I was thinking about writing something on this issue, when I found this quote in Tapped:
Compared to its counterparts around the world, the American press tends to be more reluctant to use graphic images of bodily destruction and death that are the inevitable — and intended — byproduct of war. “It’s seen as in poor taste, uncivil,” says Hanson, who now teaches journalism at the University of Maryland. But in a culture that’s becoming increasingly drenched in violence, it seems odd that war imagery is being treated more and more timidly. When a country goes to war, shouldn’t Americans understand what’s being done in their name?
It is from a Salon article about how sanitized the US media’s depiction of war is. But compare this with how bloody the rest of our media culture is! We have no problems watching reality shows like Trauma which are full of blood and gore — but the media just doesn’t want to seem like it isn’t supporting the war. Violence is fine in America — as long as it is to stop us thinking, not trying to make us think.