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Forum Post: 4 Arguments for the Elimination of Television

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 5, 2012, 3:50 p.m. EST by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

First published in the 70s, this book is a must read. I read it the early 80s, and never looked at the idiot box the same way. Know a lot of you probably don't watch much anyway, or you wouldn't be here blogging away. But it is still worthy if you enjoy book reading.

I am not aware of this being available for Kindle or on-line reading. If it isn't, order it from Amazon or schlep on down to your nearest Barnes & Noble and pick up a copy. Below is a link to a review for a little more detail in case you're interested.

If we didn't have so many people boob-tubed this world would be a lot different.

http://www.turnoffyourtv.com/reviews/Jerry.Mander.html

And here is an entire site encouraging you to turn off:

http://www.turnoffyourtv.com/

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87 Comments


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[-] 2 points by economicallydiscardedcitizen (761) 2 years ago

I would bet that there's more than an oblique reference to politics too with the author's pen name of 'Jerry Mander' since advertising, propaganda and politics are all without coincidence synonymous, but then again 'Jerry Mander' could be his birth name by coincidence...

For those who don't know the definition of 'gerrymandering' http://m.dictionary.com/d/?q=Gerrymander&submit-result-SEARCHD=Search

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.1 result for:Gerrymander ger·ry·man·der [-i-man-der] - verb (used with object)1. to divide (a state, county, etc.) into voting districts so as to give one group or area an unequal advantage - Related Form   ger·ry·man·der·er- noun

Origin: 1812, Americanism; after E. Gerry (governor of Massachusetts, whose party redistricted the state in 1812) + (sala)mander, from the fancied resemblance of the map of Essex County, Mass., to this animal, after the redistricting Source: Dictionary.com Unabridged

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

That's a funny observation, but I think it's just a curious coincidence. :-)

[-] 1 points by economicallydiscardedcitizen (761) 2 years ago

It is definitely curious ;0)

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Maybe the answer to Citizens United is to ban political ads on TV, broadcast, cable and Internet? It might also save newspapers?

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Ban probably wouldn't work. The better way is for all political candidates to have equal access to free and equal air-time. That way, no candidate can gain an advantage over another due to better funded campaign than another, etc.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

I like the ban better. The equal time rule went out years ago. With no ads the MSM could just as well be objective in their reporting and actually have the time to research and debunk the lies as they report them. Besides, ad saturation is the primary cause of mental illness in election years.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

"...ad saturation is the primary cause of mental illness in election years." haha, I can't deny that effective ad campaigns cause the sheep to pull the voting lever. Unfortunately, people get almost all of their info from TV campaign ads and debates. People just don't make time to truly educate themselves on the candidates/issues. TV is a poor medium for educating the people about politics in general and candidates in particular, but it is pretty much all most people have given the fact that they work 50-60 hour weeks and have to raise kids, etc... If they couldn't make the meager decisions that they do make via TV, voter turnout would probably be even more pathetic than it already is.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

"...ad saturation is the primary cause of mental illness in election years." haha, I can't deny that effective ad campaigns cause the sheep to pull the voting lever. Unfortunately, people get almost all of their info from TV campaign ads and debates. People just don't make time to truly educate themselves on the candidates/issues. TV is a poor medium for educating the people about politics in general and candidates in particular, but it is pretty much all most people have given the fact that they work 50-60 hour weeks and have to raise kids, etc... If they couldn't make the meager decisions that they do make via TV, voter turnout would probably be even more pathetic than it already is.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

"...ad saturation is the primary cause of mental illness in election years." haha, I can't deny that effective ad campaigns cause the sheep to pull the voting lever. Unfortunately, people get almost all of their info from TV campaign ads and debates. People just don't make time to truly educate themselves on the candidates/issues. TV is a poor medium for educating the people about politics in general and candidates in particular, but it is pretty much all most people have given the fact that they work 50-60 hour weeks and have to raise kids, etc... If they couldn't make the meager decisions that they do make via TV, voter turnout would probably be even more pathetic than it already is.

[-] 3 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

TV is primarily misinformation, especially about politics, issues and candidates. Radio is obviously worse. When surveys show 25-35% of the people believe things which are totally bogus (I won't list them) and they do, in order to have a good outcome of an election you not only have to counter these "low information voters" but you also have those who, even in possession of the facts, still believe in solutions that don't work because they have't studied enough history to be aware of previous failed attempts at doing the same thing.

Getting good outcomes from our current citizens is a crap shoot and with media operating from motives that are not aligned with truth, beauty and the American way, we have a hill to climb.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Well you have a good point there, but if you ban campaign ads then you're getting into Free Speech issues, etc. and raising the power/influence/responsibility of the MSM to very high levels if this is the only source of TV input (besides debates) the people have. Taking away the candidate right to reach the people with his/her message, true or not, leaves the door open for "back door politics" of bribes/corruption of MSM. We already know that certain media are heavily biased anyway, e.g. Fox, and alternatively, many journalists are inherently on the left, although by and large, I think they try to be as objective in their reporting as they can be.

This is a topic that would require a lot of thought and research to determine if a ban would be better or worse than the current political ad system. But I think you raise a really important point, as the power to influence public decision-making regarding candidates is really important. The detrimental impact of all these negative ads is not to be underestimated as candidates are willing to do anything to get elected including ignoring the facts and engaging in character assassination of their opponents.

Good input!

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Candidate don't have the right to reach the people. Candidates have the right to yell their message as loudly as they can. That is free speech. Citizens have a right to try to hear those messages, if they want to. They can listen to news, they can read newspapers and blogs. And if people want to find out what a candidate's message is, somebody will find it and present it to them. The right of the people is the sum of the rights of an individual. An individual doesn't have a right to require everyone to listen to her message. If 5 people want to yell the message they can. They don't have a right to call my phone, or fill my mailbox if I don't want them to.

I have a right to choose news sources that do not include political ads or do not sell advertizing to politicians. Unfortunately, the choices meeting this criteria. are presently quite limited.

Since some sources are worse than nothing, choosing nothing is the better choice.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I understand your point of view, and can't say that I entirely disagree with it. But people have to get their information about candidates from somewhere. There is no media utopia. If they get no information about them, then their votes are meaningless shots in the dark. People need to make meaningful informed decisions about the candidates, and I don't see how that's possible unless millions of them talk directly to the candidates, which is clearly impossible. 

You say "Since some sources are worse than nothing, choosing nothing is the better choice", I am quite curious as to where you obtain your information about the candidates. You must have some pretty good sources that you think are more reliable than the mainstream media.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Most people do not have the time and many that do, won't take the time, but it is like panning for gold. You have to sift a lot of stuff to find anything of value. There aren't many sources of news with confirmed-with-sources-and-analysis-based-on-relevant-facts in short, real journalism.

I believe Michael Kinsley said something like, A gaff is when a candidate inadvertently tells the truth. Since they don't usually make enough gaffs, record of actions are more predictive of future actions. So summaries of past votes, decisions, and actions would be the best indicators of future actions except for one thing. MONEY.

As long as money is the lever that drives ALL actions in politics and governance, nothing is predictable in candidates future actions.

Obama was a big recipient of MONEY from Wall Street ergo weak regulation in the face of overwhelming evidence of the cause of the meltdown. But even that was too much for Wall Street. They have turned on him and quit contributing. Now, if he had control of Congress he might try to leave a legacy of proper financial regulation. Romney on the other hand....

I will give you one controversial tidbit. Rachel Maddow does not claim to be nor is promoted as being a news person, but is unique in asking guests if she has characterized their position fairly, routinely making corrections when errors occur and takes others to task on their accuracy with documentation and sources. If only the "news" were as correspondingly diligent?

One thing to think about, "What if sports news was as inaccurate and slanted as political news?" Would the public stand for it?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Ah...I gotcha now. Yes, if only Edward R. Murrow could see what's going on today, and what a contrast...

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Thanks. Clearly this the most important issue we face in any flavor of democracy. I think the UK is much closer to having it right than we do (well maybe everybody is closer since the decision.) I think candidates should publish written position papers.books well before an election happens. News media including bloggers then can analyze and criticize their positions and/or lack thereof. Then public debate with a format conducive to real debate about issues, not just soundbites with challenges from other candidates encouraged, but starting only a short time before the election (maybe 4-6 weeks) would be sufficient.

Public funding of media spots (TV and print) for candidates with some criteria of level of support (average of polls).

Absolutely no candidate, party, interest group, company or corporation funded ads.

This is all going to take an amendment so I am sure it can be crafted to work with and/modify the first amendment. It's intent was fairness but it didn't anticipate parties or the mess that misinterpretation by the Supreme Court has caused. There is too much at stake to wring our hands and say, 'well the first amendment allows this too happen and we can't change that.' I also think the MSM, or any news organization, should be prosecuted for willful misrepresentation of the truth because it is, in fact, fraud.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I REALLY like your position paper idea a lot. I think the biggest problem there is politicians are loathe to commit to anything in writing that might be exposed widely to the public. They already know that anything they say in the media can be dredged up years later and used against them. Their voting record is public, but not usually made widely available to the average person and usually has to be researched and presented (usually by their opponents/opposition party).

Great idea, but just don't think they really want people to know where they stand, at least not in a crystal clear way. Like you said, a position paper that could be analyzed by anyone, including their opposition, leaves them open to attack/criticism --- something they want to avoid if they can.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Can you imagine running for office and actually telling the truth? Scary!

[-] 0 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

Your argument is for an educated electorate. Unfortunately, we will never attain this. But we should be able to achieve removing the influence of money with politics which should be the one goal of this movement (and others). That might help the "low information voters" receive unbiased news and information.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

When a company deliberately misrepresents its product, its performance, its capabilities, its quality, its results, we call it fraud and prosecute them for it (not comprehensively enough and not effectively enough, partly because they have lobbied the laws to be ineffective.)

But when a News business is freely allowed to disguise a propaganda operation as a News provider, consciously, deliberately and blatantly falsifying stories and refusing to correct errors with they are confronted with them, nothing is done. Freedom of the press should not be freedom to defraud. That said. the major news organizations that aren't propagandists, weakly report what people with an agenda say, as if it were truth and with equal weight as what others say that is accurate and factual and fail to investigate and report the truth.

Polls that report what people believe measured against fact, is a measure of the quality of their product or service. That can be correlated with their viewers and readers. Requiring them to report their quality and effectiveness is no different than having food content labeled. When the people who get their news from a specific source know fewer facts than those who ignore all news sources, their clients deserve to know that. Willful ignorance is the right of everyone but fraud is not.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22358) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

It is true it is sad - News has become performance art presented by the owning Corporation. The Propaganda machine now proudly presents .........

What the hell ever happened to the yellow journalism laws?

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

They got fixed, just like every law that impedes "commerce". Only when laws are passed to satisfy the citizen's desire for fairness will this change. Get the money out.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (22358) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yep. No money in Government.

Ban Private donations from anyone - All donations (?) go into a general election fund open to all who qualify and only accessible in equal amounts.

Divest members of Government of any stock or property holdings prior to their taking office - No conflict of interest issue to invite corruption.

Elliminate earmarks - another conflict of interest issue.


These issues are very close to the heart of eliminating corruption in our government. As such they are or should be priority issues for every one of us.

[-] 3 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

You got my vote at, "Yep"!

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (22358) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Well you brought up a good and vital point. No it's not the 1st time it has been aired but it definitely needs to be repeatedly brought back out into the light of day. For all to see and rededicate to.

It is an issue that can not ever get enough air time.

So thank you for re-posting it.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

I believe it is the highest priority. But it will take a while to get done (years). So we need to multitask and work on several fronts simultaneously.

I had a friend who said, "We all have fictions we are trying to grow into."

I think we have to do everything possible to discredit, and ignore the reality and act as if the 1% wasn't controlling everything. It is good practice, it demonstrates the principles that we DO want to operate by and it encourages those who agree with us to do likewise. Then those who disagree with us must repeatedly try to defend a position that others (in growing numbers) are treating as irrelevant. Remember, or google, sit-ins? Don't go to the back of the bus.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22358) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

It may well be a life long struggle to achieve.

It will certainly be an eternal fight to maintain.

The process begins but does not end.

What I advocate here and elsewhere is to be involved, let your voice be heard. Take every action that you can, use any tool that comes to your hand.

We will change nothing from the outside looking in. We need to participate in the process, like nothing we have ever done before. We must own the process and then occupy it forever.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

My agreement is complete.

[-] 0 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

News always has some "slant". Some more than others. Both the left and right are guilty of that. I am not sure if it qualifies as fraud though. People generally migrate to what they want to hear. The problem is to get them to become educated so they understand and multi- sourced in their information so they can make informed decisions. It would be great if all news was neutral based, but with human emotion involved it just is not possible. We all have different definitions of what qualifies as "news"

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Once upon a time there was news and there was opinion. News people were analogous to scientists. They took pride it their accuracy and were embarrassed when they were found to be inaccurate. Retractions and corrections were to be avoided. News was valued more highly than opinion. Opinion was valued more highly than propaganda. Let's look at a definition of "propaganda."

Propaganda is more effective if it is labeled as meeting the standard of "news". Inadvertent errors are forgivable, especially when corrected and and accompanied by an apology. "Both the right and the left are guilty" but not, as implied, equally guilty. That is what a propagandist would like to have you believe to "justify" the distorting that they deliberately do.

First of all, if it were inadvertent it would be relatively equal, with a comparable level of competence and with equal commitment to the truth. In fact, there is evidence that certain outlets have policies and direction not to staff with competent personnel and to further view points that are not true. Second, fraud is determined by intent. There have been reports of intercepted internal communications directing fallacious reporting.

Don't blame it on the viewer, who wants confirmation of their prejudicial viewpoint and still call it news. I believe we can agree the news is "the best possible representation of the facts available at the moment".

Let's consider a definition for "propaganda": Manipulation of information to influence public opinion. The term comes from Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith), a missionary organization established by the pope in 1622. Propagandists emphasize the elements of information that support their position and deemphasize or exclude those that do not. Misleading statements and even lies may be used to create the desired effect in the public audience.

With definitions in mind I believe we can correctly determine what is news and what is propaganda and who is doing which. Where is Cronkite when we need him?

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

Good points, we sure could use a few more cronkites today. And yes, I do remember when the editors were the safeguards of what and how it was reported. The rush to be first, etc, to be noticed has certainly comromised the integrity of news today. Sometimes I read and listen to foreign news.

[-] 0 points by BannedForTruth (233) from Christiana, TN 2 years ago

Newspapers, what's to save?

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

You remember newspapers don't you, squished trees with actual spelled out words on them instd txt?

You can wrap mercury soaked fish and saturated fat filled fries in them. Charming!

[-] 0 points by BannedForTruth (233) from Christiana, TN 2 years ago

I remember the paper with lies printed on them, just don't see anything worth saving.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

I read two every morning, a local and an international. Think of it as a puzzle.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

TV is better then it ever was. Science channel, Discovery, learning channel, history channel, A&E, Animal Planet...

And to top it off we now have Netflix. I am watching "Down From the Mountain" an awesome documentary on Appalachian music. Watched the history of Jazz last night.

The real problem is that many chose to watch all the crap that is also on.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Yeah, I know. What can you do. That is why, for me, better to advocate none for everyone than everything for everybody because people unconsciously succumb to the dumbing-down pablum spewed out to the millions, and they see absolutely no harm in it, either on a personal level or collectively.

Although there are some good programs to be found here and there, for the most part TV is stupefying, dangerously utilized to influence billions of people, and outright evil in it's primary purpose of promoting the power-elite's agenda a.k.a. product advertising. Just read the book as per the OP and you just might give up the drug for good.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

I have to disagree on the quality of TV. With 900 channels there is bound to be a lot of crap. The truth is, there is more great TV on than there has ever been before. Even some of the reality shows like American Pickers, Pawn Stars, and American Restoration are full of history and entertaining at the same time.

When I was a kid there were "thirteen channels of shit on the TV to chose from."

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Well, I think we have polarized opinions on this. I can respect your right to yours, but disagree about the quality of TV and, beyond that, there are other issues and details not related to show quality that come into play. Again, I urge you to read the book to learn about the true and subtle evils of TV.

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 2 years ago

“Go back to bed, America. Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again. Here. Here's American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up. Go back to bed, America. Here is American Gladiators. Here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their fucking skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go, America! You are free to do what we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!” - Bill Hicks

Incidentally, anyone needing a good laugh needs to check out the Adam Freeland "We want your soul" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Nz5CJi7gZc

[-] 1 points by andrewghecker (3) 2 years ago

Ever read Understanding Media: the Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

No I haven't. What is the gist of it?

[-] 1 points by andrewghecker (3) 2 years ago

Too much to condense. McLuhan was the literary Einstein. It explains the expanse of the West through its technological explosion, namely the phonetic alphabet and print, and its implosion resulting from electric technology (radio, TV, the computer). As he would put it, the medium is the message. The content is its own medium. I understand your criticism of the television and have shared many of these views, but in reflection what is really being disliked is its ownership. It is a tool of industry and depends upon commercial advertising. Not to mention whatever they may invest to perpetuate subliminally. It is still to be given credit that this technology, as all technology is, is an extension of ourselves; and so our sense ratio and perception. He explains the conflict of intellects by this composition of the sensorium by a cultures relationship with technology as clearly illustrated whenever the literary-biased westerner would come into contact with tribal man throughout recorded history. He credits the advent of the television among other electric technologies as responsible for the reaction of the youth movements and trends in the 1960's. As it is a drastic reversal from years of visually stressed print-bias. Anyways, it's more than I can sum up here, but well worth the read. His conclusion of this implosion creating a "global village" is not only realized with the internet, but yet to fully come into scope in daily life. It is a conclusion one in the same with Gandhi's vision for home-rule and Dr. King's dream of the Beloved Community. Out of the mind of one who may arguably be the most well read in western literature, or if not that, one of the most nauseating writers in western literature.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Thanks for your high-level summary. Sounds interesting. Maybe I'll try to get into it.

As you said, TV is "a tool of industry and depends upon commercial advertising", and even if people are aware of that fact, most choose to watch it anyway and voluntarily choose to be subconsciously programmed. And, of course, they vehemently deny that they are being manipulated in ways that are far too subtle for them to understand. It sort of reminds me of an alcoholic who is in denial about their disease, says s/he can quit anytime s/he wants, and then, of course, never does. TV infiltrates the human software and rewrites it in subtle and unnoticeable ways. That is why many people who watch a lot of it initially undergo a type of withdrawal feeling whenever they are denied it. Fortunately, it's effects can wear off fairly quickly (usually in a few days) if one is committed to kicking the habit.

[-] 1 points by andrewghecker (3) 2 years ago

Yes but like any habit ultimately it is up to the individual to kick it. However in a time when the cliches of popular programming have brimmed over the point of repetition, the free market has a keen opportunity to challenge it. Not only with the internet, but with the developments in internet-TV connection. Anybody can now direct and act and develop any millions of new channels. As you say so many are unaware they will no doubt face the realities with some denial. And certainly any 'no TV' campaigns at face value, rejecting the need to hear them out. As does any person at an intervention. So for this issue, the best teaching is by example. But as South Park pointed out with Hybrid cars, it is much better for all involved not to be smug about it. Despite these objections most everybody has several programs that they enjoy, and even let dominate their conversations. Your best protest would be not to purchase anything which has a commercial.

On a similar note most are unaware of the food that they eat and buy, and that it is mostly GMOs. However in this subject it is easier to understand because these foods do make you feel a certain way, everybody knows that you are what you eat, and the signs that that industrial foods are bad for you are evident. A popular solution is 'buying organic', but as this is often trickier and more expensive, and occasionally deceitful, the best method of protest is to grow your own and to share. When the general population is made aware that this method does not mean getting rid of their favorite foods, as well as being more productive and better for you, they will see no reason not to join in. It is an act that creates jobs for every family and eliminates extra expenses. It gradually and exponentially moves one out into nature and the fresh air, leaving less time for the TV, and less worry over it.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Good points!

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Wikipedia has a short summary.

[-] 1 points by infonomics (393) 2 years ago

To my own surprise, television was the easiest sacrifice I've ever made in my life. Turned it off two years ago and not once have I had the urge to return to it.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Yep. See? Wish we could spread the word about that. It's a funny thing to realize that for the vast majority of history there was no TV and people got along just fine. They didn't know any better, because they had nothing to compare it to. Now most people would probably say/think they just couldn't live without it...and that is probably true because the damn thing is psychologically addictive. But once you kick it, just like cigarettes, you're a lot better off.

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

id pay for commercial free tv, lets set this up too after we set up a peoples bank. man there are some good ideas circulating in here.

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

im not for making another man do anything, other than such men who make other men's business their own being hanged by a tree.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

The Boob Tube has its major downsides. But it has upsides, too. The Berlin Wall would not have come down without international , 24/7 TV coverage. The Arab Spring couldn't have been successful (and relatively bloodless, considering) without it, too. OWS would not have been as successful so far without it.

The near instantaneous transmission of images around the world is extremely powerful, but it is a double, not single edged sword.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 2 years ago

Well, I think that television is a wonderful thing and for many reasons. I watch music concerts, nature programs, cooking shows, and more. Like anything, TV has disadvantages too. It can serve as something far more sinister and so we must be mindful of it's "power" to be sinister. I see as I do many things in life: it's what I make it. I choose to make it a "tool in my toolbox" like my iPod or my cell.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

To each his/her own. At least we still live in a free country (for now) that gives you the option. Just be aware that all may not be as it appears. My advice, for what it's worth, is read the book I suggested in the OP. It will open your eyes if you arent't already aware.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 2 years ago

I thank you for that suggestion and agree with the premise of this thread to a great degree.

Please don't get me wrong. Much of television absolutely disgusts me. The propoganda, the "commercials" (aka brainwashing), the mind-numbing pablum, the political agendae, etc., etc. I simply pick my poisons, if you will. :-)

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I understand you, and thank you for your input.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 2 years ago

Hey! Right back atcha! :-)

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

I agree with what your saying, but watching PBS, or HBO is what I enjoy the most, what I dislike is propaganda, entertainment pretending to be news, reality shows, soap operas, and most of all is market targeting commercials. But I guess if people wanna buy garbage, people will package and sell it... Aren't heroin n methamphetamine illegal? Wait oxys n ritalin are legal...

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 2 years ago

I hear ya, Dog! I hear ya! Hey, I have to admit to it - I've watched a new series on Fox called "The New Girl" starring Zoey Dechannel (sp?) and have to admit that it's very funny. Snappy dialog, no laugh track, quirky humor.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

The last paragraph from your link. I haven't watched tv for about five years now.

"Television offers neither rest nor stimulation," Mander says. "Television inhibits your ability to think, but it does not lead to freedom of mind, relaxation or renewal. It leads to a more exhausted mind. You may have time out from prior obsessive thought patterns, but that's as far as television goes.

"The mind is never empty, the mind is filled. What's worse, it is filled with someone else's obsessive thoughts and images."

Why do you think they call it programming?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Yeah. Any tv I watch now is very limited and specific to things like watching Congress on C-SPAN and an occasional old movie on TCM. Other than that, not much else.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

I think if you watched something other than C-SPAN you would find television more enjoyable.

[-] 0 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Sorry, but most of the stuff I come across is pure rubbish...mental marijuana. There are a few good shows on PBS here and there, and I like to catch Bill Moyers occasionally when I can. "The Civil War" documentary by Ken Burns many years ago was excellent. But for the most part 95% to 98% of TV is harmful to the human mind, IMHO. Read the book as per OP above and be enlightened to that.

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

Underdog wtf pot is good not bad, dont use that term pls, you know what the masses need its budwieser, newports, mcdonalds, right lol not pot u can grow your self- anyways your right read books turn the boob tube off, and take your kids to the county library or local college library.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Yeah, sorry. I shouldn't have used that term. I actually support legalization. Just meant that TV alters the brain in a similar, though not exact, way that pot/alcohol does, i.e. it "destroys" brain cells and/or critical thinking skills (provided one has those to begin with).

[-] 0 points by economicallydiscardedcitizen (761) 2 years ago

Your viewing habits are similar to ours. We enjoy the old reruns such as 'The Untouchables,' 'Alfred Hitchcock,' and Rod Serling's 'The Twilight Zone.'

In closing: The key is to keep your mind open, but not so open your brains fall out, use critical thinking skills and (my saying):'Beware of the Global Skinner Box'

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I agree wholeheartedly. People just don't understand how their minds are being influenced. If they did, they would hopefully go do something less deleterious to their software. There is so much more to do in life than to watch some brainless sitcom.

[-] 0 points by Farleymowat1 (19) 2 years ago

Timothy Leary said video would control the masses. He's been dead awhile and he was right.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Yes, about that, he was dead-on correct.

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[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

I say pull the broadcast licenses of all the stations except PBS. They truly provide a good product that caters to my viewpoint. And best of all, someone else pays for it.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Actually, we all pay for it (or used to). Most of it is funded by large trusts and grants supplemented by occasional money drives. Most people tune out during those drives, but thank goodness some don't because without those donations some programs might be cancelled.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

I also like the fact that no Federal money is used to support it, or else Amish people without televisions would have to pay for something they don't use. And I like the fact that it is commercial free, because I've never seen any commercial announcements or material on PBS programming. And I like the fact that none of the programming presents only one side of any issue, and presents a well rounded viewpoint that everyone can agree with and use as "common ground". I can't get enough of state run television.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

"I can't get enough of state run television."

There's something about that statement that really bothers me.

Read George Orwell's "1984" or watch the movie starring John Hurt and Richard Burton.

I don't think PBS is "state run" television. It is publicly funded. Big difference.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

I guess you have a point. Wait a second, how do the executives controlling PBS get into positions of authority? Does the public vote them in? How much money do they make?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I have zero knowledge about the business structure of PBS. Perhaps some other knowledgeable reader can answer your questions.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Well, I know we don't vote for them... So if the people running it are appointed by the state, how does that mean they are not state-run? I went ahead and looked up the salaries of PBS executives, and the head of PBS makes about $600,000 per year. The head of NPR makes around $1.3 million. I'm starting to think public broadcasting is not such a great deal after all...

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Interesting!!!

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

Those segments where they are looking for pledges are usually longer than normal commercials and every bit as annoying.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Yeah, that's really the only thing I don't like about it, they don't use federal funds. I wish they would just get someone else to pay for it instead of begging off the ultra-low income people who use it as their only source of information.

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[-] 0 points by Renaye (522) 2 years ago

"The People's Network" is the answer. Everyone pays $1 per day (less than a cup of coffee) to have a people's network for ongoing unbiased news. How much would you pay to ensure that our future was secure by making decisions based on truth as reported by fully vetted and honest reporters? No commercial interests would be allowed. Strictly news, by and for the people.

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

Interesting concept, but I don't believe anyone can leave their personal bias out of their reporting.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

You said it. What you wrote was a thought that kept running through my mind when I was told in journalism school that reporters should be objectionable. It did not ring true when I compared objectionable reporting with what goes for reporting today. Though I was a child when the fairness doctrine was repealed, I believe that something to that effect should be reinstated.

[-] 1 points by wellhungjury (296) 2 years ago

In other countries, this is called State Television. If that is the only choice, then I will just shut it off.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Really like your idea, except how would "unbiased" reporting be assured? What exactly is unbiased reporting? Does it actually exist? Would love to see it.

[-] 0 points by asauti (-113) from Port Orchard, WA 2 years ago

If you do not like television, do not watch it. If you do not like books, do not read them. If you do not like the internet, do not "connect".

That's my best advice, at this time.