Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Screwing Up America

I was reading this interview with the author of 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. (Via Instapundit) Here's part one and Part two of the interview.

And I found it really interesting how partisan the book seemed to be from the interview. I haven't read it obviously, but the interview is all about how liberalism is hurting America and how liberal values etc. Maybe that is just my perception. This part in particular for some reasons struck me as odd;

LetÂ’s talk about the TV stuff in particular. As I said, this used to be called the Family Hour. Now, itÂ’s one cheap sex joke after another. But if you complain about that, youÂ’re a prude, or youÂ’re a square. You know what? This is why I come down harder on liberals than I do on conservatives, because the Left has decided to look the other way. They donÂ’t want to complain about this, because if they do, now theyÂ’re on the side of the morality police. Oh, they couldnÂ’t possibly want to be on that side.

I find the issue of TV censorship particularly confusing when it comes to political ideology. It seems to me that a TV station is a business, this business is run by showing programs and selling advertising on highly rated programs. So in order for a broadcasting group to be successful people have to chose to watch the shows that are being aired on their channel. It seems to me that this sort of thing will police itself no? No one wants to watch cheap sex jokes, then no one will watch it and the show will go off the air, right? Why should the government get involved in a private industry. And WHY are CONSERVATIVES the ones calling for government involvement in this industry. I thought there was something about fewer regulations on companies or something in their platform.

I dont think this particular issue has as much to do with being morality police as it does freedom of choice. If you don't want to watch crap, then don't watch crap and if no one watches crap then it wont be aired. It is actually that simple. If we have to regulate it though that means there is clearly someone who wants to watch smut on TV, so why not let them rot their brains with idiotic television while you and your kids do something productive. Because that's not nearly as fun as complaining about how liberals have taken over the media and are brainwashing your kids with sex and drugs.

I think that Goldberg is enabling the victim culture in our country by giving a list of 100 scapegoats for things that people in this country don't like. I don't think that the fate of America rests in the hands of 100 or even 1,000 people. (maybe that's my youthful idealism again, how do I turn that off?) Certainly not the 100 people listed in his book.

I don't think this country is screwed up. I think that this country is about freedom. And part of that freedom is the freedom to turn off the TV, turn off the gansta rap and say no. Part of it is also to turn on the TV and buy those rap CDs and smoke cigarettes in public. I think that Americans need to stop blaming other people for their problems and take a little responsibility. If someone is smoking next to you, then move, go to the non smoking bar. If a comedian says something offensive on the TV, then turn it off, don't watch it. If a politician does something you disagree with then vote for someone else. You get the idea.

I am tired of hearing people complain about things that they have the ability to control, like the television set. Industries like television are completely dependant on their consumers. If no one watches their shows they lose money because they can't sell advertising it is that simple. If you don't like it, don't buy it. And I am particularly tired of hearing conservatives blame liberals for the state of our great union when THEY are the ones running the country. It isn't like they need the Liberal's permission for anything at this point, now they are just kicking a guy when he's down.

The people who are really screwing up America aren't the pundits on MSNBC or the slutty girls on the Reality Shows, or even Rush Limbaugh. They are the people who are watching to the idiot pundits, watching the slutty girls and listening to Rush Limbaugh because they are giving power to these people and these industries.

Americans have more opportunities than other race in the world to make something of themselves, to become educated and to exercise power in their government. And the fact that they instead blame the media, or their political opposite for everthing that is wrong is the most screwed up part about america.

In the end America is only Screwing Itself.


Ebird said...


I'm glad someone is posting today.

So about this TV thing. I don't disagree that America is screwing itself, and that the author of the book is partisan (having only read the interview). But he makes an interesting point in the paragraph after the one you reference. The one about the natural vs cultural environment. I think it's a little scary to allow free enterprise alone to determine what environments we live in. That's why they want to drill in the artic right? Because the consumers want cheap gasoline. I don't know what the answer is, but I have said before I wish that hollywood would self police the prime time hour a little better. There's def too much adult theme including violence from 7-9 IMHO.

Ebird said...

Of course I can turn the TV off and I do. But other parents don't and I think the violence is unhealthy and creating an environment that I have to live in. Are the other kids going to grow up disturbed and a menace to me and my family? Am I just paranoid? likely the second option.

I need to see some studies on this topic. - ones with valid statistics, I'm sure you agree :-)

I'm too lazy to research...

PS said...

Hey, what up? I disagree with you. Plus I don't know if you were writing to me or not, but my name is Paul not Nick

Shinobi said...

ebird-Kids are going to grow up disturbed, but not because of TV. Most likely because their parents didn't bother to show them near the amount of love that you show your kids. I don't think TV plays that large or a role, but I could certainly be wrong. I will dig up some research.

As for you Paul/Nick congratulations on disagreeing with me. I hope that works out well for you. I'll see if I can find you a medal.