What television does is rent us friends and relatives who are quite satisfactory. The child watching TV loves these people, you know -- they're in color, and they're talking to the child. Why wouldn't a child relate to these people? And you know, if you can't sleep at 3 o'clock in the morning, you can turn on a switch, and there are your friends and relatives, and they obviously like you. And they're charming. Who wouldn't want Peter Jennings for a relative? This is quite something, to rent artificial friends and relatives right inside the house...they are very commonly more satisfactory friends and relatives than what most people really have. And so, sure, it's analgesic, it's comforting. So many people have awful friends and relatives.
-- Kurt Vonnegut, from this interview
The great thing about television is that if something important happens anywhere in the world, day or night, you can always change the channel.
-- From "Taxi"