No-TVCommentary by Pete du Pont
January 28, 1997
Host intro: Do you ever wish you could change just one thing in history? Commentator Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis has thought about it, and waves his magic wand today.
My rewriting of history starts with a news clipping from 1934. Experiments using radio with pictures, called "television," have failed. It will never work. Never.
What a wonderful world it would be.
Ok, football's better on TV. I'd miss Letterman and The X Files and Mystery.
But ask yourself, if television had never been invented, would we be better off or worse?
TV may bring us closer to the news in a shallow, emotion-laden way, but it's without depth and reflection. Most entertainment programs are empty calories at best, morally offensive at worst.
And I'm not even arguing against the pleasures of stupid fun -- only that television's fun has been pervasive and staggering in its stupidity.
Because of television, we read less, talk less, think less, exercise less, spend less time with our children. We've turned politics into a game of surface slickness devoid of content. We've lowered the national norms of language, entertainment and intellect.
Remove television from history and you don't just leave a blank. It's addition by subtraction. We have to fill all those hours, and we'll do it better.
No TV. That's how I'd rewrite history. How about you?
Those are my ideas. And at the NCPA, we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you tomorrow.
Host outro: If crime statistics are down, why do so many Americans still worry about it? Pete du Pont has an idea why tomorrow.