Thursday, June 14, 2007

the effects of too much tv

The above two links will take you to two separate columns written about the same topic, although from two different perspectives.

The Culture and Media Institute (CMI) has released a new study that examines the effects of TV viewing and our political and moral attitudes. The name of the report is "The Media Assault on American Values." The report is based on data collected by the respected polling firm Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates in December, 2006. They surveyed 2000 Americans aged 18 and above about their TV viewing and their opinions on politics and morality. This investigation classified “heavy” TV viewers as those who devoted four hours (or more) per evening to watching TV. They found that 25% of the public fit that description. “Light” TV viewers (22.5% of the sample) were those who watched one hour per night or less. In other words, the self-described “heavy” viewers consumed, on average, more than four times the amount of nightly television as the self-consciously “light” viewers.

I'll summarize their findings, but it is necessary to point out one very important fact about the study first. When CMI released the report, they made no attempt to offer analysis of the findings. In other words, they made no attempt to answer the question "why." They just reported raw data and numbers. After I summarize the results, I will offer my opinions as to why the numbers say what they do.

1. 26% of heavy TV viewers agreed with the statement “the government needs to get bigger.” Only 12% of light viewers agreed.
2. 64% of heavy TV viewers endorsed the idea that “government should be responsible for providing retirement benefits for everyone.” Only 43% of light viewers endorsed that idea.
3. 57% of heavy TV viewers considered themselves "pro-choice." 43% of light TV viewers were prochoice.
4. Heavy TV viewers were more likely to support a "government-run health care system" than were light TV viewers (57% to 43%).
5. Heavy TV viewers were less likely to go to church each week (28%) than were light TV viewers (47%).

More findings:

In fact, a range of significant real world behaviors connect in striking manner to the amount of television we consume. For instance, among those who commit four hours a night (or more) to the idiot box, a stunning 56% say they never volunteer time to “causes and charities”; only 27% of light viewers (one hour a night or less) make the same statement. When it comes to writing checks, there’s a similar disparity: 24% of heavy viewers give no charity at all, but only 11% of light TV viewers shun their charitable responsibilities.


Is sex outside of marriage, the way Hollywood incessantly depicts it, always wrong? 39 percent of light viewers say so. Only 26 percent of heavy viewers agree. 55 percent of light viewers say homosexuality, another Hollywood hobbyhorse, is wrong, but only 43 percent of heavy viewers.
The media’s continual portrayal of clergy and believers as moral reprobates, and outrages like showing God in bed with a woman (both Fox’s Family Guy and Comedy Central’s Sarah Silverman Program), appear to be eroding the nation’s devotion to religion. 32 percent of heavy viewers say they live by God’s values above their own, significantly less than the 43 percent of light viewers.

Those are interesting numbers. The authors of the two articles linked above both give opinions as to why the numbers are what they are, so I will offer my opinions as well.

TV, for the most part, is make believe. So is liberalism. For a person to believe in the philosophy of liberalism, it is first necessary to completely close you eyes, ears, mind, heart and soul to reality. For example, to believe that abortion is simply a matter of choice, you must refuse to even look at the scientific fact that a human fetus is a living human being. Either that, or you must kill that part of your soul that would enable you to care. The more time you spend immersed in the make believe world of TV, the more likely it is that you will want to become immersed in make believe cultural and political beliefs.

TV offers unrealistic, simplistic solutions to complex problems. CSI solves, on average, 3 murders an hour. Why can't all police forces do that?

TV offers a false reality. Will and Grace shows two promiscuous homosexuals living it up in the gay lifestyle, but nobody gets AIDS. Nobody dies. That's pure fantasy, just like the liberal notion that homosexuality is no different from heterosexuality.

TV offers a false view of government. West Wing shows us that all it takes for the world's problems to be solved is to elect a bunch of liberals wo "really care" and poof! Life is wonderful for everybody. I would hope that the realities of the Carter and Clinton administrations exposed that particular myth!

TV news has, for at least the last 50 years, been the official mouthpiece for American socialists, AKA the Democrat Party. If you watch a lot of TV news from The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) or their socialist siblings (CNN, MSNBC), you will get nothing but the official talking points of the Democrat Party, all of which are liberal lies. The most egregious example was the fake George Bush/National Guard story that Dan Rather aired for the sole purpose of swinging the 2004 election to John Kerry. If all you watch is the Mainstream Liberaliar News, how could you not be affected?

In short, TV depicts an alternate universe where truth is subjective. Dangerous, unwise lifestyle choices never have any negative consequences. Government is right, the individual is wrong. The stark differences between good and evil, fact and fiction, and right and wrong are blurred so that there aren't any differences. Christians are intolerant, while secular progressives are the model of tolerance. All of the above are lies, of course, but not in the fairy tale, liberal la-la land of TV. Is it any wonder that the more TV that you watch, the more of a mushy-minded liberal you would become?

So, what's the lesson here? What's "The Big Idea?" First, strictly limit the amount of time the TV is on in your home. Second, strictly regulate the content of the shows that are being watched. And don't automatically assume that the "kiddie channels" are OK for the kids. The absolute worst piece of liberaliar propaganda I have ever seen, other than Al Gore's sci-fi flick, was the movie Happy Feet. I never knew that an animated movie about penguins could be so flagrantly Marxist, and so openly hostile to Christianity! (personal note from my house--We naively watched that movie last week as a family. I stopped it halfway through. We had to watch Rocky and Rocky II, plus a good Walker, Texas Ranger episode, just to clear the liberal stench from the room!)

Third, spend time reading with your kids. Read the classics. Read the Bible. Read about the Founding Fathers, and great American heroes like Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. Read the Bible. Read about Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone. Read about the Pilgrims. Read the Bible. You get the idea.

Fourth, pray with your kids. Pray for wisdom, strength and courage so that you can model Christian conservatism for you kids, and so that they could grow to be strong Christian conservative American citizens.

In my opinion, we are one generation away from completely losing the America of our Fathers and from seeing America circle the same liberaliar, Marxist drain that has claimed Europe. One generation! By the same token, we are only one generation away from beating back the forces of cultural Marxism or secular progressivism or liberaliarism or whatever you want to call it, and reclaiming America for the cause of Christian conservatism. The battle starts in the home with the simple act of turning off the TV.

And with never, ever watching any cartoons about penguins!


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