Hillary Clinton is worried about sex and violence in popular entertainment. "It is a little frustrating when we have this data that demonstrates there is a clear public health connection between exposure to [fictional] violence and increased aggression that we have been as a society unable to come up with any adequate public health response," the junior senator from New York said at a Kaiser Family Foundation forum this week.
Leaving aside the fact that the link to which Clinton alludes is anything but clear, the quote illustrates how meaningless the phrase public health has become. Why would a connection between, say, watching The Sopranos and whacking people in real life be a "public health connection" requiring a "public health response"? (Isn't violent crime a public safety issue?) In this context, the phrase gives Clinton's dislike for certain forms of entertainment a scientific veneer and obscures the government remedy she has in mind (some form of censorship, presumably).
It is a little frustrating when we have these data that demonstrate a clear public health connection between fuzzy collectivist thinking and bad policy that we have been as a society unable to come up with any adequate public health response. Maybe we could quarantine Clinton.