Sunday, September 10, 2006

Media, Propaganda, and Candy

Let us say I watch the proposed 9/11 docudrama (polemic?) and find it deeply offensive and a product of right wing shills. What could I do to boycott Disney?

I could refuse to watch Desperate Housewives on ABC. That would hurt because it is one of my favorite TV shows, in fact, the only network show I watch. What good would it do if I then turned to Sunday Night Football on ESPN, also owned by Disney? To really stick to my convictions, I'd have to boycott all four ESPN channels I watch and ABC, which means I won't be seeing any Iowa football games for the rest of the season. Ouch!

The History Channel runs some good shows on Sunday Night, and you cannot go wrong by tuning into PBS on Sunday with its Masterpiece Theater and Mystery Theater. I guess I could do it and not suffer much. But this thing has turned out to be much bigger than I thought now that I have started thinking about its implications.

That is where Big Media has me. You see it is not just about the bitter pills they try to make me swallow occasionally, but also about the steady stream of candy they feed me.

Let's take one more example. I find Fox News abysmal, yet I love my Fox Soccer Channel because that is almost my only window on world football games. I don't boycott all of Fox because I find O'Reilly and his ilk offensive.

TV feeds me a steady diet of candy that anesthetizes me to the propaganda.

Don't watch TV, Lynn, some will say. I have spent a lot of years not watching TV except for the occasional sporting event. I don't work the crossword puzzles because I don't know the answers to any of the TV questions. Now, I have a few favorite shows like Battlestar Galactica and Desperate Housewives that I like and even find valuable. After years of wandering in the cultural desert, I may never have escaped. If I stop watching TV again, I'll never know what people are talking about. Maybe, I should annoit myself a cultural theorist to excuse my TV watching.

What is the cultural desert? TV or the complete lack of TV?

The 9/11 polemic is a dilemma. Like many dilemmas it is also an eye opener.


At 3:30 PM, Blogger -epm said...

One man does not a boycott make. Don't be too hard on yourself. Enjoy your candy, but you don't have to support the advertisers who are the sugar daddies of the racket.

Personally, I'm not watching the Path to 9/11. Mainly because it looks like predictable, overly sensationalize TV schlock. But the fact that it's content is historically and factually specious just gives me yet another reason to pop in a DVD. I think Animal House. I need a good laugh.

I may make a token protest by mailing a Disney product or two to Disney and ABC headquarters with some snarky comment about wanting to protect my children from their poison, but my real protest will come in November. I think some changes in FCC licensing rules would be a nice comeuppance. Maybe bring back the equal time rules that Reagan killed. Yeah that would be sweet...

At 8:18 PM, Blogger Lynn said...

epm -

I opted out too. I'm finishing the last few pages of Ron Suskind's The One Percent Doctrine, which in retrospect I am sure I will find much more satisfying. Plus, I've read and seen so much about 9/11 I am a little burnt out on the story at this time.

PBS Frontline had a nice show on O'Neill about a year ago. If they rerun it, I recommend that show.

For my time, Frontline is the best show on TV.

At 8:39 PM, Blogger -epm said...

I agree. Frontline is the best.


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