Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Harmful, Corrupt Power of Television

Have you ever seen the 1957 movie "A Face in the Crowd" starring Andy Griffith? It pre-dated his sheriff show with Barney Fife and Opie but the message of "A Face in the Crowd" was very clear. It is more clear today.

Clearly ahead of its time, and certainly one of the first movies to question the influence of television, its jaundiced view of television now seems entirely prophetic. In this modern age of American culture, where the merging of media and politics is very intertwined, there have been many media personalities who have captured the attention and the imagination of the American public for all the wrong reasons. It was not by their message, but by how nice they looked and sounded on television. "A Face in the Crowd" stood as a warning then: when we turn on our television sets, radios, or exercise our right to vote, we should be wary of the specter of Lonesome Rhodes. It is a warning that still rings true today.


The power of television is very real. Any medium that attracts several senses, emotions, or thoughts at the very same time has always proven to be more stimulating. Two dinners can be the very same and taste exactly alike, but the more attractive one will get the most attention. We have to recognize this power and we have to make sure our children completely understand.

I only have to draw one line on a piece of paper to gauge how television, with news cycles offering approved propoganda or crime-filled drama, has affected society. On one side of the line is the period before 1957. On the other side is the period since. What do you think of the change?

A Russian leader once said America would be defeated from within. Was he right? Did it begin in our living rooms?

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