Television: The Plug-In Drug
Marie Winn's essay Television: The Plug-In Drug it rings of the truth, as I have lived through the changes within the broadcast industry and seen it deteriorate to what we have today. The first time I saw a TV the tube was round and the programs were only on for a few hours a day. The screen was as black and white as the programs themselves. They were an extension of the radio programs. As a kid there was little interest other than the TV itself. Time went by and there appeared programs for the children like Howdy Dowdy Show, and Roy Rogers. There was no violence or sex as we have today if the Lone Ranger had to beat the bad guy up once in a while it was fast and with little ado. Of course the good guy always won, and no died. Programs were only a half hour long. Our family would all sit and watch Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver, and other shows that taught good family values. The FCC had total control and tried to keep it that way. However this did not last, producers started to push the limits and found people liked the programs that hinted at sex and violence but did not actually show it. Eventually they wanted more because it produced revenue. Eventually the TV stations won more freedom under the first amendment right to broadcast more sex and violence but the FCC still had some control. Over the years the FCC lost ground and the stations gained ground. Even though studies go back to the 1960's and before and found the effects to be bad most of the public and the media ignored those findings. My wife and I chose to keep the TV out of the house for many years because of these finding, but eventually we broke down and bought one. luckily our youngest was in his teens by this time and any major influence that the TV might have had was already past. However I found myself becoming a couch potato taking the drug and that became a problem, and yes I liked the action shows with all there violence even though I think they could still be good without as much gore in them. Maybe the salvation for this generation will be the internet, or will it follow the path of the TV?