In this insightful new book, media critic Philip Green explores the true nature of television and the effect this TV addiction has on American democracy. He argues that mainstream shows are little more than extended commercials, dominated by advertising interests and designed to be as habit-forming as possible. Programming is controlled by conglomerates afraid of losing market share or upsetting advertisers, leading to television news, dramas, and sitcoms that uphold conservative values at the expense of controversial opinions. The result is a system that stifles debate, isolates viewers, and favors right-wing agendas. To make the system serve a true democracy, Green proposes ending the private monopoly of public airspace and making the television market a true free market.
Philip Green is Sophia Smith Professor of Government, Emeritus at Smith College. He is the author and editor of numerous books including Equality and Democracy, Cracks in the Pedestal: Ideology and Gender in Hollywood, and Retrieving Democracy: In Search of Civil Equality.
Chapter 1 The System: Monopoly and the Free Lunch Chapter 2 Ideology and Propaganda Chapter 3 Distractions: The Lie About Liberals Chapter 4 The Real World of Television Chapter 5 Distractions: Sex and Violence Chapter 6 Matters of Taste Chapter 7 Conclusion: Abolishing the System