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“Because of the graphic nature of this footage, viewer discretion is advised”, to me, is correct grammar with “because of”.

But you'll often see it written and used on TV as: “Due to the graphic nature of this footage, viewer discretion is advised.

I thought due to was used only to mean attributable to, as in:The bad weather was due to [attributable to] the icy roads.

In the sentence below,

Because of the graphic nature of this footage, viewer discretion is advised,

we need because of. We wouldn't say Due to [Attributable to] the graphic nature of this footage, viewer discretion is advised.

Is because of the truly correct grammatical choice in that sentence?

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My dictionary (the Dictionary app in OS X 10.6) has "because of" as definition #2 for "due to". It has a usage note that says that traditional grammarians oppose this use, for the reason you give, but it has become widespread and can be regarded as standard English now.

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