I Don’t Get My Political News From TV

Mostly, I read many points of view and many sources. I like to think that my consent is not manufactured.



Since about 2015, I’ve taken notice of just how much money is spent on advertising and “earned media”. People like Bernie Sanders and Larry Lessig raised my awareness of money in politics. I’ve taken notice of how people can allow themselves to be persuaded by political advertising. I understand now why enormous sums of money are spent to get images and sounds in front of people sitting passively in front of a TV. Political advertising is often designed to manufacture consent.

I’m not really much of a TV guy. When I was a kid, I’d come home from school and watch Speed Racer, ancient Popeye cartoons by Max Fleischer, and maybe a bit of the Electric Company. Ahhh, the Electric Company. I remember Morgan Freeman as the Easy Reader. He was cool.

Still, I can recall how I’d feel watching TV. I’d see that the day is passing me by, so I limited my time in front of the TV. I remembered that my friends were outside of the house. I’d know that the sun is moving across the sky out there. My bike called to me to ride it. The parks called to me to walk through them. If the weather was not so great, then there were books to read. I read many more books as a young man than I do now. And now, most of my reading is online, with fresh news, science, data, and politics.

I’ve never really liked getting my news from the TV, anyway. Well, there was a time I did like that, but I pretty much ignored the local news. I just wanted the weather and sports after work on the weekdays. Back then I’d watch the weather forecast with Fritz Coleman on KNBC 4. He was a comedian and the banter between him and the anchors was a riot. See, I didn’t take TV news seriously, even then. And after the weather, there were sports highlights with Fred Roggin. Roggin’s highlights were often funny and inspiring. That was where I really took an interest in TV news and it wasn’t much of an interest.

I took a dim view of the local news because mostly, it consisted of a series of stories of someone hurting someone else. Robbery, assault, and battery, mixed in with some story about a serial killer. Richard Ramirez is one name I still remember. That was pretty depressing, so I just stuck with the weather and sports highlights. At least then, I could get a little lift for the day.