Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

November 30, 2013

TV or not TV, that is the question

We were a Nielsen family last week. We received little diaries to fill out, marking when and what we watched on TV for a week. If we recorded a show and watched it later, we wrote that down, too.

The first thought that runs through your head when you start filling out the diary is to give the shows you love a boost, even if you went to a movie that night or to a friend’s house. Should I write down what I would have watched? Then I realized, no, it’s my favorite show’s job to keep me from going to the movies when it’s on. Or at least get me to record it. So we were very scrupulous with our diaries.

It turns out that other than the nightly news, we don’t really watch much TV at all. I imagine every family watches TV differently: Some people leave it on all day long; others just watch certain shows. We are the others. Sue watches a lot of football; me, I can barely sit through the Super Bowl. Sue watches college football on Saturday, the pros on Sunday and I watch stuff I’ve recorded on Sunday night.

There was space at the back of the diary where we could write notes about our viewing habits or comments about television in general. They even said we could use extra sheets of paper if we liked. So I told them this:

Most of what is on television is not just bad — it is toxic. Remember the Miley Cyrus blowup a few months ago on the MTV awards show? The one that did exactly what a publicity stunt is supposed to do — get her tons of free publicity? Ninety-nine percent of the country didn’t even see the show, but that didn’t stop the professional blatherers (all on TV, of course) from giving her all the free publicity one person could stand. There was not a word about the MTV show that aired right before the “awards” show. It’s called “16 and Pregnant,” a long-running series on MTV which, if you go by the lack of outrage, is just hunky-dory.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Why Obama shouldn't go to Ferguson On Monday, ABC’s Ann Compton asked President Barack Obama whether he would visit Ferguson, Missouri, amid the continued unrest. Obama didn’t give a firm answer, but he did suggest it’s probably not a good idea.“When they’re conducting an investigatio

    August 20, 2014

  • Food stamps' $80B secret spending program Imagine a government program that has exploded in size, is the subject of bitter partisan haggling and spends almost $80 billion a year in secret.No, not the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Homeland Secu

    August 20, 2014

  • Vouchers provide greater choice I was chatting the other day with a fellow who, along with his wife, homeschool his children. We joked about the stereotype: Moms in denim skirts.But then he expounded on the benefits his youngsters have derived from being taught at home: a customize

    August 20, 2014

  • A rare experience Alexandra Petri’s editorial, “What exactly are we seeing in Ferguson” is well written and did something which has increasingly become a rare experience for me. Her article caused me to think!Petri makes the case for media coverage of American events,

    August 19, 2014

  • Naive? Simple? I will admit outright that I may be a little naïve and tend to look at things through a simple prism. I received a suggestion for a column with an accompanying article written by By Reed Abelson and Eric Lichtblau concerning the failure of our govern

    August 19, 2014

  • Don't pass 'coup clause' with a security waiver It is a sad reality that national security waivers often render human rights laws moot, inviting the government to overuse the loophole to accommodate immediate needs. The “coup clause,” which mandates foreign aid suspension to countries after a mili

    August 19, 2014

  • Clinton could end up like Gore Although we’re all still sort of pretending that it remains to be seen whether Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016, she recently gave the most definitive confirmation she has to date of her impending candidacy. No, she didn’t say the words

    August 16, 2014

  • Guru will work for food ‘At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion dollars. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has beco

    August 16, 2014

  • Ferguson police fumbled protests From the chief of the police department to the president of the United States, government officials on Thursday promised a different approach to the racially-charged unrest in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. But the situation demands a lot more tha

    August 16, 2014

  • A better tax code solution: taxing consumption According to much conventional wisdom, the flap over corporate “tax inversions” is just the latest evidence that the tax code needs a comprehensive overhaul like the one agreed to by congressional leaders and President Reagan in 1986.Whether you cons

    August 15, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks