Magazine article Insight on the News

Is Television Really a Mirror of Our Lives? (Nation in Brief)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Is Television Really a Mirror of Our Lives? (Nation in Brief)

Article excerpt

Mainstream television has reached another milestone. The New York Times recently noted the emergence of uncensored four-letter words and sexual activity, and expressed surprise at the lack of protest. "Broadcast television, under intensifying attack by saltier cable competitors, is pushing the limits of decorum further by the year, and hardly anyone is pushing back," the article notes.

The folks who have created this quagmire claim that television simply reflects the culture. Critics who used to tell us, conversely, that the tube creates the culture by focusing on its worst aspects and underbelly apparently have fallen by the wayside. The critics interviewed for the article said protests have died off because there's such a range of programming available today, and viewers have a lot of choices. From a libertarian point of view, that's how it should be. But it does fail to take into account that some of these viewers are impressionable youngsters who watch junk television not as entertainment but for clues on how to live their lives.

Here's a thought: Suppose some stranger invites your kid over after school to watch hot-tub sex between a cluster of young people on MTV. …

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