Television lies...television cares?

Posted by Mitchell - March 20, 2003 (entry 18)

From an article from New York Press:

Television lies all the time: it lies about politics, it lies about its own commercial interests, it lies about what America looks like (when was the last time you saw a set of food stamps on television?), it lies about how scared you should be of teenage black criminals, Muslims, sharks and whatever other vermin of the day are around to freak out about. But the biggest, most scandalous lie it puts forward–and this is the one that was most on display during the Elizabeth Smart coverage–is that it cares.

I would amend this statement in that I think the problem is primarily with the message and not the medium. There's nothing exclusive to the medium which guarantees the trajectory of its use. It's the economic and political control of the medium which goes a long way to how it's used, what messages get promoted, what messages get ignored. But I wouldn't dismis the medium out of hand automatically: I got politicized because I happened to see a TV show which changed my way of thinking about things (and a big reason why I'm involved in producing my own TV shows, to try and pass the torch along to others).

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