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DAVIDSON: Don’t Believe What You See On TV — An Opinion Piece

Television is an artificial world that contorts our collective consciousness.

Jeff Davidson

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*Originally published December 2020* Violence on television shows is more pervasive than in real life and this has been so for decades. In their classic research project, years back, “Watching America”, Stanley Rothmann, Robert Lichter, and Linda Lichter found that since 1955, television characters have been murdered at a rate 1,000 times higher than real world victims.

* Since 1975, a major character on prime time TV is 17 times more likely to go through a personal confrontation with criminal violence than are the viewers who watch them every week.

* The broadcast networks’ prime time schedules contain more than 1,000 scenes of violence per month. The “promos” for coming attractions depict even more violence than the shows themselves. The mayhem level even increased during a public outcry over TV violence.

* Businessmen and businesswomen are twice as likely to represent villains and three times as likely to commit crimes as are characters in other professions. Three out of four programs that show business dealings portray business as dishonest or corrupt.

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Violence, Cigarettes, and Drugs – Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

The authors conclude that television is an artificial world that takes on a life of its own by shaping our collective consciousness. “For better or worse… films and television tell us the way we conduct our lives, what is right and wrong. It is important that the people who make films have ethics classes, philosophy classes, and history classes. Otherwise, we are witch doctors,” says George Lucas, Star Wars producer.

The National Coalition on Television Violence, based in Washington, D.C., has completed many studies which show immediately after watching programs that emphasize combat, there is substantial, readily observable increases in playground violence among what is otherwise to be considered to be normal children.

“What we think of now as the excess of the Roman circuses, where in the end hundreds of thousands of people died, didn’t start out that way,” Bill Moyers once said. They started out legitimately as circuses, but the audience demand for more and more resulted in forms of entertainment becoming more bloody and more grotesque.

NCTV also surveys Hollywood films. In one given year, the vast majority of films contained alcohol. The typical beverage consumption by characters within films was equal to “an alcoholic style of drinking,” yet no harmful side effects were depicted. Before the 2007 decision to slap an “R” rating on movies containing smoking scenes, NCTV found that 53% of films contained cigarette smoking and over 85% of those films had a major actor smoking throughout the film.

Smokers, Drinkers, and Addicts

Michael Medved, in his book, Hollywood Versus America, showed that the characters in movies were three times as likely to smoke as did the people in the audience watching the movie. Tobacco companies pay huge placement fees to movie producers to ensure that a particular brand of cigarettes will be HIGHLY VISIBLE during a strategic point in the movie. As a result, characters within the movie are going to slug down as many cancer sticks as time will allow.

Of note, in NCTV’s observations, about one in seven films contained scenes depicting illegal drug use. The obvious conclusions: Despite semiannual claims from Hollywood to the contrary, “Substance abuse in Hollywood films has not decreased and has a serious, harmful effect on America’s youth,” says actor Edward James Olmos. “Nothing that we do can ever stop the damage we have done.”

Opinion

Trump Privately Pummels Possible 2024 GOP Challenger

OUCH!

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It is hard to see any other outcome in 2024 than Donald Trump easily winning the Republican Party’s nomination for presidential candidacy, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t folks out there who are looking to temp fate.

Of those who could give Trump a run for his money, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis likely has the best shot at sneaking away with the nomination, thanks in no small part to his recent efforts to raise his national presence via aggressive COVID policies.

But Trump isn’t worried about DeSantis.  In fact, he thinks he’s rather dull.

As polls continue to put Ron DeSantis in the top spot for the 2024 nomination without Donald Trump on the ballot, sources confirmed to Axios that the former president has been privately trashing the popular Florida governor.

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“In the context of the 2024 election, he usually gives DeSantis a pop in the nose in the middle of that type of conversation,” an anonymous source told Axios.

The source noted that Trump does not consider the Florida governor a serious threat in 2024, asserting he “has no personal charisma and has a dull personality.”

There may be another issue at play.

Another source argued that the former president’s dissatisfaction with DeSantis stems from the fact that the governor “won’t say he won’t run [in 2024].”

“The others have stated pretty clearly they won’t challenge him,” the source said.

Trump reportedly said, “What’s the big deal? Why won’t he just say he’s not going to run against me?”

Trump has not yet officially announced any plans for 2024, with many believing that such a declaration will not come until after the 2022 midterms are over.

It is hard to see any other outcome in 2024 than Donald Trump easily winning the Republican Party’s nomination for presidential candidacy, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t folks out there who are looking to temp fate. Of those who could give Trump a run for his money, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis likely has the best shot at sneaking away with the nomination, thanks in no small part to his recent efforts to raise his national presence via aggressive COVID policies. But Trump isn’t worried about DeSantis.  In fact, he thinks he’s rather dull. As polls continue to put Ron DeSantis in the top spot for the 2024 nomination without Donald Trump on the ballot, sources confirmed to Axios that the former president has been privately trashing the popular Florida governor. “In the context of the 2024 election, he usually gives DeSantis a pop in the nose in the middle of that type of conversation,” an anonymous source told Axios. The source noted that Trump does not consider the Florida governor a serious threat in 2024, asserting he “has no personal charisma and has a dull personality.” There may be another issue at play. Another source argued that the former president’s dissatisfaction with DeSantis stems from the fact that the governor “won’t say he won’t run [in 2024].” “The others have stated pretty clearly they won’t challenge him,” the source said. Trump reportedly said, “What’s the big deal? Why won’t he just say he’s not going to run against me?” Trump has not yet officially announced any plans for 2024, with many believing that such a declaration will not come until after the 2022 midterms are over.

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Entertainment

DirecTV Removes Conservative News Network in Blow to Free Speech

The move is just the latest incident in which conservative bandwidth has been arbitrarily limited, and it certainly won’t be the last. 

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In our nation, we’ve long held the belief that the diversity of opinion is a tool for sharpening our abilities and ingenuity.  The freedom to speak as you want is the best way to keep the evil among us from snatching up the entirety of the American Dream for themselves, and it levels the playing field among the masses.

That it why the latest move from DirecTV is so egregious.

The largest satellite provider in the United States said late Friday it will drop One America News, a move that could financially cripple the rightwing TV network known for fueling conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

The announcement by DirecTV, which is 70% owned by AT&T, comes three months after a Reuters investigation revealed that OAN’s founder testified that AT&T inspired him to create the network. Court testimony also showed that OAN receives nearly all of its revenue from DirecTV.

The sudden change comes after years of cooperation.

DirecTV, with approximately 15 million subscribers, is by far OAN’s largest carrier. According to testimony by OAN’s accountant reviewed by Reuters, DirecTV provided 90% of the conservative network’s revenue.

“We informed Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires,” DirecTV said in a statement.

The OAN-DirecTV contract is set to expire in the next several months. DirecTV began airing OAN in April 2017, a deal that began shortly after OAN and AT&T settled a lawsuit over alleged oral promises during negotiations.

The move is just the latest incident in which conservative bandwidth has been arbitrarily limited, and it certainly won’t be the last.

In our nation, we’ve long held the belief that the diversity of opinion is a tool for sharpening our abilities and ingenuity.  The freedom to speak as you want is the best way to keep the evil among us from snatching up the entirety of the American Dream for themselves, and it levels the playing field among the masses. That it why the latest move from DirecTV is so egregious. The largest satellite provider in the United States said late Friday it will drop One America News, a move that could financially cripple the rightwing TV network known for fueling conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. The announcement by DirecTV, which is 70% owned by AT&T, comes three months after a Reuters investigation revealed that OAN’s founder testified that AT&T inspired him to create the network. Court testimony also showed that OAN receives nearly all of its revenue from DirecTV. The sudden change comes after years of cooperation. DirecTV, with approximately 15 million subscribers, is by far OAN’s largest carrier. According to testimony by OAN’s accountant reviewed by Reuters, DirecTV provided 90% of the conservative network’s revenue. “We informed Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires,” DirecTV said in a statement. The OAN-DirecTV contract is set to expire in the next several months. DirecTV began airing OAN in April 2017, a deal that began shortly after OAN and AT&T settled a lawsuit over alleged oral promises during negotiations. The move is just the latest incident in which conservative bandwidth has been arbitrarily limited, and it certainly won’t be the last.

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