Joker and the Myth of Media-Inspired Mayhem

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Joker, Dr. Susan Lewis

It's the movie "they" didn't want you to see -- the film that glorified killing to such an extent, it was expected the easily influenced would take it as a training manual and copy the techniques to commit mass acts of violence.

But, thus far, the only reported incident requiring police intervention involved two men arrested for smoking during the film. (No word if the film was at midnight, or if the two smokers watching JOKER were using marijuana. Thank the Steve Miller Band for my going the long way around for that pun.)

So was all the media hysteria for nothing, or was there a predictable risk that JOKER could set in motion a wave of violence among those already suffering mental illness?

We could pontificate on this for hours -- it's a debate that has, in fact, been well trod for decades, usually with video games as the scapegoat. Instead, we went to an expert to get an informed opinion. Dr. Susan Lewis is a forensic psychologist, lawyer, and published author, with years of experience handling cases involving those with mental illness. So we called her up for a brief chat to separate the facts from the fallacies. (Click to play the audio interview with Dr. Lewis.)