The Decline of American television

Does anybody out there remember what television was like in the 1970s?

Back in the 1970s we had TV shows like Welcome back Kotter, Barney Miller, Chico and the Man, M*A*S*H*, All in the Family. WKRP in Cincinnati, the ABC After school special and Fat Albert.

The main thing that binds all of these TV shows together was that all of these shows had a social message. They taught important lessons. They taught about the importance of trying to resolve problems without violence, the stupidity of racism, the ugliness of war, the importance of social justice, the importance of getting a good education, the importance of accepting of people who are different than you are, the importance of staying off of drugs and other social messages as well.

We also had Schoolhouse rock which helped to educate America's children.

That was then. This is now.

Nowadays we have television shows like American Idol, Survivor, America's Next Top Model, Fear Factor, Big Brother and the Apprentice.

These TV shows tend to teach (if they teach anything at all) that greed is good and that it's acceptable to do anything for money.

Public service announcements (which used to teach us about everything from vehicle safety tips to the importance of good nutrition) have totally disappeared from America's airwaves.

Even our news broadcasts are no longer educational. I've seen "news" shows on MSNBC, CNN and ABC where the latest celebrity scandal, affair, marriage, divorce or scandalous rumor is given top billing on the list of "news" stories for the day.

And after Fox "news" got permission from a Florida Court to lie in their "news" broadcasts they immediately began to use that with wild abandon. Fox "news" will lie dozens of times an hour and label those lies as "news".

And just imagine . . . if you're a young American born in 1990, this is the only kind of television you've ever known. To such a young person this sort of irresponsible, childish programming almost certainly seems normal!

And exactly what sort of adults will these children grow up to be?

Nowadays most families need two (or even three) paychecks coming in in order to be able to pay the bills. As a result television often does more to raise the children then either the mother or the father.

And what sort of values does television teach today?

Wow. This is really discouraging.

This is not a great time to be raising a child.

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