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I think you are right, but you do not follow your observations to the appropriate conclusions.

Reader comment on item: Television in Time of War

Submitted by Ray Exley (United States), Aug 2, 2005 at 21:47

Dear Dr. Pipes,

I agree that you should not have to appear with crazies, and endure insults.

But, the problem is that all commercial television is about creating confict and craziness, NOT, repeat NOT about providing useful information to the public. Edward R. Morrow, and all of the standards that he embodied are dead on the cross of ratings, and the greed that is fed from the ratings.

I beleive that since most of the public gets their information from TV, that we should not turn over this important media to perveyors of trash for profit, at the exclusion of useful informaion.

But, as long as the incentives reward trash, and penalize useful information we will get trash, and you will get very little air time, as you are trying to transmit useful information. When you were disinvited it was because you refused to play a part in providing trash to the public, and you seem to think that the TV producers should be doing something that is not in their interest.

Well, I think so also, and I think that since airspace is a public entity, I feel that we should remove the providers of trash for profit at least during prime time and replace the trash with useful content.

We could demand that as the price for having exclusive use of a part of the spectrum for most of 24 hours the people who derive their income from this use, must use the prime time for non commercial education programs, and that about 20% of the gross income must be spent to provide this programming, and it must be open to presentation by all points of view, with some moderate standards of fairness and correctness. That is recreate the news departments in the model of CBS and Murrow for that time. And, if these people feel they are unwilling to do that, then they should give up their bit of spectrum, and it should be rented (not auctioned for a single fixed price) for a portion of the gross revenue of the stations.

This would only be true for stations on the airways, and a few exclusively on cable.

Because as we have seen, pure commerical use causes the bad to push out the good, because most people would rather view trash than learn something of importance.

So, don't bemoan that you are unwilling to create a spectacle to enrich msnbc or cnn owers, and work to stop this waste of precious national resources. Because they will not change, as long as this enriches them, and they feel that the proposed changes would lower their already obscene income.


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