Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fattening lemmings, part 2

In response to the editorial about which I blogged here, there have been several letters. Bold parenthetical material is mine.

From Robert Kesten, Executive Director of the Center for SCREEN-TIME Awareness in Washington:

...[W]e see the way government concerns itself with what is unimportant and makes it a national emergency.

For all the good television could do, it remains a tool for selling things and entertainment. It is far from the best source of news or the best way to get information in an emergency...

If the government feels the need (cough) to expend $1.5 billion on bringing the public up to date, it should invest that money in ensuring the survival of the local newspaper. Better yet, let's insist schools across the nation teach civics so we would be more aware of how our political system should work and maybe then we would be better citizens. (Ooh, radical idea! Teaching the kids about our own culture? How DARE they? lol)

Providing set top boxes is not going to do anything to make this nation more productive, more informed or more responsible... (There's also something I vaguely remember reading--rather NOT reading--in the Constitution, something about the government's duties NOT including handouts...)

From Bob G. in Pacific Palisades, CA, in a decidedly negative tone...with a twist:

Your editorial...got it completely wrong. Unlike the switch from vinyl records to compact disks, which was purely market driven, the switch from analog TV broadcasting to digital TV broadcasting was mandated by the federal government. Thus, because the government decided to make my perfectly good analog TV sets nonfunctional next year, it's appropriate they should bear some of the cost of making them functional again. (I have to agree with his logic--if our government does something stupid, it's different from our economy doing the same stupid thing.)
Tom N. in Cerritos, CA, says essentially the same thing:
Fortunately, we "Couch Potatoes" still have enough neurons firing to shoot down your arguments...In none of the examples that you cite, from microwaves to CDs, did the feds make the previous products inoperative...In addition, in none of the examples that you cite did the feds stand to profit...With that said, I need to take a break, rest my brain and watch some old-school analog TV.
I'd rather read, given TV's effects...but, as today's thinking goes, Tom is "entitled" to his couch.

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