Wed Jul 4, 2012, 05:46 PM
less lee (117 posts)
Vision in mono (the rise and fall of CBS)
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Vision In Mono!(The Rise And Fall of CBS)
If you want to find a libertarian, just go to your local welfare office. As for me—I’m in front of my T.V. set, trying to forget my problems and constant self-loathing. I should do what a typical, depressed person does--take dope, overeat (which I do in front of the T.V.), masturbate, watch Internet porn, or drink myself to death. Naah! Television is a safe escape—plus there’s no chance of a hangover in the morning.
I am among the first generation that grew up with television; to me, it was always there. I remember how, in my early childhood, my parents would park me in front of the T.V. for hours, where I’d watch shows like Popeye, Mighty Mouse, and Gumby. On May 9,1961, Newton Minow said to a meeting of the National Association of Broadcasters: Quote, Television is a vast wasteland. Unquote. I might add: Television has become a propaganda tool for the 1%. With the exception of viewer-sponsored T.V., television has become a medium of a hyper commercial, noise machine; a wasteland of decadent reality shows and brain numbing sit-coms. Television used to be free! Buy a T.V. set and watch it until it dies of old age! Now, you have to pay for it! HDTV my ass! Not only must you pay for it, but you must also endure the corporate propaganda. Now, let us consider a television network.
At the southeast corner of Beverly & Fairfax, in L.A., famously known as Television City, stood the CBS Studios. It was a Goggle-styled, black and white building, constructed in 1952. My childhood home was about a half a mile east of there and, as far as I was concerned, the place had always existed. It was a great tourist attraction—you’d see people standing in line out front, waiting to see a live show. I rarely went there, however, I did see a taping of “The Red Skelton Show” once. In 1965, the Rolling Stones played the Skelton show. I walked over, hoping to get a glimpse of the Stones, but all I saw was a crowd of kids and a CBS security guard, yelling at them, “You kids get out of here, unless you have a ticket!” Otherwise, I didn’t really care about the place. A funny thing, though, was that shows taped there would credit their location as Hollywood, when, actually, it wasn’t Hollywood at all—it was Fairfax!!
CBS stands for Columbia Broadcasting System. In the 50s, the political right said it stood for “Communist Bull Shit.” Now? It stands for “Corporate Bull Shit.” This was the network that gave us Edward R Murrow, Walter Cronkite, 60 Minutes, All In The Family, and The Smother Brothers Comedy Hour. Okay—it was mainstream media, but it wasn’t outright reactionary like Fox News is. On Sunday mornings, CBS aired the show “Sunday Morning,” hosted by Charles Kuralt. It was inspired by Jack Kerouac’s 1951 book, “On the Road.” Every Sunday, Charles would set out in his R.V. to visit some eccentric unknown, somewhere in the continental U.S. Eccentrics like Chip Lord in Texas, who had the Cadillac Ranch. This artist painted used Cadillacs and would plant them in the ground, with the front end standing upright. It was a folksy show that celebrated the common American. At the end of the show, they’d feature a non-narrated, captivating look at some of the most beautiful places in the country--deserts, forests, Florida swamps, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park. There would be scenes of deer grazing in a meadow, or wild horses running across a field, goats standing on steep mountainsides, endless wildflowers swaying gracefully--and countless others. These clips would go on for five minutes. Now, maybe 20 seconds of such clips are featured, if that. After Charles retired, the show went into the toilet! Sunday Morning now sports interviews with actors and entrepreneurs, and other commercial shit. Recently, there was a movie reviewer who complained about the flick, “Magic Mike”—a film about a male stripper—proclaiming that the film painted capitalism in negative light. They show pop culture as though it is like collecting soda bottles. The commoner is made to look like a buffoon. The show is now nothing but bolstering free enterprise!
When CBS abolished their news department and the entertainment department took over, the once journalistic news became a bulletin board for corporations. When oil companies raised the price of gas, the news anchors would read the oil company’s press release that gave some alibi about how their refinery caught fire and now they had raise prices! CBS used to have investigative reporters that exposed corruption in corporations and government. Not any more! Now, anytime there’s a government scandal, they will report it. However, if a U.S. corporation commits some wrongdoing, you will not hear about it from them. Their primary “news” source is conservative think tanks.
Now, let me say something about “60 Minutes.” As it stands now, it is just right wing crud! The “interviewers” are not interviewers anymore—they’re just props. Whenever they interview a subject, they ask a question and then immediately echo their subject’s response. For example:
CBS interviewer: “What was it like for you to play that character in XYZ (movie)?”
Actor: “When I was asked to play that character, I was really happy!”
CBS interviewer: “So you were really happy to play that character. What is your favorite color?”
Actor: “I like brown.”
CBS interviewer: “So, I assume your favorite color is brown.”
AAAHHHH!!! That is not exactly Mike Wallace interviewing Fidel Castro! “60 Minutes” should go on hiatus forever!
It’s not just CBS, but all networks! It’s all about advertising and ratings. Entertainment? The “Two and A Half Men” sit-com is keeping CBS afloat, just like the Three Stooges kept Columbia pictures in business! Network television is nothing but a giant info-commercial for capitalism!!
Well, I guess I’ll just have to endure these changes as I get older. T.V. is dead!
One thing I learned about corporate businessmen is that they worship the virtues of competition, yet they hate to compete. Most of them have wet dreams about monopoly. I wonder what the Libertarian position on this is? How about it, Ayn Rand? Forget about it—she’s too busy feeding her cats to answer you! Not only do some businessmen hate to compete with one another, they hate to compete with non-profit organizations, alternative progressive media, and government media. What the left must do is have the left wing media be just as pervasive as commercial television. To say the media is liberal is not only bullshit, but it’s also diversionary. If the media were liberal, there would be no corporations advertising on it. The media is right wing.
But we knew that, didn’t we?
7 replies, 1292 views
Vision in mono (the rise and fall of CBS) (Original post)
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Response to itsrobert (Reply #1)
Wed Jul 4, 2012, 06:06 PM
less lee (117 posts)
2. #one in what?
Darly Hall & John Oats had a number one song in 1982 and it sucked.
Richard Nixon won in a landslide in 1972.
If you read the ratings now, it's lower than it was in 1967. They may number one now but if used the same numbers in 67, they be dead last!
Response to less lee (Original post)
Wed Jul 4, 2012, 07:36 PM
longship (26,921 posts)
4. Some CBS history during WWII
The first anchored news broadcast in history was June 6, 1944, D-Day. Robert Trout was called into the studio in the middle of the night (~2:30). He stayed on the air nearly continuously for nearly 8 hours. At that time CBS relied on reports via shortwave radio, a technology CBS helped develope.
I have a copy of that 24 hours of CBS broadcasting in MP3. It is an astounding document of what journalism meant at possibly its prime moment.
CBS had the primo team. Robert Trout, Edward R. Murrow, and the incredible William Shirer, reporting from Nazi Germany (later who wrote The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich -- his memoirs of the second world war).
This is good shit. Murrow's long essays on the Brits, before Pearl Harbor, are iconic. This is London...
I have many of them. They are history on the ground, reported, as only they did, by CBS.
Murrow's gone. Cronkite is gone. Rather is gone. There is nothing left but a shell.
Response to longship (Reply #4)
Thu Jul 5, 2012, 01:22 PM
less lee (117 posts)
7. The golden age of radio will always be!
thank you for your historical insight of CBS radio (The tiffany network) Though I wasn't around for the golden days of radio, I have read historical accounts of it. Most old radio shows on satellite radio focuse on sit-coms and variety shows. Radio was more than that. Like the FDR fireside chants and those intrepid news reporters who went to the burning pits of hell to get a news story. My dad use to talk about radio during the depression. Here is a story I found this morning.