Morning Joe | February 28, 2013
>>> joining us now, "time" magazine managing editor rich stengel.
>> what's on the cover of "time" magazine this week?
>> one of the reasons i've been obsessed with the oscar pistorius story is because of the parallels between south africa and america. they have one of the highest gun possession rates and highest murder rates . i have spent a lot of time there. a lot of my adult life has been spent there. my wife is south african . the story which is striking cover with never before published picture of oscar pistorius , man, "superman," gunman, oscar pistorius and south african culture of violence. there are parallels with america and it's interesting for people to read it. one of the things that hasn't been written about is this protected life that the white elite live in south africa . it has enabled them to live an even better life and not feel guilty about what they're doing living in a country with 40% living below the poverty line . this increasing situation between white and black and increasing corruption within the leadership of south africa and this kind of rainbow nation is now separating in a lot of ways. the cover is really a cry of the beloved country cover.
>> where do guns play into this in terms of the parallel?
>> they have a gun ownership rate certainly among whites that is as high or even higher than the u.s. and this feeling of it a frontier nation where they were oppressed by the english in the same way the u.s. was oppressed by the english and people feel it's their god given right to have weapons and there's very little regulation and very little control and as you have seen in the case, pretty much everyone involved in the case is up on a murder rap including oscar pistorius .
>> also in this issue, this excellent article about two of the amigos. awesome picture. john mccain and lindsey graham .
>> i would like to get your take on those guys. i have been looking at them and seeing this kind of buddy movie that they are engaged in and not quite understanding what's in it for each of them.
>> you know, they met with the president this week. they put out a statement how great it went to talk about immigration and key on sequester. senator graham is open to tax increases. a lot of republicans will talk about it. they feed off each other.
>> isn't it because senator graham is up for election next year, i guess, right? you know, he's in a state where there are the remnants of the tea party still pretty vital. he has to move to the right and he's hitched his arms with senator mccain and they are plunging through. is that the story?
>> he's out there talking about being open to tax increases. when mccain was up for re-election and faced a primary challenge, graham helped him and mccain has following in south carolina helping him for re-election. between now and then issue.
>> when newtown happened, we obviously all started talking about guns and mental health and we were certainly talking about guns and the cover story , but you also talked about something that concerned me a great deal for a lot of reasons. the violent culture that we have created and the billion was dollars that people like tarantino in hollywood made and producers made and cable news outlets on violence. we have a story about how television is addicted to violence and how this addiction to violence and this addiction is making millions and millions of dollars for hollywood . talk about it.
>> it's a piece by our critic and he looks at the use of violence and where it is kind of necessary to the plot and where it's extraneous and doesn't make sense. very, very smart and subtle. it's not beating anybody over the head about it, but it shows that it is in our dna as an entertainment culture to have violence. i see it with my two sons. they are looking at things that are violent all the time including playing games and i wonder what it's doing to them.
>> it may not do anything to them. it didn't do anything to my three sons and a lot of their friends, but some don't have the guardrail that is it impacts.
>> yes. that's the question. people who are more susceptible. do you eliminate the violence or try to treat the people who are susceptible?
>> i have to say having more boys and my boys and other children seeing murder simulated thousands and thousands of times before their 18th birthday is just as desensitizing is allowing your children to look at porn before their 18th birthday . we are up in arms about having our children looking at pornographic images, but we ourselves have become desensitized to the culture of violence we allow our children to grow up in. hollywood has got to do a much better job of looking at it. some of the biggest lines can for quentin tarantino . i saw it with my sons and still every time they hear me talking about quentin tarantino come after me. it is violence used as a punch line and blood and guts and gore used and how leaders in hollywood could be a self-righteous on the gun issue and turn a blind eye to the blood bath that takes place in movie theaters that is aimed at adolescent boys. they know that male teenagers will go and laugh at the blood and guts in quentin tarantino 's movie. you talked about addiction with potato chips . hollywood knows what they are doing. they are selling blood and guts and ger to our children.
>> by the way, there is a culture that hollywood needs to self police .
>> he said he is in some ways ironic. that is lost on a 12 or 14-year-old.
>> the new cover of time is on gun violence . we'll be right back. [ man