Doctor Who Crusaded Against Comic Books Was Manipulating His Data


Wow, no kidding? Comics don't cause violence? What will they tell us next? Masturbation doesn't cause blindness?
I got so excited when I started reading the title of this article that it'd be about Daleks and Sontarans, and then it was about comic books and violence. I'm disappointed?
This is why you should always, always be skeptical when someone touts science (and especially their own) in support of a specific policy agenda.

Even--perhaps especially--an agenda with which you are inclined to agree.

Have you ever read Seduction of the Innocent? It's just about the least compelling set of arguments I've ever read, and that was AFTER he manipulated the data.

The UW library system has one beat up ancient copy if you're ever curious.
Are you going to post about the latest Orson Scott Card controversy? I'm interested in what you have to say about it.
This incident has forever made me skeptical of scapegoating particular forms of media for problems in societies.

Say...I don't know... like how the many are pointing to violent video games/movies as contributing to gun violence.
Of COURSE an evil scientist would want comic books neutered. They're seemingly all dedicated to exposing the ways of evil scientists!
Nevertheless, Dr. Wertham has left an indelible mark on our culture. For the worse.

From Ed Meece's attacks on pornography in the 80's to the NRA's current "blame the video games" mantra, a long parade of over-zealous do-good-nicks have have followed in his footsteps, plowing deeper and deeper furrows into the fertile memetic ground Wertham --falsely and with unforgivable bias-- first broke.

And so now we live in a world where the idea that "portrayals of violence or sex cause violent & sexual behavior" is taken as common sense knowledge -- despite a total lack of any supporting evidence for that claim over the years.

And there's just no going back.
I blame The Master.
Could you please change the caption!! I had to read it 3 times because I couldn't believe my beloved Doctor Who would crusade against comic books!
spliff! spam! t'pau!
But he was right that reading Tales From the Crypt will turn you into a Bolshevik, right?
Actually the Senate hearing concluded that it was a BS argument anyway based on other testimony, so it was never really considered valid by anyone with half a brain.
So, thanks for highlighting my work on Wertham. It's absolutely true that there was considerable doubt about the quality / veracity of Wertham's work at the time it was published. It's also true that he wasn't single-handly responsible for the decimation of the comics industry. Still, it's satisfying - at least for me - to have some closure, even if it's nearly 60 years in coming.