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Kill your TV

Television: An addictive device which keeps the lower classes subdued; a perpetuator of violence and materialism; and a silent destroyer of intellectualism.

Television viewing:

  • Children aged 2-5 average 25 hours per week watching TV. Source: AC Nielsen Co., 1990
  • Children aged 6-11 average more than 22 hours per week watching TV. Source: AC Nielsen Co., 1990
  • Children aged 12-17 average 23 hours per week watching TV. Source: AC Nielsen Co., 1990
  • 30% of middle-aged men (median age in the study was 39.5) watch TV 3 or more hours per day, while another 61% watch TV 1-2 hours per day. Source: 1989 study by Larry Tucker at Brigham Young University
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  • "By the time most Americans are 18 years old, they have spent more time in front of the television set than they have spent in school, and far more than they have spent talking with their teachers, their friends or even their parents." Quote from Abandoned in the Wasteland: Children, Television and the First Amendment, by Newton Minnow, former Chairman of the FCC, and Craig LaMay, 1995
  • "By first grade, most children have spent the equivalent of three school years in front of the TV set." Quote from Abandoned in the Wasteland: Children, Television and the First Amendment, by Newton Minnow, former Chairman of the FCC, and Craig LaMay, 1995
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  • 62% of fourth graders say they spend more than three hours per day watching TV. Source: Educational Testing Service study, 1990
  • 64% of eighth graders report watching more than three hours of TV per day. Source: Educational Testing Service study, 1990
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  • By the time today's child reaches age 70, he or she will have spent approximately seven years watching TV. Source: American Academy of Pediatrics study, 1990

Intellectual, academic, psychological and social:

  • "Television provides an escape from reality not unlike that of drugs or alcohol. A person can slip away into the fantasy world offered by television programs and effectively impede the pressures and anxieties of their own lives. This is similar to 'going on a trip' induced by drugs or alcohol." Quote from The Plug-In Drug by Marie Winn, 1985
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  • There is a direct correlation between the amount of time a child spends watching TV and their scores on standardized achievement tests - the more TV watched, the lower the scores. Source: 1980 study by the California Department of Education which studied the TV habits and test scores of half a million children
  • "We suspect that television deters the development of imaginative capacity insofar as it preempts time for spontaneous play." Quote from a publication distributed by the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry
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  • "Every day, all across the United States, a parade of louts, losers and con-men whom most people would never allow in their homes enter anyway, through television." Quote from Abandoned in the Wasteland: Children, Television and the First Amendment, by Newton Minnow, former Chairman of the FCC, and Craig LaMay, 1995
  • "Unsupervised television is like letting your children play out on the street at any hour of the day or night with whomever they come across." Quote by University of Massachusetts psychology professor Daniel R. Anderson in his 1988 study of TV's influence on children's education
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  • "The primary danger of the television screen lies not so much in the behavior it produces - although there is danger there- as in the behavior it prevents: the talks, the games, the family festivities and arguments..." Quote from The Plug-In Drug by Marie Winn, 1985
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  • On prime-time TV, men outnumber women at least 3 to 1, while in the real world, there are actually slightly more women in the population. Source: 15-year study by Dr. George Gerbner, Dean of the Annenburg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania
  • On prime-time TV, there are significantly smaller proportions of young people, old people, blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities than in the U.S. population at large. Source: 15-year study by Dr. George Gerbner, Dean of the Annenburg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Crime is at least 10 times as prevalent on TV as in the real world. Source: 15-year study by Dr. George Gerbner, Dean of the Annenburg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania
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  • Television contains substantial amounts of "irregular driving" - squealing brakes, speeding, screeching tires and property damage. Death and physical injury were infrequent, however, and legal penalties rare. Source: 1983 study in the Journal of Communication

Violence:

  • The typical American child will witness 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of televised violence in his lifetime. Source: American Psychological Association.
  • "Preschoolers have difficulty separating the fantastic from the real, especially when it comes to television fare; its vividness makes even the fantastic seem quite real." Quote from "Monitoring TV Time," by Lillian G. Katz, Parents, January 1989
  • "Much of what they (children) see on TV represents violence as an appropriate way to solve interpersonal problems, to avenge slights and insults, make up for injustice, and get what you want out of life." Quote by University of Michigan psychologist Dr. Leonard Eron, whose landmark 22-year study of TV's effects tracked more than 800 people from age 8 to adulthood.
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  • More than 3,000 studies over the past 30 years offer evidence that violent programming has a measurable effect on young minds. Source: Christian Science Monitor, July 6, 1993
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  • In 1980, the most violent prime-time show on TV registered 22 acts of violence per hour. In 1992 the most violent prime-time show (Young Indiana Jones) registered 60 acts of violence per hour. Source: National Coalition on Television Violence
  • In 1992, WGN's "Cookie's Cartoon Club," Fox's "Tom and Jerry Kids," and Nickelodeon's "Looney Tunes" averaged 100, 88 and 80 acts of violence per hour, respectively. Source: National Coalition on Television Violence
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  • Half of North America's murders and rapes can be attributed directly or indirectly to television viewing. Source: Seven-year statistical analysis study by Dr. Brandon Centerwall at the University of Washington
  • After the introduction of television in South Africa in 1974, the murder rate among the white population increased by 56 percent over the next nine years. Source: Seven-year statistical analysis study by Dr. Brandon Centerwall at the University of Washington

Financial, material and legal:

  • "...annual gross television-broadcasting revenues in the U.S. are conservatively estimated at about $25 billion..." Quote from Abandoned in the Wasteland: Children, Television and the First Amendment, by Newton Minnow, former Chairman of the FCC, and Craig LaMay, 1995
  • "Living with television means growing up in a world of about 22,000 commercials a year, 5,000 of them for food products, more than half of which are for low-nutrition sweets and snacks." Quote by Dr. George Gerbner, Dean of the Annenburg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania
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  • "The airwaves are public property. No one can own them because they belong to everyone...Consequently, someone must make certain that when the valuable portion of the spectrum is used, it is used in such a way that at least benefits the rest of us - those who can't use it. This is called serving the public interest. Through the Communications Act the people have given the broadcaster the exclusive right to use a portion of the airwaves, but on the condition that he or she serve the public interest." Quote from Mass Media Law, by Don R. Pember, 1987

Physical:

  • Body metabolism (and calorie-burning) is an average of 14.5 percent lower when watching TV than when simply lying in bed. Source: Study by Robert Klesges at Memphis State University
  • Men who watch television 3 or more hours a day are twice as likely to be obese than men who watch for less than an hour. Source: 1989 study by Larry Tucker at Brigham Young University