According to Teachout, in May 1961 the FCC's powerful chairman Newton Minow gave a speech called "Television and the Public Interest" in which he proclaimed TV "a vast wasteland of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, Western bad men and good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence and cartoons. ... Is there no room on television to teach, to inform, to uplift, to stretch, to enlarge the capacities of our children?"
In the 55 intervening years, it seems that, except for PBS, we have made little room to teach, inform, uplift, stretch or enlarge the capacities of anyone.
He concluded with a quote from Edward R. Murrow: "This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and even it can inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise, it's nothing but wires and lights in a box."
Never miss a local story.
Food for thought.
Mary Woodmansee Green