Why I don’t Watch Regular Television


Contributing Writer Katrina Fuller


I  just finished watching Ben Affleck throwing a fit from his seat on Bill Maher’s talk show. (Or is it a news show? The line between entertainment and what is newsworthy is so blurred anymore, it’s hard to tell what these spectacles actually are.) It is astounding to me that this is what television has come to: a bunch of grown people sitting around a table, yelling like a bunch of preschoolers. “YOU ARE WRONG, AND I AM RIGHT!” they all scream at the top of their lungs. (I am paraphrasing here, but that is basically the idea.)

Instead of being able to watch a program and glean some ideas from it, I end up walking away from the experience glad that my kid will someday grow out of this stage and happy that she is not on live television. I also leave saddened by the idea that these grown adults might not.

Honestly, folks, I don’t even watch the news anymore. (Or I guess what used to be the news. Now it’s just a game of “Pick your flavor of propaganda and run with it”.) It is depressing. Instead of actually finding out the day’s events, noteworthy happenings, and the like, these ‘shows’ as I will now call them, are built around political arguing, childish fighting, and celebrity gossip. If this is news, I don’t need to know about it.

Why is this acceptable? I’ve spent days and weeks and months trying to get my kid to sit down, be polite, and express herself well enough to be understood: tell me, how effective is that going to be when she is watching celebrities like Ben Affleck unable to contain himself for five minutes?

I am severely frightened for us as a society, dear readers. I am afraid we are losing ourselves in some kind of crazy, chaotic desire to be right. To be correct.

What does that even mean? On the one hand, we’ve all got to wear kid gloves not to offend anyone, but on the other hand, if you aren’t on the right side, I will hop up and down on you like we are kids on a play ground. It’s a sorry state we are in – and it appears to be getting worse.

What I would like to see is this: real stories with facts. Not two people hopping up and down on stage, arguing about their opinions. Give me statistics, numbers, a brief description of the event – and let me come to my own conclusion. While I understand Bill Maher is more of the entertainment end of the spectrum, it would still be nice to see some level headed folks who could interact without interrupting each other. Let’s be respectful of one another, especially when in the public eye. It’s ridiculous to turn on the TV and see eighteen different shows with yelling and screaming ‘experts’.

Yelling doesn’t make you correct; he who is loudest is not right. Let’s have reasonable debate, serious discussions in a calm manner – or I’m tuning out.