Addressing the National Association of Broadcasters convention on May 9, 1961, Newton Norman Minow, then Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, referred to much of commercial television as a “vast wasteland.” Minow believed that broadcasters were not doing enough to serve the public interest, and was never quiet in his criticism of the industry.
Understandably, his message was not well received by its intended audience, and the resentment on the part of the industry was no secret. Some claim that the S.S. Minnow, the ship wrecked in the old Gilligian’s Island sitcom, was a sarcastic reply to Minow’s comments.
Unfortunately, those words were never truer than today. Let me state right up front that I enjoy television. And not just the National Geographic channel or PBS. While I do watch a lot documentaries and History channel programming, there are also a few excellent dramas, and a handful of sitcoms that I look forward to every week. And being a news hound, I spend a lot of time watching the different news programming to get the different sides of an issue.
However, there is also an overwhelming amount of what I consider to be absolute garbage. Really, how many “reality” shows do we truly need? I kind of wish those dancing stars would two step right off the stage and land on a survivor wannabe and put a lot of us out of our misery.
It’s bad enough that 75% of what is on the boob tube is beyond stupid, but they can’t even come up with an original thought. They are all too busy copying whatever the next guy is doing. Isn’t one “Housewives of…” show enough?
Apparently not, because besides brand new dramas about Playboy bunnies and Pan Am stewardesses, the latest junk food for the brain to be announced is The Trailer Park Housewives of Las Vegas, which is described as a reality series that will feature six housewives living in a Las Vegas trailer park.
Just what we need, one more celebration of white trash. Hand me the remote control honey, the new season of The Biggest Loser just started. Now, that’s entertainment!
Tags: Federal Communications Commission, Gilligian’s Island, History channel programming, National Association of Broadcasters, National Geographic channel, news programming, Newton Norman Minow, Pan Am stewardesses, PBS, Playboy bunnies, reality TV shows, television is a vast wasteland, The Biggest Loser, white trash