“…sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air…and keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland.”
Newton Minnow, Chairman of the FCC, May 9, 1961.
My, what would Newton say today, nearly fifty years later? In sixty-one, there were three channels, today there are hundreds.
And it is still a vast wasteland.
I don’t watch television. Every once in a while, I’ll watch a live sporting event, but for the most part, my television sits silently in the corner of my den. I don’t have cable or a satellite, but I do have a HD antenna so that I can pick up one of the four broadcast stations if I want to watch a ballgame, or a match or a race.
“Man came by to hook up my cable tv
We settled in for the night my baby and me
We switched ’round and ’round ’til half-past dawn
There was fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on”
Bruce Springsteen, “Fifty Seven Channels.”
For some, the television is flipped on at 7:00 AM and stays on until 11:00 PM. Others just watch select programs.
There is some good stuff on television – the History Channel, Discovery and some news programs, but it hardly is worth it to pay a cable service $50 – $80 a month just so you can watch a few hours of programing.
I won’t even pretend that there wasn’t a time when I was just as hooked on television as anyone else. Did they ever determine who was actually the boss? Now we know who shot JR, but that’s old news. What I really want to know is why can the guy on television can solve a terrorist plot in twenty-four hours but our fifteen spy agencies can’t foil a man with explosives tucked away in his underwear?
Well, my fellow bloggers, what do you watch on the boob tube?
William Stephenson Clark