/storage/paper679/news/2004/10/26/Opinions/Controversial.Content.Helping.To.Boost.Abc.Ratings-780724.shtml

 

12) PBS concerned over profanity used in Ken Burns’ War: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/08/26/MNCARP3OJ.DTL

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Tell Me what you think

This is an experiment…

1. Review the theoretical underpinnings of persuasive messages in relation to specific audiences, taking into account at least three of the following constructs: agenda setting, diffusion of innovation, central and peripheral processing, cognitive dissonance, source credibility, reasoned action, two-step flow, selectivity, expectancy-value and fear appeals.  As a writer/producer, which basic model would you use in developing political advertising for your candidate targeted at the general public.  Justify your selection.

 

2. The media landscape has certainly changed in the last few years. A dramatic example of this is the way non-fiction films are distributed.  Ten years ago there were only a few places where independent producers might sell their documentaries. Today there are many more outlets.  What are these new opportunities? Describe at least three case studies of non-fiction films that have profited from these new avenues of distribution.

 

3. Programming is what attracts audiences to television but advertising is the primary means of revenue generation for most networks and stations.  In a situation when 1) specific broadcast programming is attacked for containing too much “skin and sin” by traditional family values groups, 2) advertisers are inundated with thousands of email, letters and telephone calls to stop buying commercial time by concerned family group followers and 3) some advertisers withdraw, is this a triumph for the television audience, a chilling effect on broadcast TV creativity, or a step towards censorship and bland programming?   Assume each of these perspectives and cite evidence from previous program histories to explicate how these electronic media issues evolved, were resolved and continue to coexist.

 

4. In November 2007, the Writers Guild of America went on strike after its members and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers failed to negotiate a deal.  What are (were) the issues at stake in this conflict?  Trace the history of this conflict between these two groups and the consequent effects on television viewing audiences and new programming development.  How will this strike inform the future of new media and old media, and how will it affect you as someone who will be working in the industry as a) a writer, and b) a studio or network executive?

 

5.  In the coming years Cable TV will face very real competition from the telephone companies for customers. Give the competitive advantages of each industry and the efforts both have made in Congress and at the FCC to deal with perceived inequities in the competitive landscape.

 

6. The utilization of new and different media platforms — web streaming, mobiphones and the like — to deliver television programming has given rise to “anytime, anywhere, media measurement.” This system purports to track in-home and out-of-home viewing, Internet and phone TV usage, as well as traditional television viewing.  In addition, commercial ratings or audience viewership levels during the commercial breaks are now available to advertisers.

A)    What improvements does this system of audience measurement represent over the traditional ratings system?  

B)    How would producers, programmers and advertisers benefit from the new audience measurements?

C)    What are some of the concerns critics have raised and how can these be addressed?

 

7.  “American TV is dangerous to our children’s health.”   Scientific studies have shown that children who spend the most time with television are also those who are more likely to be overweight.  Children who watch television violence are more likely to behave in harmful ways towards others and become less empathetic.  You are testifying on behalf of television writers and producers before a congressional subcommittee intent on refining policy to protect the health of our nation’s children.  How would you address these findings in the face of existing legislation and offer solutions to parents, assurances to policy makers as well as a sound bite for the next news cycle?

 


8.  Screenwriter William Goldman, a two-time Academy Award winner, has long preached that “screenplays are structure.” What is he talking about? 

A) If he’s referring to a particular story-telling model, describe that in detail.

B) If there are multiple models, what are the most influential ones and how do they differ?

C) And how has story structure evolved through the centuries?

Use examples from the 2008 Oscar nominees to illustrate your points.

 

9.  Think about this: Today you can watch movies on your video iPod.  You can also watch TV on your cell phone.  Through global marketing you can catch the release of the latest big studio film in Shanghai, China the same day as in Syracuse, New York (probably a few days earlier).  The social media network, Facebook on which you used to post pictures for your friends is now valued at $15 billion. 

 

During your year at Newhouse, the media environment will continue to change dramatically. These changes may come from some new technology or an economic or policy shift. For example, if you’re reading the papers and the trades, you know that ABC News and Facebook have teamed up to develop a new tool to facilitate political debate coverage and interactivity on the social networking site;  the major TV networks continue to offer streaming video of their programs, and advertisers are using “skins,” “overlays” or “bugs” to promote their products and services online.

 

If you’re bright, flexible and entrepreneurial, you’ll find ways to make your career in any number of these future transformations. Even better, you should be smart enough to anticipate and take advantage of such changes before they (or you) are history. This is your chance to begin the birth of a future transformation that will bear your name.

 

Write a proposal for your new concept. What is it? What makes it unique? How does it take advantage of existing or new technologies, economies and/or policies? Specify what research you will do to determine if there is an audience and market. What legal and regulatory issues will you have to be aware of? Who are the people or institutions you need to convince this is the greatest thing since the iPod? Who are the people or institutions you don’t want to know about your idea until it’s a reality and why? Describe how this concept will ripple through the media environment or how it might have an impact on only a specialized niche.

 

An important part of your answer will be a personal inventory assessment: what talents, skills, knowledge, etc. that you possess make it possible for you to actuate this concept? Be realistic; if you’re not Steve Wozniak, recognize that and plan to hire him as a consultant. But if your idea is “television for housebound cats”, be-up front about your special understanding of the feline spirit.

 

10. In the book “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman, referring to a program called “Higglytown Heroes” being produced for the Disney Channel by Wild Brain, an animation studio in San Francisco, Wild Brain CEO Scott Hyten remarked about how the all-American show was being produced by an all-world supply chain —  The recording session is located near the artist, usually in New York or L.A., the design and direction is done in San Francisco, the writers network in from their homes (Florida, London, New York, Chicago, L.A., and San Francisco), and the animation of the characters is done in Bangalore 

(India).  These interactive recording/writing/animation sessions allow us to record an artist for an entire show in less than half a day, including unlimited takes and rewrites.

            Given the increasing trend in production toward on-line collaboration using work flow software, discuss the impact of such a trend on established television production methods and financing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The answers will come after a time.

-Alex

A poem inspired by the Wire

A Witness

 

A witness

Is an idiot

For helping the cop

Not very bright

 

Darwin’s nightmare

Adapt or die

Keep quiet or die

Law conflicts with evolution

 

Can’t see the forest but for the trees

We are the forest

Structure is a tree

Nature still applies

I can’t believe the professor encouraged me to write on this topic

Powder Road: a primer in drug trafficking

                       

“Always there is more”—The Greek

 

Drugs are a commodity, like many others, in that they are produced, distributed, and sold—by individuals or corporations—to make a profit. Like many other products, the people at the beginning and the end of the distribution chain are the people making the least amount of money, and yet have the largest amount of risk. The Afghani opium farmer, for instance, does not make very much money, but grows opium anyway—either because it is still the most profitable crop for him personally, or a local warlord has a gun to his head.  On the opposite end, the street-level dealer who sells heroin to his consumers also makes very little money, and generally ends up dead or in jail.

            It’s intriguing to see how much the grower and the dealer have in common, which prompts the question “where does all the money go?”  In the international drug trade, it’s the middleman who gets rich and has the least risk. The scope of this study will be limited to the traffic of morphine and cocoa-based products, such as heroin and cocaine, since, currently, most of the other vast spectrum of types of drugs—for example, marijuana and methamphetamines—are produced locally or, at least, within the borders of the United States.  Cocaine and heroin, however, originate in South America and the Middle East, and make a long and elaborate journey on their way to the street corner. The risks and demand for these drugs allow for an extraordinary mark-up at all stages of the distribution chain.

It’s important to understand how this sort of business works, so as not to mistakenly place the blame for drug abuse and related crimes on the street dealers or their third-world counterparts.

The farmer is most often a victim of his circumstances because he does not have the geographic mobility to do anything else. In the areas where poppies and cocoa are grown, the militias are the law, and the drug cartels pay the militias. Generally, this means that growing something other than what the cartels want is not a smart thing to do. It can also be considered a lethal move because a farmer growing anything else may not provide enough crop (read: money) for his survival. This is the only major advantage the farmer has over the street dealer—he’s not nearly as likely to be killed by a rival, or jailed, because he is insulated and protected by the militias, as well as the police, who incidentally are also being paid by the drug cartels (McCoy p.31).

The farmer starts the process by planting Coca or Poppies in areas of the world where the official laws of the country are not enforced. Columbia and Afghanistan are the two largest suppliers of cocaine and heroin with about three quarters of the world’s cocaine production coming from Columbia (NDIC) and 87% of the world’s heroin coming from Afghanistan (Nazemroaya).  Despite state- and internationally- sponsored programs aimed at eradicating supply, the supply has not been significantly affected. We can see a clear parallel between the street-level enforcement and the supply reduction methods used internationally. Local narcotics teams may shake down a corner and take a small amount of drugs off the street as UN planes spray a poppy field with poison. Despite these hands-on approaches, neither method works to significantly decrease the consumption, or supply, of drugs.

           

            After the harvest, the unrefined product is transported to a suitable refining area by smugglers. Drug-smuggling operations are becoming more vertically integrated and, as a result, the distribution chain has become harder for law enforcement to infiltrate, and thus the quality of product has increased (CS). The refinement process generally occurs in semi-industrialized regions, due to the large amount of chemicals and laboratory instruments that are necessary. These areas tend to be in Eastern Europe and Mexico, as both have fairly easily-bribed public officials and are also close to the consumer markets. Smuggling the product across the border is the most dangerous aspect, with respect to evading authorities. If done successfully, however, it can also be the most financially rewarding (CS). The methods used in smuggling are numerous and often very intricate, but the most common and effective method is shipping as legitimate cargo, using a front company.

            Once the cocaine and heroin are inside the United States, they are generally wholesaled to independent interstate smugglers who often have gang connections to the retailers in a given market. It is important to understand that the structure of a drug-trafficking organization is not like the traditional mafia, with a pyramid hierarchy—until the product reaches the street, the distributors operate in independent cells that are ignorant of the higher-ups (CS). This limits the potential for police investigations because no one has the ability to make a deal with anyone regarding information they simply do not have.

These illegal drugs are usually purchased by the head of a localized gang that in turn distributes to the consumer. These gangs can be independent, low-level organizations, but more often than not are affiliated with a national gang, such as the Bloods, the Crips, MS-13, or the Aryan Nation. This happens oftentimes simply because the members of the gang are close-knit or related to each other (Jacobs p.31).

            Once the product is at this level, the pure product is generally diluted to a less-potent form, in order to increase profit, and then is distributed to the street corner dealer. These “cutting” agents can be any number of benign or harmful substances, and are often used liberally because the demand is completely inelastic. The dealer is then responsible for the day-to-day retail drug business.

            The organization of the street operation is important to understand because it is effective in theory, and gives the operators a sense of progress. A young kid may start off as a lookout, be promoted to handling drugs, and eventually might get to run his own operation if his superior sees him as competent. The extensive use of minors contributes to the effectiveness of this type of operation, mainly because they can not be punished like an adult and, as such, are less likely to cave to police pressure (Bourgois p.194). Other ways the street organizations effectively protect their players are with quick, helpful handouts, such as bail money and lawyers fees. There is also the concern for physical safety, its subsequent protection, and its use as a threat, that comes along with being part of a gang.

 

People sell drugs for many reasons, but in low-income ethnic neighborhoods, there are several factors that weigh in heavily. The first is simply the desire to make quick, easy money. On the surface it seems that street dealers are making significant amounts of cash, and are more than happy to spend it. This is not the reality, however—most of that easy cash goes to superiors, leaving a very small percentage to the street dealers.  In addition, the conspicuous-consumption dealers engage in to maintain street respect often leaves the dealers living from hand to mouth their entire careers(?) (Bourgois p.91). A lack of legitimate employment opportunity is yet another factor that is particularly hindering for people trying to get out of the drug business, because most employers are loathe to hire someone with a police record. Ultimately, it seems like a bad option for anyone to take, but it is one of the only options available (Jacobs p.41).

            The drug business is run like any other business, with the caveat that there is a huge amount of money and resources dedicated to totally eradicating drugs and drug addicts. The war on drugs, therefore, is not a “war” by any definition of the word, because only one “side” is trying to destroy the other “side”.  Drug dealers do not usually try to fight the police, nor are they mounting a general attack on the citizens of this country. On the other end of the distribution network, the farmers are not actively trying to hurt anybody either. On the most basic level they are trying to feed themselves by growing the only crop anyone wants to buy. This is by no means a defense of drug dealers, but in looking at the drug trade as a whole, it seems clear that we are punishing the poorest and most helpless persons involved. We are also losing the “war”.

           

           

           

 

References

 

Adler, Patricia A. (1985). Wheeling and Dealing; An Ethnography of an Upper Level Dealing and Smuggling Community. New York, NY: Columbia University Press

 

Bourgois, Philippe. (2003). In Search of Respect; Selling Crack in El Barrio. San Francisco, CA: Cambridge University Press

 

CS = Confidential Source

 

Jacobs, Bruce A. (1999). Dealing Crack; The social world of streetcorner selling. Boston, MA: Northeastern University Press

 

McCoy, Alfred. (2004). The Stimulus of Prohibition: A Critical History of the Global Narcotics Trade. In Steinburg, Michael K., Hobbs, Joseph J., Mathewson, Kent. Dangerous Harvest: Drug Plants and the transformation of the Indigenous Landscape. New York, NY: Oxford University Press

 

Nazemroaya, Mahdi Darius (October 17 2006). The War in Afghanistan: Drugs, Money Laundering and the Banking System. GlobalResearch.ca.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=NAZ20061017&articleId=3516

 

NDIC (2006). “National Drug Threat Assessment 2006

http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs11/18862/index.htm