Tuesday, February 20, 2007
WHERE'S NEWTON TODAY?
"When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better. "But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there without a book, magazine, newspaper, profit-and-loss sheet or rating book to distract you — and keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland." That quote is from a speech made by Newton Minow in 1961 (Jack Kennedy's time) talking about then television. He was head of the FCC and a man who was his own man. He made more than one remark about poor quality shows, had no patience with networks who violated rules for how much time could be used for advertising and refused to be waylaid by "artistic expression." More than one network trembled when he sent them a query about what was happening with their television programming. Our present FCC regulations apparently favor advertisers (no matter how inane their ads), enabling them to take almost as much time as the shows we want to watch. A devoutly Republican point of view. Is anyone in our Federal goverment even interested in this dumbing of the US? Does anyone care that the ugly (and offensive) logos the stations use, cover up and interfere with our enjoyment of the shows we like? Does anyone care about the obnoxious extra ads that run, while we are watching the show, covering the corners of our sets, distracing our attention? I guess the FCC really doesn't care about the viewers.