Articles and Features


Week of January 27, 1997
Since there aren't any big holidays this week (anyone got any good Groundhog Day quotes?) I thought it would be interesting to focus on television, which was first demonstrated publicly by John L. Baird on January 27, 1926. (Who invented it? That's a very long story.)

Few of us can claim not to watch any television, and it certainly impacts our lives - whether by keeping us constantly informed of news events, allowing us to be entertained by people across the world, or simply providing a convenient way to waste time. (And of course, without the cathode-ray tube at the heart of the television screen, computers would still be in their infancy.)

All that's well and good, but I'm not much of a TV addict, and chances are you're not either--or you'd be watching it right now. As such, I've assembled a collection of quotations about television, most by people who weren't exactly big fans of it themselves. If you are a TV addict, you may want to go see what's on rather than reading. You have been warned.

One more thing: after you've read through these quotes, re-read them, and substitute "The Internet" for "Television". You'll be surprised how many of them still ring true...

"Television is democracy at its ugliest."
Paddy Chayefsky
"Television is the first truly democratic culture -- the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want."
Clive Barnes
"I can think of nothing more boring for the American people than to have to sit in their living rooms for a whole half hour looking at my face on their television screens."
Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969)
"Television - a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well-done."
Ernie Kovacs
"It is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome."
T. S. Eliot
"Television enables you to be entertained in your home by people you wouldn't have in your home."
David Frost
"Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other."
Ann Landers
"All television is children's television."
Richard P. Adler
"Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it."
Alfred Hitchcock
"Television has raised writing to a new low."
Samuel Goldwyn
"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."
Groucho Marx (1890-1977)
More about television:
  • See old TV's - and old TV programs - at the MZTV Television Museum.
  • For more television-related links than you know what to do with, refer to Yahoo's Television category.
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