Television convinces viewers of how ignorant they really are

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 8, 2000

Television – especially the all-encompassing networks – has served mankind in fine fashion.

In the first place, it has taught us how ignorant most of us really are.

Where else but in that electric medium can you find commentators who will tell you in analytical, excruciating detail all about a president's speech you have just listened to?

Where else will you hear parties with opposing views (Democrat and GOP) giving their partisan interpretations of what you've just heard?

These folks not only confound and confuse the issues and the minds of their listeners, but their imbecilic maunderings are punctuated with pronouncements that are soaked through with innuendoes and half truths.

Don't you agree it would be ever so much more effective, and far less disturbing if they (the networks) would simply go back to the fireside chats of radio days, sans comment, and let you conclude what you will conclude.

It's the only adult thing to do, as Helen Bern would say.

Now, we come to the second place, wherein we might even pat national TV on the back for some of its varied entertaining features.

And yet, even given the variety shoved at us through the tube, television seems to have a death wish, so to speak, with its over-kill in many areas.

We are glutted with professional wrestling, pro football and pro all-sports, detective stories and fantasies of other descriptions.

Twould be nice to have more of the old Cowboy and Indian stories played out for us for a change.

And finally, wouldn't it be nice if the nauseous and suggestive commercials were barred from the air waves and all the blood-curdling, horrendous horror flicks were relegated to limbo.

If the above diatribe sounds like original Westbrook Peagler it's because it's a genuine take-off on him, one of the most acid-tongued pessimistic and great, controversial editorialists of the 20th century.

Old Westbrook, now deceased, was a great American, a hero to us of the quill.

We at The Advocate bask in his bygone glory, and only wish he could be among the living so he could at least have a tilt at righting the trends of the ship of state, and of the world in general.