TELEVISION ISN'T A "WASTELAND FOR THE MIND." IT'S WORSE.
On May 9, 1961 (59 years ago) Mr. Newton N. Minnow, recently named chairman of the Federal Communications Commission stood behind a microphone to deliver a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington, D.C. An excerpt follows:
“When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better … But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.
You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly, commercials — many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you’ll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it.”
If it were possible to take a trip back in time, and appear in Minnow’s audience, we could give him the following shout-out: “HEY. YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET!” Today, television has become something far worse than a “wasteland.” It has become the equivalent of a moral cesspool for the marinating of American minds hours on end, day after day until they become softened and spoiled. Television is a medium whereby minds are endangered and made dangerous. It produces a build up of filthy, worthless muck in ones mind that prevents room for little or nothing that is good to pass through and enrich their life; and anything good that manages to pass through is contaminated to some degree in the process.
Fifty-nine years ago–Minnow had never seen Game of Thrones, the Walking Dead, Criminal Minds or the hundreds of other programs depicting that which is horrifically violent, pornographic and mind-numbingly idiotic; including the commercials. Minnow could not have imagined what television would become by the 21st century. Who could have imagined it? Minnow hadn't yet seen how incomprehensibly and indescribably corrupt the mainstream media would become or how televised “news” would morph into a full grown, 1984-like, propaganda machine serving a Marxist agenda for the overthrow of America. He'd wouldn’t have anticipated the non-stop mocking of God and Christianity, the belittling of everything patriotic and the glorification of every violation of each of the Ten Commandments that is part and parcel of today’s television “programming." Are there things worth accessing on television? Sure. But the “value received” is equivalent of to the “value received” from deep-diving into a cesspool to get the dime that is somewhere at the bottom of it.
Should a Christian or anyone else with a moral compass that they want to keep working watch television? I would suggest that ifthey do, they be quick with a remote, proficient with a DVR and use whatever technology they can in an honest, disciplined way to control it; that is, if they don’t’ want to become prey to television programming. I recently read this quotation: “Television is the monster in your home. And, what appears on it is called “programming” for a reason. Your television is nothing more or less than a mind altering device that has been designed to psychologically change the ways you view reality.”
Maybe those Christians who put up such a hue and cry against the evils of television when it first came out were a lot wiser, insightful, prophetic and worth listening to than most people thought at the time. What do you think?
“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”—Ps. 101:3
“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”—Rom. 1:32